But for the lucky few, as if a miracle, one day they arrive. They arrive somewhere they had only known in the instinctive wisdom of their own nature....
In collaboration with Kelly Guerin and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, I'm really proud to launch this beautiful little gem of a story
, about animals rescued from research. In 2014, I travelled to sanctuaries across the USA thanks to a generous grant from NEAVS. This enabled to me to photograph the rescue efforts of several wonderful organizations and sanctuaries, and allow us a glimpse into the lives of some of the individuals who live there. The link to the video Unforgotten: Animals Rescued from Research: https://vimeo.com/150560910
Once Kelly and I had pieced the story together, I knew the right person to ask about narration would be Dr. Theodora Capaldo, NEAVS' CEO. Dr. Capaldo is poetic and has a wonderful way of expressing the core of what she sees. I hope you'll agree. The words are so heartfelt that I wanted to include them here in the blog:Can you imagine what its like to never hear the birds? Or the wind rustling the trees? Or feel the warmth of the sun? Imagine, instead, the hard cold of stainless steel.
Millions of animals suffer these deprivations -- enduring the confines of their laboratory lives. But for the lucky few, as if a miracle, one day they arrive. They arrive somewhere they had only known in the instinctive wisdom of their own nature.
One day everything changes. They can see the sky. Smell fresh air. They are held, or delight in plentiful fruits or treats or pats or the sweet sounds of someone who cares.
Those of us who work to end their use and abuse and to get them out of the labs take to heart the oath to first do no harm…the Hippocratic oath, the foundation of medical ethics from which research and testing have drastically strayed, leaving the animals forgotten.
But, we have not forgotten them. We see them.
Our informed and caring hearts see them, even those locked behind laboratory doors. We see them through the light of empathy and we work to make certain that while we work to end their use in science as it can and must and will—we will do all we can to rescue those now held and to welcome them to sanctum --- to that holy place of refuge where the life they held on to against all odds for so many many years is now, at last, allowed to flourish.
I'm so thankful to the sanctuaries, organizations and rescues who continue to save and improve the lives of animals used in research.
Those which are featured in this video are:
Beagle Freedom Project
New England Anti-Vivisection Society
Center for Great Apes
Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary
Lockwood Animal Rescue Center
Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society
Save the Chimps
(Above image: Mari, an orangutan who was used in research and was rescued by the Center for Great Apes in Florida)