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Davis, California

Friday, July 19, 2024

PETA-backed youth organization protests UC Davis researchers’ experimentation on captive primates

The student organization “Students Opposing Speciesism” organized a demonstration on the quad where protestors wore monkey masks and sat in cages


By MADELEINE YOUNG — campus@theaggie.org


On Jan. 26, student activists with the PETA-backed youth organization Students Opposing Speciesism (SOS) gathered on the UC Davis campus for a demonstration opposing the use of animals in research at the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC), which is an off-campus research unit associated with UC Davis. 

The center houses over 4,000 primates, according to their website. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said in a recent press release that the experimentation done has in some cases resulted in the animals’ deaths.

Before the demonstration, SOS and other participants gathered on the A Street field at 11:15 a.m. and began to march toward the quad at noon with banners, live music and chanting. 

The protest featured demonstrators dressed in monkey masks, locked in cages and thrashing against the cages before being doused in fake blood. Susana Soto, an organizer with the animal rights organization Direct Action Everywhere, talked about the rally. 

“We are doing [this] to speak up about the inhumane research being done on monkeys at the school,” Soto said. “It’s such a savage thing to do; we’re in 2023 and still doing this.” 

Kara Long, a fourth-year psychology major and the host and organizer of the event, said that she has worked with not only SOS but also Davis Organization for Animal Advocacy, in hopes of rallying her peers to demand that the lab be shut down. 

“The CNPRC run by UC Davis imprisons over 5,000 monkeys for use in cruel and deadly experiments that ultimately fail to benefit humans,” Long said. “We are trying to raise awareness of their abuse and come up with alternative methods of scientific research that do not involve the use of nonhuman animals.” 

First-year undeclared fine arts major Daphne Boyd was one of the students who witnessed the protest and voiced her thoughts on the situation. 

“I had no idea that this was going on,” Boyd said. “I heard there was a primate [research center], but we’re world renowned for the vet school, so I thought that it was such an animal-loving campus that we wouldn’t be involved in this. Small protests like the one today are a step forward to get the word out and to reach more people.”

Editor’s note: This article was updated to correct a misquoting. The article previously quoted Kara Long as saying “… [these] experiments do not benefit students,” but she in fact said, “… [these] experiments […] ultimately fail to benefit humans.” 


Written By: Madeleine Young  — campus@theaggie.org