When Star Wars actor Daisy Ridley learned about the University of Massachusetts–Amherst’s (UMass) invasive experiments on marmosets – which are absurd attempts to study menopause in humans – she wrote an urgent letter to the university’s chancellor, blasting the experiments and urging the institution to use only non-animal research methods.
And as if Daisy weren’t fired up enough already, the experimenter named the marmosets they tortured and killed after beloved Star Wars characters – including her own, Rey. But unlike her namesake, that marmoset had no chance of surviving the dark side.
I was appalled to learn that tiny marmoset monkeys are being harmed in bizarre menopause experiments conducted at your university. I’m especially saddened to hear that these animals have been named after characters from Star Wars. I obviously have a deep connection with this franchise, and it breaks my heart to hear that the names of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and several other beloved characters are now associated with such cruelty.
– Daisy Ridley
Another monkey, Anakin, was bolted to the bed of an MRI machine for hours at a time so that UMass experimenters could evaluate the effects of aging on his brain. They subjected him to “cognitive testing” up to five days a week – taking away his water so that he’d be forced to cooperate just to get a small sip of liquid. After years of these frightening and disorientating tests, they killed him.
UMass experimenters perform multiple invasive surgeries on female marmosets. They implant electrodes in holes that they drill into the animals’ skulls. Then they cut into their necks and thread electrode leads from their scalp and neck through to their abdomen.
Marmosets don’t experience menopause, so experimenters attempt to fake it in the monkeys they exploit. For instance, they surgically remove their ovaries and then use hand warmers on the monkeys to mimic hot flashes – yes, hand warmers, like the kind you put in your mittens in January. They subject the vulnerable animals to stressful social isolation tests and mimic sleep disruption by blasting them with loud noises every 15 minutes throughout the night. This isn’t science.
Join Daisy in Urging UMass to Ditch Crude and Painful Tests on Marmosets
The human-supremacist view that monkeys are commodities to be bred, tormented, and disposed of at will is unacceptable. In her letter, Daisy calls on the university’s chancellor to make the compassionate decision to end the experiments, release the marmosets to a sanctuary, and direct resources towards superior, human-relevant, animal-free science – and you can, too!