1. says

    That’s so sweet to see those chimps free and rescued……..and some are 50 years old ….absolutely astonishing.

    What wonderful caring people in the Humane Society to be able to look after them and give them a quality of life which they have not had in the laboratories.

  2. Caliban says

    It’s sweet yet also awful that they’ve been “used” in labs for so long. Makes me happy, sad, and angry all at the same time. What was really so important that they were “needed” for all that time, in those numbers? I’d love to know the nature of the experiments those chimps “participated” in.

  3. Eric says

    “Going outside for the first time, touching the ground, seeing the sky.”

    That’s a little misleading. It sounds like you’re saying that the chimps have never been outside before, etc. The video doesn’t state that. In fact, it says the opposite, at least for the older chimps that were captured.

    We also shouldn’t overlay our emotions onto them, even if it were true- if animals are never exposed to the outdoors, it can be pretty damn terrifying. Far worse, in my opinion, to have been free, and then lose that freedom.

    As someone that worked in medical research for almost a decade, I would like to point out that as much as I care about the chimps, that research, on hundreds of diseases, including on HIV, has saved countless lives.

    Research using chimps has been on the decline for many years, since we have other ways of getting many of those results now that don’t even involve animal test subjects, and keeping chimps for research is very expensive. In fact, in the United States, the National Institutes of Health is probably going to reduce the number of chimps it keeps for research from ~670 to 50 (mostly for emergencies) very soon, and will give those 50 more natural surroundings:

    There are about 350 other chimps in the United States that are owned either by private pharmaceutical companies or by universities that aren’t covered under these new guidelines. If you want to help them, contact your federal elected officials and support the “Great Ape Protection Act”.

  4. FancyPants says

    While I would generally agree about not overlaying our feelings onto animals, I think the chimp in particular is an animal which clearly shares many of the emotional traits its human cousins do. Not that I think that is where one should draw the line on how an animal is treated. I am not making a judgment call on whether the value provided by this research outweighs any negative treatment of these animals, just simply pointing out that chimps are not just ANY animal. I think the value they have provided has been immense. All the more reason to support efforts like these to make sure they are as heavily protected as possible.

    And chimps are one of many types of animals people might be surprised are used in laboratory testing. Beagles are a popular research animal and there are many organizations that focus on rescuing them when they’ve “outlived” their scientific usefulness and make sure they live out their days in better environments.

    I do think it is important for people to know the cost of the things we enjoy, even if we still think the cost is worth it. People are too quick to put on blinders to how we have the luxuries we enjoy.

  5. Thomas says

    It’s awesome that Towleroad is giving a shout out to genuinely talented, smart, well spoken, queer artists like Tegan and Sara. They are exactly the type of people young gay men and women should look up to.

    Love them…

  6. castaway says

    Thanks Eric for your insight with the realities and importance of animal research. And how great will be the day when we no longer have to do this to live animals. Would be fitting to see the Pharmaceutical companies cover the costs of retirement for their “employees.”

  7. Eric says


    Actually, the small point that I was making in that paragraph including humans.