Friday, May 24, 2013

Guest Blog by Debra Rosenman


The photo's of Etaito and Gari are courtesy of John Debenham. The photo's were taken at a half way house in Goma, DRC. All the babies were taken away from their mothers, and five of them were at this halfway house for a few months.


I met Debra at a symposium on Chimpanzees in Wichita, KS, some years ago. She told me about the book she was working on. Hurt Go Happy had been out a couple years by then, so we had interests in common. Her dedication to revealing the crimes humans have committed against our nearest relatives in the animal world deserves to be seen. Perhaps you will join me in supporting her effort. GR



I have been working on a book called The Chimpanzee Chronicles: Spellbinding Stories from Behind the Bars, since 2007 and it is ready to be birthed into the world! 

The Chimpanzee Chronicles takes you behind the bars for a glimpse into the hidden worlds and real lives of captive chimpanzees. This unique anthology of twenty-six stories from around the globe exposes the veiled worlds of biomedical lab research, the entertainment industry, and exotic pet trade. While the narratives bear witness to the injustice, exploitation and heartless treatment of captive chimpanzees, the book isn’t only about suffering; it’s also about strength, hope, and compassion. All is revealed through the eyes, ears, and hearts of the chimpanzees and their human caregivers.

Some stories will shock you, some will amuse you, but all will open your heart to reconsider our relationship with these highly intelligent and sensitive beings.
  
We are beginning to recognize the exploitation of chimpanzees in our country, and the suffering they have endured. It’s time for us, as individuals and a nation, to stand together and say, “No more. What can we do for them?”

I have put my heart and soul into this book, and I am proud to be one of many voices speaking out for captive chimpanzees! The stories in The Chimpanzee Chronicles are about chimpanzees, but monkeys and orangutans are part of some of the narratives as well.

Here's a sneak peak-a few paragraphs from three different stories!

From Jen Feuerstein/ Sanctuary Director at Save the Chimps
Hand in Hand: Remembering Rhett


Another practice at Yerkes that really bothered me was the baby monkeys taken away from their  moms on the day they were born, for research. They would stick them in a light-tight black box because they were going to the Main Center where all the  hard-core biomedical research was happening. The babies would then be fitted with prism, contact lenses or goggles, to manipulate their sight and the input of light into their eyes, in order to see how that affected eye development.

The lead investigator for this study did a presentation on the project and they said part of the reason this work was so important was because there was a high incidence of nearsightedness in children in Thailand. The logic of this escaped me. I am nearsighted and I have treatment for it. It seemed to me that perhaps the money they were spending on doing this to baby monkeys would be better spent on providing eyeglasses for children in Thailand.

From Gloria Grow/ Founder/Director of Fauna Foundation in Canada
Knowing Jeannie

In 1981, Merck, Sharpe & Dohme pharmaceuticals sent Ch-562—Jeannie—to the Buckshire Corporation research facility. She was six years old. Seven years later, Buckshire sent her to the Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates (LEMSIP).There, Jean was subjected to years of research including being inoculated with HIV, continual vaginal washes, and cervical biopsies. She was often treated for self-inflicted wounds—a sign of severe stress. Following a 1995 experiment, Jean had what everyone described as a “nervous breakdown.” She was no longer of use to research. For the next two years she was left alone, heavily medicated, in her slightly less than 5’x5’x7’ cage. The drugs did little to prevent her from screaming continually, ripping her fingernails off, thrashing out of control or huddling against the floor in the back of her cage. That is where I met her, sitting in that dark corner, looking more terrified than anyone I had ever seen, lost in another world. Jean looked up at me with beautiful almond shaped eyes that seemed to be pleading, “Will you help?”

From Adriana Martin/ primatologist/lawyer/activist
Friends or Captors? My Memories of Moja and Other Chimpanzee Friends
Moja was a beautiful chimp by all accounts. Her face was very black, she had hazel eyes and her lips were naturally pursed. This gave her a pouty look that made her a crowd favorite at the “Chimpsiums,” the weekend open house for community members who paid a fee to spend an hour learning about chimps and chimp behavior. Red was Moja’s favorite color. When it was time to pass out blankets, she would pick the red one from a pile of multicolored blankets. She signed, “RED THAT.” If there were no red blankets at sleep time, she would sign, “RED.” I would answer, “NO RED, RED DIRTY” meaning that the red blanket was in the washer. She would point to the enrichment closet and sign, “RED THERE.” This was to remind me where I could get a red blanket. During the day, she asked for red clothes to either wear or to make nests. She looked good in red and I think she knew it. Moja would stare at herself in the mirror and comb her arm hair with a brush. Her legs were very straight as was her back. Slender and graceful, she looked a lot like a young Washoe, who was also a strikingly beautiful chimp. I remember Moja's eyes well. Primatologists know that chimpanzees do not like to stare at each other because it is a sign of dominance or aggression, but Moja could look into my eyes, and I could look into hers and neither felt threatened by the other.

Please consider making a small donation, or pre-ordering the book on my Indiegogo campaign site: http://igg.me/at/the-chimpanzee-chronicles/x/1317610

 
With love,
Debra Rosenman

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