As Green Monsters, we love to hear news about compassionate celebrities using their fame and public influence to help animals. Alison Eastwood is one such kind celebrity who recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on LoveAnimals to raise money for the lifelong care of 110 former research chimpanzees. These chimps were retired to California’s Chimp Haven sanctuary where they will be allowed to live out their days in a safe, natural environment.
Eastwood, daughter of star Clint Eastwood, has always been drawn to animals and has always been deeply saddened by the idea that thousands of animals unwillingly sacrifice their lives for the sake testing and research. Having taken the time to learn all she can about the topic, Eastwood was inspired to take action with the hope of spreading awareness for the plight of animals.
Eastwood explains to OGP, “I wanted to do something around animal testing as it is something I would like to help fight against. So many people don’t think about it, it’s something always in the shadows, a subject that isn’t really discussed.”
The first step to making any change is raising awareness for the issue, which Eastwood has done through the Nat Geo Wild television series, Animal Intervention. In the series, Eastwood and her team travel across the U.S. and help to rescue animals living in terrible conditions. Eastwood helped vetting sanctuaries for the animals they rescued on the show, which lead her to Chimp Haven.
“I wanted to do more than just support them [Chimp Haven] on the peripheral when I heard about all the research chimps and learned Chimp Haven was responsible for taking the chimps,” explains Eastwood, “Before then I’d always admired Chimp Haven and supported them. This crowdfunding campaign to help them is the first time I’ve actually worked with them and got involved.”
The goal for this campaign extends farther than just the 110 chimpanzees residing at Chimp Haven. There are still 200 other chimpanzees from the same facility suffering in captivity. Donations to the campaign will help Chimp Haven care for the chimps currently residing at the sanctuary, but Eastwood hopes this platform will be an opportunity to raise awareness for the issue of animal testing writ-large.
“Knowing that chimps and primates are so close to humans, we share 98 percent of the same DNA is one thing,” says Eastwood,”But when you actually see these wonderful animals it is so obviously clear they ARE so like humans. They have such a similar social structure and social life, my heart just aches seeing them in that environment. It makes me think of people that are in that scenario, those that have significant cruelty inflicted upon them with no ability to stop it.”
The good news, however, is that we – as consumers and activists – do have the ability to stop this cruel testing. By making a donation to the LoveAnimals campaign and sharing campaign details on social media, you can educate hundreds of other people about the suffering that goes on behind the closed doors of animal testing facilities. Creating the crowdfunding campaign is just a starting point for Eastwood, she hopes that this first step will launch a conversation that changes the way we think about animal testing, and open a dialogue that ultimately leads to the end of this cruel practice.
We’re right there with you Alison! Thanks for being a Green Monster and lending your voice to millions of animals in need!
To donate to Alison Eastwood’s crowdfunding campaign, click here.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons