Oral history interview with Sandra Larson, 1999
Sandra Rae Larson (1950-), was an animal activist with a background in education and scientific research. Larson's interest in animals began as a child rescuing and caring for stray animals in Los Angeles. She attended college with the goal of majoring in biology and becoming a veterinarian. Upon completion of college, Larson was employed professionally as a veterinarian and as a microbiologist before becoming an animal activist in the late 1970s and 1980s. Larson also worked as a Senior Research Assistant at the Joslin Diabetes Institute in Massachusetts and where she became active in fighting against use of pound dogs for research purposes. Larson served on the Board of Directors for New England Anti-Vivisection Society's (NEAVS) and was also active with Coalition to End Animal Suffering in Experimentation (CEASE) while in Massachusetts. She created education programs for children including the Students Think about Animal Rights (STAR), later renamed the Living Earth Learning Project (LELP); and the Ethical Science and Education Coalition (ESEC) in the 1990s. At the time of the interview, Larson who operated an animal sanctuary in Connecticut.
Scope and Contents
In this one session interview, Sandra Rae Larson discusses the development of her interest in animal advocacy from her childhood through adult life and professional career. This interview contains Larson's reflections on working as a large animal veterinarian in Arkansas, a microbiologist in Arizona, and her burgeoning spirit of activism while working for the Joslin Diabetes Foundation in Massachusetts. The discussion on CEASE details strategies used by the organization to stop the use of pound animals in medical experimentation in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The transcript includes Larson's reminiscences of the differences between both organizations and the continuation and extension of the marketing campaign she spearheaded to end use of pound dogs. Additionally, Larson discusses the transformation of NEAVS into a more activist organization that addressed animal cruelty from a programmatic perspective, and leadership transition. The latter years covered in the interview focus on her work through education programs she developed including the LivingEarth Learning Project (LELP); and the Ethical Science and Education Coalition (ESEC).
Copyright by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York, 2016.