Julia Butterfly Hill, who became famous by spending several years in a tree to protest and logging, recently joined People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ campaign against Columbia University. Hill sent a letter on behalf of PETA urging other activists to support PETA’s ongoing campaign against Columbia.
PETA did not release a copy of Hill’s letter, but did include the following quote regarding Columbia’s use of primates to better understand irregular menstrual cycles,
As a woman, I am outraged that other beings are undergoing such outrageous and inhumane torture under the guise of Â‘helping women.Â’
For its part, PETA seems to fundamentally misunderstand the point of the research, as it says in its press release about hill,
Millions of dollars designated for womenÂ’s health issues have been commandeered by Columbia experimenter Michel Ferin and squandered on cruel, irrelevant animal experiments while women who suffer extreme stress during their menstrual cycles are left without the resources to obtain the medical care that they need.
Ferin’s research is aimed not at trying to understand stress during menstrual cycles, but rather the role that stress might play in causing irregular menstrual cycles which is a common cause of female infertility.
PETA’s Bill Maher also mischaracterized the nature of the Columbia research when he spammed Columbia University staff earlier this year.
Julia Butterfly Hill Asks Friends and Colleagues to Help Stop Columbia University’s Mutilation of Primates in Menstrual Experiments. Press Release, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, September 8, 2004.