No mrs swenson brought her back to the states and

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“No. Mrs. Swenson brought her back to the States and donated her to the Minneapolis zoo.” “She relinquished her interest in Amy?” “I assume so,” Elliot said. “We’ve been trying to reach Mrs. Swenson to ask about Amy’s early life, but she’s out of the country. Apparently she travels constantly; she’s in Borneo. Anyway, when Amy was sent to San Francisco, I called the Minneapolis zoo to ask if I could keep her for study. The zoo said yes, for three years.” “Did you pay any money?” ‘‘No.
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36 “Was there a written contract?” “No, I just called the zoo director.” Morton nodded. “Oral agreement. . .“ he said, writing. “And when the three years were up?” “That was the spring of 1976. 1 asked the zoo for an extension of six years, and they gave it to me.” “Again orally?” “Yes. I called on the phone.” “No correspondence?” “No. They didn’t seem very interested when I called. To tell you the truth, I think they had forgotten about Amy. The zoo has four gorillas, anyway.” Morton frowned. “Isn’t a gorilla a pretty expensive animal? I mean, if you wanted to buy one for a pet or for the circus.” “Gorillas are on the endangered list; you can’t buy them as pets. But yes, they’d be pretty expensive.” “How expensive?” “Well, there’s no established market value, but it would be twenty or thirty thousand dollars.” “And all during these years, you have been teaching her language?” “Yes,” Peter said. “American Sign Language. She has a vocabulary of six hundred and twenty words now.” “Is that a lot?” “More than any known primate.” Morton nodded, making notes. “You work with her every day in ongoing research?” “Yes.” “Good,” Morton said. “That’s been very important in the animal custody cases so far.” For more than a hundred years, there had been organized movements in Western countries to stop animal experimentation. They were led by the anti- vivisectionists, the RSPCA, the ASPCA. Originally these organizations were a kind of lunatic fringe of animal lovers, intent on stopping all animal research.
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37 Over the years, scientists had evolved a standard defense acceptable to the courts. Researchers claimed that their experiments had the goal of bettering the health and welfare of mankind, a higher priority than animal welfare. They pointed out that no one objected to animals being used as beasts of burden or for agricultural work—a life of drudgery to which animals had been subjected for thousands of years. Using animals in scientific experiments simply extended the idea that animals were the servants of human enterprises. In addition, animals were literally brutes. They had no self-awareness, no recognition of their existence in nature. This meant, in the words of philosopher George H. Mead, that “animals have no rights. We are at liberty to cut off their lives; there is no wrong committed when an animal’s life is taken away. He has not lost anything
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