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Robert Ingersoll

61; vegan 13 years; hometown Boston, MA

During the time when you were advocating for laboratory chimps and none of your colleagues supported you, you must have been wondering, “Am I doing the right thing? Or am I banging my head against the wall?”


"There were some dark periods and I was not a very happy person. I was angry. And of course I was younger then too. I had episodes in my life when I had issues and substance abuse problems. Not to the extent of some other people I know, but yeah, there were some dark times. I drank a little bit too much. But I’m also from the 60s. Drugs were a part of our lives. Although, I’m glad that’s been over for many years. I have more to do than that. During that time, I had to look in the mirror and go, ‘Hey, what are you doing here? You can’t be an alcoholic. You can’t be a drug addict. You’ve got too much important work to do!’ Sometimes you have to look right at yourself and face reality and choose the right path. It’s not easy. Everybody has their own demons or issues. In the long run, I think that I chose the right thing.


"I think I did the right thing. And we ended up, in the summer of 1997, after a couple of years of prep, we pretty much stole 109 chimps from the Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates and placed them in sanctuaries, and 65 or so monkeys as well."


photos by Holly Feral

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