“Humane is a strange word, used to describe the best of human qualities but often applied to the worst of human actions.”
I received an email earlier this week letting me know that Our Hen House had launched an eBook publishing arm called Hen Press, whose goal will be to publish “thought-provoking, eye-opening, and inspiring works of both fiction and non-fiction that have the power to truly change the world for animals.” I think this is a great next step for Our Hen House and animal advocacy, and so I was happy to take a look at their first publication, a twelve-page eBook called The Lines We Draw. It’s written by Sangamithra Iyer, who is a civil engineer, and focuses on a conversation Sangamithra had with the late Dr. Alfred Prince, a hepatitis researcher, about the use of chimpanzees in medical research, as well as a more broad discussion about ethics and vivisection.
It’s worth a read, because although some parts of the story were expected (like the disturbing ramifications of conducting years of testing on highly intelligent, naturally social chimpanzees), there were also moments where I was surprised by what I was reading, especially with regard to Dr. Alfred Prince’s (very twisted) “love” for his chimpanzees and the complexities of “retiring” the chimps into the wild once the research is completed or terminated. As Sangamithra eloquently states at the end of her story:
“The ethical response isn’t about drawing a line or shifting a boundary; it is about connecting the dots.”
This book gave me a better understanding of the dots and the complexity in their connections, and although at times I felt very uncomfortable reading it, I know that it’s a story that will stay with me and further fuel my choice to live as compassionately as possible.
Did you read anything this week (books, articles, blog posts) that had an impact on you? Serious, not serious, let us know what you’re reading!
And with that, I am off to go cuddle my dogs. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
P.S. I want to note that The Lines We Draw is not a graphic story. I have a really difficult time reading or watching graphic portrayals of animal (and human) cruelty because it haunts me forever, in case that’s a concern for you as well.
Disclosure: I received The Lines We Draw for free, but as always, all opinions are my own.