by Jennifer Mishler
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .

Woody Harrelson is a longtime vegan and animal advocate, and we recently shared why us Ecorazziers are big fans.

Harrelson’s most recent efforts for animals include writing to his senator, Barbara Boxer asking her to help save chimpanzees. According to a press release from PETA, the actor sent a letter to Boxer, the chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and asked that she support the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act.

He writes, “Despite international criticism, the United States remains the only nation in the industrialized world that continues to conduct invasive experiments on chimpanzees, humans’ closest living genetic relatives. I’m writing to you today, as a constituent, to ask you to support the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S. 810), which would permanently end the use of chimpanzees in invasive experiments and retire all federally owned chimpanzees to sanctuaries, all while saving taxpayers an estimated $30 million every year.”

Other celebs have also asked for support of the Act, including James Franco and Kevin Nealon, Alicia Silverstone and Pamela Anderson. Harrelson writes, “I was shocked to learn that the use of chimpanzees in experiments still persists in the U.S. even though the entire European Union and every other country around the world, except for tiny Gabon, have banned such experiments…But nearly 1,000 of these complex beings are locked inside barren cells in U.S. laboratories—some for as long as 50 years—where they have been intentionally infected with diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis and forced to endure decades of invasive procedures, fear, loneliness, and pain.”

As more and more technology is available to replace animals in experiments, there are more and more calls for the end of animal testing. The federal government also recently announced that no new grants will be given for chimp research, unless it is deemed to be “necessary for human health.”

As Harrelson points out though, many scientists say that studies done on chimps do not yield results that are useful in learning about human diseases. “…in December 2011, the prestigious Institute of Medicine issued a report stating that nearly every use of chimpanzees in laboratories today is scientifically unjustifiable. Yet taxpayers forked out more than $200 million for chimpanzee experiments between fiscal years 2000 and 2010.”

Along with PETA, PCRM is also campaigning to help pass the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act. The organization provides a way to contact your Senators and Representatives about the legislation.

About Jennifer Mishler

Jennifer Mishler is a writer, and a vegan and animal activist. When she's not writing, you can often find her volunteering or advocating for animal, environmental and human rights causes. Along with writing for Ecorazzi, she has contributed writing for nonprofits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and enjoys blogging. She resides in the Washington, DC area (and loves all the vegan food it has to offer). Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennygonevegan.

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