Academy Award nominee and longtime PETA activist James Cromwell has big plans for his 75th birthday — moderating PETA’s Capitol Hill congressional briefing on the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) maternal-deprivation experiments on baby monkeys.
Along with a panel of experts, Cromwell will point to the cruelty of the experiments, their inapplicability to human health, and the superior non-animal research methods available to study mental illness.
“By the time you get to be my age, you start to think that maybe you’ve seen it all — and then you realize that you haven’t. When I first heard that PETA had released videos of maternal deprivation experiments on baby monkeys, I guessed it was some kind of retrospective,” says Cromwell. “These barbaric experiments weren’t justifiable 60 years ago. They certainly aren’t justified in the 21st century, and they do not deserve the support of Congress and taxpayers.”
As revealed in video footage released by PETA, NIH experimenters at a laboratory in Maryland breed monkeys to be prone to depression, remove infants from their mothers at birth to induce trauma, and then subject the young ones to years of experiments designed to cause, worsen, and measure the babies’ severe fear, depression, and anxiety. These experiments have never led to the development of treatments for human mental illness and are superseded by human brain imaging and other modern techniques but have continued for more than 30 years and cost taxpayers more than $30 million in just the past seven years alone.
Last year, Cromwell caged himself at the Los Angeles International Airport to protest Air France’s practice of flying thousands of terrified monkeys to laboratories, where they’re caged, cut into, poisoned, and killed. In 2013, the Oscar-nominated Babe star was arrested for interrupting a meeting at the University of Wisconsin–Madison to protest the school’s cruel and deadly brain experiments on cats.