A focus of our Summer UPDATE is the recognition of the right of all animals to move freely, look up at open skies, and live as nature intended. As we go to press, we await the decision of whether NIH will accept the recommendations of its appointed council – including recommendations that chimpanzees live with fresh air, natural surroundings, space to climb and move, and in a world as meaningful as captivity can provide.
You and I cherish our freedom. Our ability to open a window to let the breeze in. To rest in the sun or shade or tucked inside away from the elements. We can hardly imagine living confined by bars limiting how far we move, condemning us to endlessly revisit the same spot. A life without the right to make choices would be unbearable.
Captivity is the beginning of abuse. It is the first assault. NIH’s council acknowledged we must do better in the life we offer captive chimpanzees. Acknowledging the right of a chimpanzee to basic comforts and freedoms is the beginning of acknowledging that all animals in all labs are so too deserving.
In this issue, we celebrate summer. And, since everyone loved meeting the staff’s companion animals in last summer’s UPDATE, we decided to give you more photos including a glimpse of the work our staff does for animals even when not at NEAVS. From greyhound rescue, to caring for rescued cats, goats, and beyond ... each one embraces commitment to animals as a life choice, not just a job. The Board and I are proud of them – all hard working and incredibly dedicated. They remind us that the spark in humans from which kindness can effortlessly flow is ever present. Because of the work you help us do, the plight of animals in labs is on kindness’ agenda. It is what fuels every one of us at NEAVS toward our shared vision – a world in which there is always a hand extended to help or raised to stop suffering, wherever and in whomever it is found.
Theodora Capaldo, EdD