An introduction is in order!
Updated: Mar 31, 2021
Hi! My name is Mallory Cormier and I am the founder of Save The Buns, Inc. I figured I should give you a little background on how I ended up here!
As a young girl I had a true fascination and love for all animals. Yes, I know, this is the typical cliché story of people who begin their careers working with animals. BUT, it is true! I loved to catch bullfrogs and frog eggs and watch them grow and release the tadpoles back into the ponds. I raised chicks into hens and roosters and learned how to care for goats and a variety of other little creatures.
I struggled my way through highschool but eventually found myself in a community college changing my major from Art, Liberal Arts and Sciences to finally, Natural Resources and Technology where I received my associates degree in Environmental Sciences. I loved plants and watching them grow in the greenhouse there on campus and even joined a club dedicated to spreading the word about living more environmentally conscious called the Green Society.
After I finished at the community college I was accepted into the Natural Science program at UMASS Amherst where I decided to major in Animal Science. I was on the fence of going to veterinary school but ultimately decided that wasn’t the route for me. I finished there and obtained my bachelors in Animal Science.
Once out of school I started to look for jobs and my degree really gave me two options that I could find, animal experimentation or the veterinary field. I interviewed at quite a few places but decided on taking a job at a small veterinary clinic where I learned how to be a vet tech and became certified as a CVT( Certified Veterinary Technician). I stayed there for some time and then moved into a role at a 24 hour Emergency Veterinary hospital, where I learned even more about being a vet tech and was exposed to all sorts of shanigans ranging from dogs being “quilled” by porcupines to horrible hit by car accidents.
Although that job was exciting and gave me a chance to learn so much more about the veterinary field, the hours, and poor pay really took a toll on my career path and I needed a change of direction. I also was still living at home and even though I loved my family, it was time for me to fly.
I started looking and found an unusual job opportunity in the animal experimentation breeding field and decided to learn more. The description was vague and seemed to just entail aiding in breeding and caring for rabbits and rabbits only. I didn’t have a ton of experience with rabbits but thought I’d give it a shot. The hours were Mon-Fri dayshift with a big jump in my hourly wage. I was offered the job and ended up working with that company for a little over 2 years.
While I was there, I was promoted to the veterinary care team lead where my job was to oversee all of the rabbits on site for health issues. We had a veterinarian visit once a month and was also on call for emergencies, but all issues came to me daily. I also became certified as a LAT (Lab Animal Technician) and was picked to be on the IACUC Committee.
“IACUC stands for Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and is a standing committee mandated by Federal law and regulations to oversee the animal care and use program at institutions using animals in research, teaching, or testing, in order to ensure the humane and ethical treatment of animals.” (source:www.aalas.org)
I won’t get into TOO many details of that lab since I would like to protect their privacy but ultimately, I began to struggle morally with what I was doing every day. I brought up my concerns to my management team and there was always a line drawn in the sand of how much we could truly do for the rabbits in my care. That was not right in my book and ended up being what pushed me out the door.
After leaving, I deeply wanted to figure out a way to help rabbits in labs, to give them a 2nd shot at life out of a cage and into a home. I had to do something! So, without much hesitation I leaped into my goal pretty fast (no pun intended) and founded my first ever nonprofit called, Save The Buns, Inc. in Nov 2020. The main mission of the nonprofit is to promote alternative science over using animals in experiments. Our plan is to work directly with local labs to give them another option over euthanasia and to allow buns to enjoy the remainder of their lives in a sanctuary or be adopted into a home.
My time in the lab opened my eyes to how amazing rabbits are and how smart and sensitive they can be. I learned so much about their behavior and how caring and great they are at being mothers for their kits. I also got to see a variety of personalities from stubborn to silly to playful to just plain mischievous. One rabbit in particular who my coworkers and I ended up naming Rhino, would always find a way to get out of her cage and roam around the lab at night, knocking things over and causing a ruckus. She got her name because she would charge at you if you tried to pick her up, very feisty but incredibly sweet.
Lastly, I am hopeful that Save The Buns, Inc. and labs can come together to give rabbits a chance at a different kind of life. Although, we may have different views about animal testing, I am optimistic that we both share the fact that we want what is best for animals. We hope that labs will consider us in the future as a way to give back to the animals used in experimentation and plan on rolling out this program called, The Bun Club in the near future.
Thank you so much for reading and if you would like to reach out to us for questions, please do!
Mallory & The Buns