NIH: Empty the Cages

Inside an inconspicuous building on a sprawling campus in suburban Maryland, monkeys are mutilated, tortured, and killed at the hands of National Institutes of Health (NIH) experimenters.

NIH experimenter Elisabeth Murray saws open monkeys’ heads and either injects toxins into their brain to burn brain cells or vacuums out parts of it—and then locks them in cages and intentionally terrifies them with rubber spiders and snakes. PETA used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain 43 hours of never-before-seen video footage of Murray’s twisted “emotional responsiveness” tests. But how is it possible that she has no emotional response to Wilfork, who’s nearly hairless, likely as a result of stress, and sitting utterly defeated in the corner—too broken to look at anything but the floor?

Or to Le Chiffre, who sits staring out of the cage he’s spent so many hours trapped in with one desperate finger resting hopelessly on the metal bars?

PETA has also obtained documents from NIH revealing that Murray’s monkey victims are subjected to multiple brain surgeries, repeated sedation and restraint, starvation to force them to cooperate, and more.

Animal experimentation is the epitome of speciesism:

  • Disregard for animals’ well-being, comfort, and needs
  • Denial of their ability to think, feel, and want
  • Domination and exploitation

Monkeys should live among trees, soaking in the sunshine with their families. Instead, these monkeys—whose lives are just as important to them as ours are to us—are severely mutilated and forced to spend life in a cage inside a windowless laboratory, where they’re tormented by speciesist experimenters who view them as lab equipment.

NIH has given Murray more than $36 million to fund experiments like these over the span of 30 years, despite their zero human-relevant results. These tests help no one, and they wouldn’t be ethical even if they did. Animals are individuals who have personalities, perspectives, and free will and want to avoid pain and suffering, just as humans do. Treating sentient beings like lab equipment is inexcusable. Animals aren’t ours to use.

We’re all being forced to pay for animals to be tortured in laboratories while we wait for treatments that aren’t coming. People are dying because they’re unable to afford healthcare. Nurses exposed to COVID-19 are forced to reuse single-use personal protective equipment (PPE). Students are drowning in debt. And mental health is a national crisis. Meanwhile, NIH—the primary health agency in the U.S.—in squandering billions of taxpayer dollars every year on cruel, archaic, fake-science animal experiments instead of solving actual problems.

This can’t continue. This is how we’ll end the monkey terror experiments:

Online Actions

  • Download the videos and images from this Dropbox folder and share these animals’ stories online.
  • Put this Linktree Link in your or your SOS hub’s social media profile to help folks demand an END to cruel and useless monkey terror experiments.

NIH will continue to terrorize animals until it’s blasted with disapproval from the public that’s too loud to ignore. Let the agency know we’re watching it and we see the ways it wastes our tax dollars on sickeningly cruel and infuriatingly useless experiments that continually fail to produce relevant results.

Once the Linktree link is in your profile, point people to it on your story and tell everyone you know to take action!

Help us launch this campaign and tell these 23 monkeys’ stories—and speak up for all the others who’ve suffered in laboratories. All SOS hubs and members, please share this image on Instagram right now. Be sure to tag @petaxsos and @nihgov, and use the hashtag #EndMonkeyTerrorExperiments

Take This to the Streets

Online activism is important, but animals also need us to raise our voices in the streets—in every community in the country—to put an end to these terror experiments. E-mail your adviser to get a custom protest kit—you can choose from geometric monkey masks, signs, cages, costumes, and more. If you haven’t signed up to become an organizer or member of SOS yet, do that now and join a network of other young activists rising up to demand an end to human supremacy.

Your voice is crucial to stopping these cruel experiments. SOS is the youth movement that will change the way future generations see and treat animals. Through our actions, SOS will beat speciesism, which normalizes violence and slaughter.

E-mail your adviser for a protest kit now.