Have you heard about Brandon Wood? He is one of the most active chimpanzee advocates, always working tirelessly to help chimps through petitions, fundraisers, and tabling events. Did I mention he’s just 12 years old? He’s an inspiration! His latest project is a petition to a drug company Merck, a private biomedical testing lab, to stop biomedical testing on chimpanzees. Though the National Institutes of Health is moving toward retiring government-funded chimps in research, there are still many chimps in privately-funded labs. Lend Brandon a hand and help the chimps today by signing his petition! And don’t forget to share it with your friends, too.
Archive for the ‘Take Action Tuesday’ Category
The new Spike TV show called Urban Tarzan is all about wild animals found in human environments. Though the series has a whole slew of wild animals, the premiere episode from a few weeks ago featured a young chimpanzee actor. The show is supposed to be a reality series, but everything is scripted and the scenes are all staged.
There is a growing public awareness about the ethical problems with using chimpanzees in entertainment. Please remind the producers of the show about these issues by sending them a polite letter. Ask them to remove the episode from the air and pledge to never use primates in their productions again. Your letters can make a difference! In the last couple months both Great Clips and CR Fashion Book have removed content with chimpanzee actors after receiving educational letters from advocates like you!
Let the producers of Urban Tarzan know that brutal training practices in the entertainment industry are well documented. Remind them that in addition to welfare concerns, using chimpanzees in the media seriously hinders conservation efforts of free-living chimpanzees.
You may submit your comments to Spike TV’s Facebook page, or post Tweets that express your concern, such as @1UrbanTarzan very disappointed to see a chimp in your show. Please remove the episode! www.EyesOnApes.org
Sample Letter to Spike TV/Urban Tarzan:
I was extremely disappointed to hear that Urban Tarzan featured a young chimpanzee actor in the first episode. You should know that chimpanzees used in entertainment are torn away from their mothers as infants, often repeatedly beaten during training, and then discarded when they become too strong to be managed.
The show is supposed to be about rescuing wild animals from human homes, but since it is staged you are not following your own advice! Chimpanzees do not belong in human homes and they do not belong on TV either. Aside from welfare concerns, their appearance in the media seriously hinders conservation efforts. Surely you are aware that chimpanzees are endangered species in critical need of protection?
Please make the compassionate decision to remove the chimpanzee episode from rotation, and please consider to never exploit great apes for entertainment purposes again. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.
[Your name here]
Just a reminder that if you haven’t submitted comments to the NIH, the deadline is coming up (Saturday March 23, 2013 at 11:59pm ET). Check this blog post for more details. Another great resource is available through Project R&R here.
And just for kicks, here is Jamie receiving her second helping of pasta for dinner tonight.
OK, so this isn’t a real Take Action Tuesday post, but check out that spiffy new banner!
Speaking of new things, you really should go check out the Eyes on Apes website. It’s gotten a whole new makeover with an updated homepage (www.eyesonapes.org) and is chock-full of lots of great information on the Learn More pages. There’s a different page on the each issue that apes face, and they all have links throughout the bullet points—be sure to check those out. There’s some PDFs of scholarly articles and links to conservation strategies and action plans that make for really great resources. Also under the Learn More section is a page about Useful Links, and the name doesn’t lie! Lots of great info on other sites that you can check out to further your education.
I updated the Videos page too, so take a look at those… and also of this one below that we’ve put together to promote the program. Share it with your friends and get them to join Eyes on Apes and make a difference for apes everywhere!
CR Fashion Book has a new issue set to hit stands on Thursday with a big spread featuring Bently, an infant chimpanzee. Bently is owned by Mike Casey, who you might remember was put in front of county commissioners in Las Vegas because he lacked a permit to house his chimpanzees. He has a record of abusing his chimps, punching them, hitting them with a rod, and throwing hot water in their face. Casey also was responsible for breeding Travis, who as an adult escaped and mauled a Connecticut woman in 2009.
In their post about Bently’s upcoming appearance, CR Fashion Book also boasts that Bently’s brother Kenzy was the star of the Speed Racer movie, which actually got an unacceptable rating from the American Humane Association due on-set abuse.
Bently, Kenzy, and others like them deserve to be in a sanctuary where they can receive lifetime quality care. By featuring Bently in their magazine alongside humans, CR Fashion Book is perpetuating the pubic misunderstanding of chimpanzee nature.
Please send a polite letter to CR Fashion Book and ask them to remove the spread from the issue before sending it to stands on Thursday, and ask them to pledge to never use primates in future publications. Your letters make a difference – just earlier this year, Great Clips pulled a commercial featuring a young chimpanzee after they heard from concerned advocates like you.
