Not so Clueless anymore! Alicia Silverstone, actress, author and PETA spokesperson, is doing her part to earn her title as an animal rights activist. Workers at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, centered in Long Island, were the recipients of a phone message from Silverstone, trying to dissuade them from electing to take on a “really cruel project” sponsored by NASA. The venture would require that 30 squirrel monkeys be inundated with a potentially lethal dose of gamma radiation, in order to recreate an environment like that which an astronaut would experience on a single round trip journey to Mars. NASA has supposedly pledged up to 1.75 million dollars of tax payer money to allow the project to go forward.
Here is Alicia’s message (received by an estimated 1,000 workers) from longisland.about.com:
Hi, this is Alicia Silverstone. I’m sure that you were as disturbed as I was to learn that Brookhaven is considering blasting monkeys with radiation in a really cruel project funded by NASA. These bright but scared to death animals will be locked up for life and may suffer from brain damage, cancer, and blindness before dying in their barren steel cages.
Brookhaven’s reputation as a cutting-edge scientific organization is ruined if this cruel study happens. NASA’s European counterpart—the European Space Agency—has publicly condemned such experiments on monkeys.
At the end of the day, both parties appear well intentioned, although I have had a tendency to think PETA is somewhat of a joke after they got up in arms about President Obama swatting a fly on national television. It was a fly, relax! Monkeys are a different story though. However it turns out, I will stand by one thing indefinitely: Clueless was an amazing movie.