“When I first met Loretta, I told her who I was, why I was there and assured her that I wouldn’t cause her any harm. I promised her that I would get her out of this place.
I can’t begin to imagine what life at PPI was for Loretta. From what I saw, it was constant misery that must have felt like she was being punished for something. I can’t recall one single time when she appeared relaxed. She probably has never climbed a tree or felt dirt between her toes or ever felt grass.
The first thing I noticed about Loretta was that she was frightened of the other monkeys. When I first started the job, the other monkeys in Loretta’s enclosure avoided getting closer to me, I suspect due to the fear of what the employees have been doing to them.
…but not Loretta.
She would stay close to me because that meant that others would not come near her. Being submissive, she didn’t get enough food to eat. When it was cold, the other monkeys would huddle together, but she shivered by herself, as no one would huddle with her.
As time went on, Loretta’s hair began to thin—a sign that she was experiencing extreme psychological distress. More and more hair would be missing along with new scratches on her face and body each week, until she was almost completely hairless. Tattooed in black ink across her chest, the numbers 1005158 only became more visible. She was just a number until an eyewitness gave a name to Loretta, likely the first act of compassion she had ever been shown.
Working at PPI, I was riddled with anxiety and extremely frustrated. Driving to my workplace, the closer I got to the lab, the more and more nauseous I would get—I never knew what I was going to see.
I would plead with my superiors to find ways to help the animals who were stressed or sick, but often it was to no avail. Most days, I’d cry most of the way home.
One day, I found out that the employees were going to catch and sedate all of the monkeys housed in Loretta’s enclosure. As soon as they were done taking blood and sticking a needle in her eyelid(or whatever else they were doing to her), I held her in my arms like a baby. She was sedated. I held her close to me and tried to give her so much love.
The other employees were nearby so I quietly told her that I loved her, and I would help her get out of this hellhole and that I was sorry that this was her life. I brushed her head and her frail frame, seeing the scars and scratches all over her face and body.
It hurt me to have to put my friend back, back into a situation where she only suffered more beatings and stress. I knew she had never been as safe as in my arms her entire life.
I think about her at least once a week now. I’m not sure what triggers the memories. At first, the feeling is warm and loving and then it turns to sadness, anger and motivation.
I used to constantly dream about visiting Loretta and all the other monkeys who were held at PPI but, this time at a beautiful sanctuary with real trees for them to climb, dirt and grass for them to roll around on.
Loretta would remember me, come over to me, and give me a warm thankful look then she would run off to play with her friends and forget all of the pain and suffering she had endured.
But, you know, I don’t know what happened to Loretta. It’s hard to think about it. I have a feeling that she is still alive, suffering at PPI, waiting to be shipped to a testing facility.
As much as I wish for the happy ending where she’s playing with with her friends, probably the best that I can hope for is that her suffering has already ended. Perhaps the only time that she would be relieved of her torture is when she will die.”
~Account of an eyewitness who worked inside Primate Products, Inc.(PPI), a notorious facility that imports, warehouses and ships primates to be used in laboratories.
It was cited for 25 violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Loretta’s whereabouts remain unknown.
Chemical, pharmaceutical, and medical research laboratories use live animals to test everything from shampoo to surgical procedures. There are more than 115 million dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys, and other mammals that suffer and die each year.
80 percent of the lab animals used – mice, rats and birds – are not protected by the Animal Welfare Act, and therefore are not counted.
They are locked inside cold, empty cages in laboratories across the world. They suffer in pain, ache with loneliness and wish to roam free. However, all they can do is sit and wait in fear of the next procedure that will be performed on them.
More than 2,000 companies around the world have banned all testing on animals in favour of effective, modern non-animal methods(which have proven to be cheaper and much more effective than animal testing), but many still choose to subject animals to painful tests in which substances are “dripped into their eyes, sprayed in their faces or forced down their throats”.
The link(s) to:
India is the first country in South Asia to ban the testing of cosmetics and its ingredients on animals. Unfortunately, many brands are able to sell products in India, because the brands cannot and do not conduct animal testing on products for sale within India. However, they conduct animal testing in countries where it is compulsory even today. An example of one such country is China.
You may even download the Cruelty Cutter app available on Google Playstore.
Such disheartening cases of cruelty exist only because WE choose to pay for them.
If you really want to level things up you need to ‘vote’ with your dollar and spend more mindfully.
If given the opportunity to switch to products which are short of an unnecessary ingredient i.e. anguish of sentient beings and live a cruelty-free lifestyle, why wouldn’t you?