A PRISONER OF NO COMPARISON By Rae Schilling
It is the morning of Christmas Eve, the staff have arrived earlier than is usual today, they are hurriedly working through their chores, cutting corners to get finished; paying less attention to detail. There is a sense of urgency mixed with anticipation, a determination amongst them to get finished and return to their homes.
The atmosphere though is one of false jollity, almost palpable, it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. All of this here is out of my control, but somehow transfers itself inwards. I learnt early on to be wary of these people's moods, of all facets of their behaviour, they are never to be trusted - cruelty and evil stride boldly hand in hand, it is part of the daily routine here, the laughter is not of a genuine nature, their newfound spirit of geniality only serves to confuse and alienate me further. Any change, any alteration in their mood is unnerving, it reinforces my deep distrust of them, and my fear.
Conversation settles on a central theme, that of Christmas Day; where it will be spent, who they will share their time with. I should feel less intimidated today for my presence is hardly acknowledged, but I do not, they are here, that is enough. My meal is prepared in haste, no medication is administered today, their tasks are almost completed. The floor is given a token sweep, then they leave. The security guards are the only staff that remain on site, they will not venture in, we are alone once more.
An overwhelming sense of relief washes over me, releasing me from my fear of persecution and torture for a while, I begin to relax. Others like myself shift their positions, moving a little to ease the pain of confinement, stretching tight and weary bodies. A gentle chattering noise can be heard, a comforting reminder of times gone in a language half forgotten. Someone is playing with the drinking water, others begin to eat. These sounds so natural to us break the monotony of the incessant clicking of the strip lighting and the continuous humming and whirring of heaters and extractor fans.
I thought of escape today, it would have been a good time to try with staff not as vigilant as normal. A female made a bid for freedom a few days ago, she was caught before she reached the first door and beaten severely, her screams still pervade my thoughts, everything though has to be risked in order to be free. Another female who has been here far longer than I, has lost her mind; she passes her days in a sea of tormented confusion, as if by her repetitive movements she can somehow evade the remorseless tide which slaps heavily against her. Her swaying movements are deliberate although no longer controlled by any conscious reasoning and are only broken long enough for her to take her food, she begins again in earnest weaving...rocking...swaying.
The female next to me sits very quietly save for her desperate attempts to find some comfort to alleviate her pain; she was wrenched from her cage a while back, this was performed with such brutality that her shoulder was broken, she used to tap gently to me with her knuckles, those days have now gone. Her injury was not documented nor any treatment given, the only record is a note attached to her cage door: "DANGEROUS. DO NOT HANDLE ALONE". No one outside of this place will ever know of her suffering nor of any of the abuse that we are subjected to.
I heard the staff whispering amongst themselves the other day, one of them had "messed up" on the dosing and the wrong drugs were given. I know who got that dose, I recognised her body when she was carried through on her way to the incinerator, in death as in life, she was handled like garbage - her wasted and fragile frame covered only by a blue plastic sheet ready to be discarded. She was thrown away, rubbished - of no further use or consequence, another stolen life disposed of in secrecy and silence.
The caretaker whose task it is to dispose of waste... with us, likes to torment the young females here, his daily routine is always strictly adhered to, he strolls through the unit while deciding who appears to be the easiest target, he then takes a sweet wrapper and screws it tightly in his dirty hand. The noise is interesting and attracts those who have not yet been drained of their natural curiosity - he waits to see who will play. The rustling noise is a temptation, he knows this well, most have long become wise to his sick game but he is unrelenting in his determination to find a victim. A youngster with little understanding of life here reached tentatively to take his offering last time, she was rewarded with a deep burn from his lighted cigarette which he stubbed hard into her arm, I retched in horror at her anguish and cries of pain; a cocktail of singed hair and burning flesh hung in the air, a stark reminder to trust no one here.
My thoughts turn once more to my beloved daughter, she was caught along with me many months ago, had I known the future then for us...for her, I would surely have killed her myself for to have done so would have been an act of the greatest mercy borne out of love and compassion; a final gift from me. She used to call for me, pleading for me to respond, her cries of desperation echoing along the long empty corridors. I could not answer for to have done so would have given her hope, of that there is none. It has been a while since I last heard her voice, maybe she has been moved elsewhere, perhaps she is already...
Three Home Office officials visited a while back, inspections of this kind are classed as "of a highly sensitive nature", not to be announced in advance. This visit as with all past inspections was well advertised, its failure to expose the truth will not be, the report that will be compiled on return to their government buildings will not affect my welfare nor improve any of the conditions here, the whole affair was a sham. This is a procedure invented solely to appease those who raise concerns about the genuine need for our incarceration here, a must for the genocide to continue unabated and unhindered. Recommendations and improvements have no place here, they are merely ideals to which no one wishes to aspire, the world must not know the truth, the real reason for our detention, we must remain hidden at all costs to protect the greatest lie of all time. We are all lost forever in a cesspit of pulsating greed, pressing and churning to extract every last element - this is "science". We are mere products in a hidden market of corruption and deceit, passing silently through on a journey filled with confusion, fear and pain, the destination meets with our ruthless destruction. There is only one constant here - one certainty, we will all die, not one of us will survive. We only wait and wonder not if but when our turn will come. I pray that they will hasten that day...
A primate in an vivisection laboratory... anywhere.
In memory of James who died in Huntington Life Sciences, Princeton, New Jersey. Lest we forget.
The account that you have read is seen through the eyes of a female monkey. The truth cannot be disputed, for I like so many others have been inside a vivisection laboratory and witnessed the horrors therein. It is our duty then, to be the voice of the voiceless; to tell their story. We can do nothing for the millions who have already succumbed to the horrors, but we can make a difference for all those who remain.
No animal in a laboratory is afforded a name, that would be foolhardy, the vivisectionists know this well. It would bestow upon all non-human animals an identity, an acknowledgement of their importance, their worth. This would lead to a natural progression whereby all sentient beings would find their "own place" in society and at last have "animal rights". No questions need to be asked as to why the proposed "Freedom of Information Act" is so vehemently opposed by the Vivisection Industry. Were it to become law, all animal experiments would be seen for what they are: evil, futile and repetitive... Anarchy would ensue!
Please join Animal Aid in the campaign against the proposed Cambridge primate research labs.