The Corner

Apeing Our Sins

Does the Guardian (the Observer is its sister paper) ever do any research? I’m as much in favor as anyone in preserving the Great Apes (the very real prospect of their extinction in the wild is horrifying), but the <a href="

http://www.guardian.co.uk/animalrights/story/0,11917,1227957,00.html

“>row in Britain over the use of chimps in ads to discourage overdoing it in the pub is absurd. Mind you, that’s not going to stop the left chipping in with a few dumb comments of its own.

So here’s the Observer:

“In reality, humans are the only species on the planet that regularly goes on booze-fuelled binges, trashes bars and falls over. For apes, indulgence is a leaf filled with termites, a bed made of ferns and twigs, and a good scratch.”

Well no, actually. I don’t know if apes have any bars as such (I suspect not, although there is this), but they certainly enjoy a ‘drink’. It’s well documented that chimps will eat rotting fruit to get the high from their fermenting juices. And then, there’s this terrifying story from, ahem, Modern Drunkard magazine:

“UGANDA—Beer-emboldened chimpanzees in western Uganda are randomly attacking humans encroaching on their territory. After mounting successful raids on illegal brewing operations in forested river valleys and getting drunk on the country beer, the boozy chimps are increasingly attacking and sometimes killing local villagers, especially children, parks officials say.

The report added that when the raiding chimps are chased they get frightened and counterattack — especially if they’ve been drinking. “When chimps come across the local brew, they drink it, become drunk and in that state any encounter with people means an attack,” says a Uganda Wildlife Authority report.”

The fact of the matter is that, with the exception of the peaceable (and unsuccessful) Bonobo, chimps, like humans, are a very rough crowd indeed. To try and turn them into noble savages proves nothing other than the self-loathing that inspires so many of the animal rights crowd.

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