Dr. Ethel Thurston
Some of you may already know about the death of Dr. Ethel Thurston, one of the pioneer advocates of stopping cosmetic testing on animals and for alternatives to using animals in medical research. New York City-based activist Sara Sohn has sent us this reflection on her time with Dr. Thurston.
It was my sophomore year in high school when the assistant principal, a fellow animal rights advocate, introduced me to Dr. Ethel Thurston of the American Fund for Alternatives to Animal Research (AFAAR) and Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC). I was fifteen at the time and Dr. Thurston was eighty-two. Never for a moment was age ever an issue and she immediately asked if I would assist her with AFAAR and BWC. Without hesitation, I jumped at the opportunity and ultimately worked by her side every Saturday throughout high school . . . and college . . . and post-college. For ten years, Saturdays at noon was what we both looked forward to—it was at that time we would feast on our favorite dish from Vegetarian Paradise 2, split a piece of vegan chocolate cake, and discuss animal rights, the Catholic Church, the weather, and her cats.
On January 4, Dr. Thurston passed away in her sleep in her apartment in New York City—she was 94. She gave voice to those without one and her dedication and commitment to animal rights was, is, and always will be an inspiration. Thank you Dr. Thurston for all that you have done on behalf of animals.