You may send your letter to the editor-in-chief, Carine Roitfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also submit your comments to their Facebook page, or comment on this picture they posted from “behind-the-scenes” of the shoot.
Sample Brief Facebook Comment:
Bently the young chimpanzee should not be used in this way. His trainer has a history of abuse! Chimpanzees bred for the pet and entertainment industry eventually become big and strong and it is within their nature to be aggressive. Bently and other chimpanzees simply do not belong with humans, and your magazine spread is suggesting otherwise. Please remove the spread and pledge to never use primates in future publications!
Sample Letter to the Editor-in-Chief:
Dear Ms. Roitfeld:
I was shocked and disappointed to hear that CR Fashion Book is planning to feature Bently, a young chimpanzee. You should know that chimpanzees used in entertainment are torn away from their mothers as infants, often repeatedly beaten during training, and then discarded when they become too strong to be managed. Bently’s trainer has a history of abuse.
Featuring Bently alongside humans sends the message that these amazing beings are simply props. Surely you are aware that chimpanzees are endangered species in critical need of protection? You are exploiting chimpanzees for your own profits and this is an unacceptable business practice.
Please make the compassionate decision to remove the chimpanzee spread from your magazine, and consider making a pledge to never use primates in future publications. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.
[Your name here]
[Your city & state]
If you send a e-mail to CR Fashion Book, please remember to BCC Eyes on Apes at EyesOnApes@ChimpsNW.org for tracking purposes. Thank you!
There have been a few commercials lately with chimpanzees, but it’s been awhile since we’ve heard of one in a television or film production. However, a couple weeks ago the show Raising Hope aired a two-part episode with two different chimpanzees, one of whom is a very young baby. Additionally, earlier in the season they aired an episode with a capuchin monkey. In sum, Raising Hope has aired three different episodes recently each with a different primate actor.
Let the producers know that this is unacceptable, as there are many issues surrounding the use of primates in entertainment. Your letters do make a difference! Several companies and advertising agencies have pledged to no longer work with apes after learning the truth from concerned advocates (most recently Great Clips).
Please send a polite letter to the creator and executive producer of Raising Hope (Greg Garcia) and ask that they pledge to never work with apes again. Submit your comments to the Raising Hope Facebook page, and share this blog with your friends asking them to do the same!
Sample Facebook Comment:
Dear Mr. Garcia:
I was shocked and saddened to hear that Raising Hope had recent episodes featuring two different chimpanzees and a capuchin monkey. You should know that primates used in entertainment are torn away from their mothers as infants. Chimpanzees especially are often beaten during training and then discarded when they become too strong to be managed.
Using primates for a cheap laugh sends the message that these amazing beings are simply props. Surely you are aware that chimpanzees are endangered species in critical need of protection? Please make the compassionate decision to never exploit primates for entertainment purposes again. I certainly will not watch the show until you do, and will tell all my friends to do the same. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.
You may also post Tweets that express your concern, such as: Please RT! @RaisingHopeFOX disappointed to see chimp in your show, I won’t watch it until you pledge to never use primates again #raisinghope
Thankfully, Sunday’s SuperBowl game didn’t have any surprise chimp commercials—let’s hope CareerBuilder continues to listen to advocates and steer clear of any such thing. Even if they do choose to do another chimp commercial in the future (because they haven’t yet pledged otherwise) hopefully they can follow Adobe’s example and use CGI instead of a real chimpanzee actor.
More and more bigger companies are pulling commercials and making pledges to no longer work with apes, like Great Clips a few weeks ago. Despite this progress for chimps in the entertainment industry, ads are still popping up done by smaller, more local companies that aren’t using one of the top ten advertising agencies (all of which have pledged to never work with apes).
Recently our attention was brought to Ticket Clinic, who made several spots featuring a chimpanzee. The commercial was produced by Pirates for Parties—a facility that leases baby chimps out for media productions or parties. They claim the pictures of chimpanzees bearing all their teeth are “happy” and are “thrilled to come to entertain at a party or corporate event, or act in your commercial, movie, or television show.” We know that this is not how chimpanzees smile, but rather it is a facial expression that indicates fear (and it actually is called a “fear grimace”). Happy chimpanzees droop their bottom lip and cover their top teeth.
Sadly, another even more recent commercial produced for a smaller business is this one for Super Home Surplus. Again, just like in the Ticket Clinic commercial, you can see the chimp fear grimacing and doing other unnatural or trained behaviors, like flailing around or moving their lips as if they were talking. If you haven’t already seen it, check out this video about apes in entertainment. About a minute and a half in, you’ll see some clips demonstrating how trainers intimidate their chimpanzee actors.
