News: Letter to the Editor

What Does an Aging Chimp Do… Capaldo

July 24, 2005 • Posted in Letter to the Editor

New York Times Magazine, 07/24/05—NEAVS’ response: Theo Capaldo, EdD, President

Dear Editor:

“What Does an Aging Chimp Do…” (07/24/05) raised key questions: Is it right or necessary to cause suffering (or death) to a species so like us? Once we have, what is our obligation to the survivors?

It left salient questions unexamined: Is it right that chimpanzees in federally supported sanctuaries can be called back into research after already decades of use?

The article’s missed opportunities are nowhere better illustrated than in your cover illustration: a NY Times “retouched” photograph of Mikey, a young chimpanzee, depicting him on a tropical island.

What’s wrong with this picture? You would never do a story on child labor and then exploit children to run the presses. So why exploit the very species about whom your article is attempting to educate?

Please remember that many—if not the majority—of your readers are sincerely concerned about chimpanzees. The first rule of good journalism is that you “get it”. If you “get it,” then refuse to exploit them yourself.


Theodora Capaldo, EdD
New England Anti-Vivisection Society

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