He may be better known for his interactions with pigs in films such as BABE and L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (See what I did there? Seriously though, love the boys in blue). But actor James Cromwell has now found himself on the other side of the law after being arrested during a protest challenging cat torture. The 73 year old actor was arrested on Thursday after protesting at the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents meeting. Cromwell and another protester entered the meeting and held up signs featuring pictures of cats undergoing torturous experiments and yelling about their “needless experiments”.
In the video (see below) Cromwell states:
UW Madison lies to the public about abusing cats and squandering taxpayers’ money on cruel and wasteful experiments. As many as 30 cats a year at UW have had holes drilled in their skulls … They are deafened, starved for days at a time and then decapitated. This is not science, this is torture, and it is criminal!
As always there are two sides to this story and the director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Research Animal Resources Center claims that facts are being “distorted” via a statement:
Today’s events are just another attempt by outside activists to draw attention to a cause. They have attacked and distorted this research — which has very real benefits for people who are deaf — from every angle imaginable.
Cromwell has since been released from custody and has issued his own statement:
I am not at all moved by the fact that the federal government considers this hideous experiment legal. That only indicates that our federal animal welfare laws are grossly inadequate, not that this cruelty is morally acceptable. I am outraged that the University of Wisconsin has repeatedly lied about this experiment, concealed what happens inside its laboratories, and ignored pleas for compassion from hundreds of thousands of concerned people. This cruel experiment is funded with the public’s money and occurs at a public institution. UW-Madison should be accountable to the public.
James Cromwell has just finished a run in the brilliant AMERICAN HORROR STORY, but he is certainly not the kind of actor to do this for publicity’s sake. Not only that, but he is clearly taking a very active approach to this worthwhile cause. Obviously there are many cat lovers out there, but would we feel the same if it were rats?