by Camille Marino
The first monkey that I ever knew about that anyone tried to get out of UF and get into a sanctuary was Louis. A lab tech who is no longer at the university tried for months to get Louis released to Jungle Friends in Gainesville. He was murdered in July of 2010, 3 full months before I ever started the campaign to Free the UF Monkeys. The reason that Louis was not released is because he was in an extremely deteriorated state and the vivisectors did not want the world to ever see what they had done. In fact, Louis had a broken hip that was diagnosed in July of 2009. Rather than give him any pain relief, the vivisectors inside UF forced him to live in agony, with anorexia and chronic vomiting, while they repeatedly checked him for parasites to no avail. Eleventh Hour for Animals filed a federal complaint for systemic incompetence inside UF’s monkey labs citing Louis’ vet records.
Let’s fast forward 2 years. Bucky was a monkey inside UF who was being driven insane in his cage and was self-mutilating. Eleventh Hour for Animals focused on Bucky in 2012 because we desperately wanted to get him out and get him to safety. In my book, “Danger to Society,” that will be released this summer, I write about Bucky from my jail cell in Detroit. This monkey kept me up at night because I know I failed him. I went to jail and, while I was locked up in my cell, he finally died in his in December of 2012. I was not even active when this individual finally died and was released from his life of torment at the hands of his white-coat terrorists.
I do not believe Bucky was ever going to be released. This was a repeat of the situation with Louis. And now it is being played out again with Booger, another monkey for whom I just filed a federal complaint.
Nonetheless, while I was locked up without a voicie, Michael Budkie, co-founder of Stop Animal Experimentation Now (SAEN) decided to do the vivisectors’ bidding and blame me for UF killing Bucky! What he did is allow the University of Florida to use him as a tool to neutralize me. Vivisectors hate me and they should. The only reason I am here is to stop them and shut down their lucrative animal torture business. THIS is how we will free them all! SAEN, on the other hand, helps the vivisection complex promote it’s propaganda by filing an annual welfare complaint here and there, thus allowing the public to believe that the abuse of animals in labs is an aberration; he’s found the violation and now we can all rest knowing the balance of animals in labs are safe and protected!
Industrial abusers and their welfarist counterparts in the animal rights community are two sides of the same coin; they share a symbiotic relationship, each of their federal grants and donation bases being dependent on the animals remaining enslaved and dying inside laboratories.
So when Michael Budkie states that the benevolent white-coat terrorists inside UF were releasing monkeys voluntarily since 2005 and only stopped when I came along, he needs to explain, then, why they murdered Louis before anyone even knew my name. He needs to explain why, if he would have been able to secure Bucky’s release, he never gave me so much as a phone call or an email to give me a heads up; ask me to step down until Bucky was safe. Michael Budkie had no problem picking up the phone when I won my lawsuits against UF and he wanted to swoop in and get some publicity for himself. He had no problem sending me emails asking me to direct NIO activists to support his random welfare protests around the country; then, at those protests, he would pull my colleagues aside and ask them why they associated with me – that I was “crazy” and a “threat to the animals.” Unfortunately, this behavior is not unique to me. It seems that when a grassroots activist becomes a threat to industrial abusers, Michael Budkie actively disparages and sabotages them to other activists at anti-vivisection demos.
Michael Budkie should be ashamed of himself and for using SAEN to promote the vivisectors’ agenda in our own community. And since I am the subject of an almost 2-year long campaign of slander by obstructionists within our community, his Facebook rants are now in the hands of those who exist solely to promote drama and are now going viral. Again, since Budkie and I had an ongoing relationship behind the scenes, if he could easily have contacted me privately and said, “Camille, stand down until Bucky gets out;” of course I would have. But I was never advised of any alleged plans to get Bucky released. I believe the vivisectors would have killed him either way because he was far too compromised for the world to ever see what had been done to him. And so by trying to neutralize me, he is not only attempting to eliminate grassroots activism which he sees at a threat to SAEN’s donation base, but he also earns brownie points from industrial abusers.
This incessant drama in our community needs to stop and everyone who is using this to attempt to damage me is only promoting the vivisectors’ interests. My hands are clean. And everyone involved in perpetuating this scandal and drama doesn’t seem to care that the animals are the true beneficiaries of all the treachery.
UPDATE: In 2016, Raymond J. Bergeron retired and 7 of his victims were, in fact, released to Jungle Friends to live out the balance of their lives in safety. For that, I am grateful. But waiting for vivisectors to retire and then throw activists a few crumbs is NOT victory. It is, however, the status quo that both Stop Animal Experimentation Now and the vivisection complex seek to protect. The last thing SAEN appears to want is to stop animal experimentation anytime in the near future.