Woody Harrelson has joined PETA and many others in the protest of the U.S. Army at Maryland’s Aberdeen Proving Ground poisoning of monkeys for nerve gas attack simulations.
Way to go, Woody!
This is great. The more people who join the fight, the better chance of getting the Army to stop testing on those poor monkeys.
The actual letter he wrote is below:
September 12, 2011
Gen. Raymond T. Odierno
Chief of Staff
United States Army
200 Army Pentagon, Rm. 3E672
Washington, DC 20310-0200
Dear General Odierno,
Congratulations on your new post as chief of staff. I learned from PETA that the U.S. Army will soon conduct outdated tests in which a nerve agent is injected into monkeys at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The monkeys forced through this procedure will suffer the wretched symptoms of chemical poisoning, including seizures, breathing difficulties, loss of bowel control, and convulsions. In a laboratory worksheet that PETA obtained from Aberdeen, one student compared a monkey’s violent reaction during the exercise to “a chiwawa [sic] shitting razor blades.”
Because superior non-animal methods are used for this exact training by military and civilian programs around the world, animals are clearly not required to meet your objectives. Sophisticated human patient simulators can be programmed to mimic the human response to a nerve agent attack and used in various scenarios that actually recreate conditions in which such an attack on humans may occur. They are far more relevant to military medical personnel than poisoning monkeys in a laboratory and watching how their tails twitch and their paws sweat. There is even a video of all this that can be used if you really want to show how monkeys react to a specific nerve agent.
General, I urge you to stop this crude exercise at Aberdeen. I’m sure you agree that our military personnel deserve state-of-the-art training and that our country deserves to be respected for its civilized treatment of animals. Among PETA’s members and supporters are physicians, researchers, and other personnel— including medical simulation experts at Harvard Medical School and other institutions—who can help facilitate this transition to modern, humane training methods.
Thank you. I look forward to some good news shortly.
[Image via Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.]