Let Ticket Clinic and Super Home Surplus know it isn’t OK to use chimps this way. If we can get companies to understand the truth and stop making productions featuring chimpanzees, there will be no demand and places like Pirates for Parties will have no reason to continue breeding chimps. You can use the following sample letter to send to Ticket Clinic at email@example.com and another to Super Home Surplus at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was shocked and disappointed to hear about your commercial that features a young chimpanzee. You should know that chimpanzees used in entertainment are torn away from their mothers as infants, often repeatedly beaten during training, and then discarded when they become too strong to be managed.
Using a chimpanzee for a cheap laugh sends the message that these amazing beings are simply props. Surely you are aware that chimpanzees are endangered species in critical need of protection? You are exploiting chimpanzees for your own profits and this is an unacceptable business practice.
Join other companies like Great Clips, Dodge, Pfizer, and Capitol One and please make the compassionate decision to remove the chimpanzee from your commercial. I urge you to consider to never exploit great apes for entertainment purposes again. Thank you for your consideration of my comments on this urgent matter.
If you send an email to either The Ticket Clinic or Super Home Surplus, please BCC EyesOnApes@ChimpsNW.org for tracking purposes. Thank you!
Last week we sent out a newsletter regarding the good news from the NIH working group who met last Tuesday. To review some of the main points from the report, read Sarah’s blog here. They made several recommendations, but the biggest bottom line is: most of the chimpanzees currently being used in research should be retired into the Federal Sanctuary System, but a small number (they suggested around 50) should be held back in a reserve colony for possible future research.
The next step in the process is to solicit public comment regarding the recommendations, which is located here. It is quite daunting in its length and detail—but don’t let that stop you. All you need to do is fill in your name, email, and then scroll all the way to the bottom to fill in a box labeled “Overall Comments.” If you want to be more specific, leave a comment in the field for “Chimpanzee Research Colony Size and Placement: Recommendation SP2.” You can get to that field easily by selecting the “colony size and placement” option from the drop menu at the top of the page.
In your comments, encourage the NIH to accept the recommendations, but also remind them that there is no reason to have any chimpanzees in research—not even a small group of 50. You could mention that no other industrialized nation tests on chimpanzees. Chimpanzees have complex social, psychological, and physical needs that cannot be met in labs. They have been imprisoned for a crime they did not commit, and are injected with diseases or vaccines, forced to undergo surgeries, sometimes kept in solitary confinement, and regularly shot with darts to be anesthetized. Remember to remain polite and be succinct. If you want to share what you submit in the comments section here for others to see, feel free! We’ll share a copy of what we submit soon too.
If you haven’t seen it already, check out this site called “The Last 1000” that is a countdown to the end of chimpanzees in biomedical laboratories. You’ll notice that Negra’s daughter Heidi is on the list along with Jody’s children Levi and April, and Foxie’s son David. These remaining research chimpanzees deserve the kind of life that the Cle Elum Seven have—one with friends, laughter, sunshine, good food, giant nests, fun enrichment, and perhaps most importantly—choices.
If you haven’t heard, Great Clips had a commercial a couple weeks ago that featured a chimpanzee. Just a day after our alert went out and folks wrote to them, the CEO made a statement saying they would pull the ad and never work with apes again! Victories like this keep the momentum going—your letter writing really does make a difference! On that note please send a quick message to Steak ‘n Shake, who currently has a commercial with a chimpanzee:
Click on this link to be taken to the action alert which contains contact information and a sample letter. Be sure to spread the word and forward the alert to your friends! And if you haven’t subscribed to our Take Action: Eyes on Apes Alerts mailing list already, sign up now.
Another way you can help apes right now is to sign this petition to Dr. Oz, who recommended his viewers try using palm oil as a healthy alternative oil. Please let him and his producers know that palm oil production is slowly driving orangutans into extinction! For more information about this issue, take a look at this past Take Action Tuesday post.
Thank you as always for speaking up for these apes. Keep up the great work!
Our advocacy efforts are ready for a true rebranding, and though we’ve got a new name, expanded our mission, and have been posting regularly on different issues that apes both in captivity and free-living situations face, we don’t yet have a new logo!
As mentioned in yesterday’s newsletter, graphic design students at Central Washington University took on the project of designing our new logo. The students are all very talented — it was so hard to narrow it down to just a few that we felt best represented the mission of the program, let alone just one! So we’ve created a survey to get some feedback from you guys, our supporters. Tell us your top pick for a new logo and let us know how you made your choice.
We appreciate as much feedback as possible so forward the survey to your friends, too!