Rock Legend Grace Slick Calls for End to Chimpanzee Experiments
Forty years after pioneering a cultural revolution, Grace Slick is leading another movement. In collaboration with PCRM, the former Jefferson Airplane singer, known for hit songs like “Somebody to Love,” recorded a voicemail inviting members of Congress to a Capitol Hill multimedia exhibit about chimpanzees and the Great Ape Protection Act. The bill has 94 congressional co-sponsors, but it needs another six.
“We all need somebody to love, so I was shocked to learn that laboratories can keep chimpanzees locked up in metal cages about the size of a kitchen table,” said Slick, who was the lead vocalist for the musical groups Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship. “It’s time for America to join the long list of countries that prohibit invasive experiments on these amazingly intelligent animals.”
As Congress considers the Towns-Reichert Great Ape Protection Act (GAPA), the Capitol Hill exhibit in October drew attention to the ethical and scientific implications of chimpanzee experiments. The exhibit included photos of former laboratory-owned chimpanzees now living in sanctuaries and a video documenting recent chimpanzee abuse at a Louisiana primate research center.
The multimedia event occupied the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building, allowing members of the House of Representatives and their staffers to attend.
“The photographs of chimpanzees in sanctuaries in the United States and Africa help illustrate the many traits chimpanzees share with humans,” says PCRM primatologist Debra Durham, Ph.D. “Equally important, the exhibit describes the horrific circumstances chimpanzees endure in the name of research that often produces misleading results—and poses real risks to human health.”
Chimpanzees used in experiments can experience early separation from their mothers, social isolation, prolonged captivity, sensory deprivation, and repeated physical harm. The Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326) would end invasive research on chimpanzees, release federally owned chimpanzees to permanent sanctuaries, and end federal funding for the breeding of federally owned chimpanzees.
To hear Slick’s message to Congress, view the online exhibit, and ask Congress to support GAPA, visit PCRM.org/GAPA.
PCRM Online, November 2009