BOOK REVIEW: Monkey Business: The Disturbing Case That Launched the Animal Rights Movement

Monkey Business: The Disturbing Case That Launched the Animal Rights Movement (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

This was a riveting account of the “Silver Springs Monkey Case”—the first-ever conviction of an animal researcher for animal cruelty. Edward Taub’s facility was so substandard, his treatment of the animals so poor, that one would think his colleagues would be the first to condemn, rather than defend, him. Yet defend they did, even when the evidence against Taub was so overwhelming it seemed to defy common sense.

While I don’t think the Silver Springs Monkey Case launched the animal rights cause—Merritt Clifton of Animal People News has meticulously documented the movement’s far older origins—one could rightly argue that case brought about a new burst of interest in our duties toward other beings. One element I found especially interesting was how many personalities who are now well known in the humane cause today got their start in this case.

The author writes in an informative fashion, detached enough that readers can fully understand the case and the many controversies surrounding it.

This should be required reading for anyone interested in making legal progress on behalf of animals, as well as anyone who assumes the National Institutes of Health has any commitment at all toward the welfare of laboratory animals. Despite their feel-good public relations lines, the NIH’s appalling behavior toward this small group of severely abused animals paints a far different image.

(review originally appeared at goodreads.com)

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