Written by Jeff Mackey
PETA was joined by primate experts Dr. Mel Richardson and
Kari Bagnall for a demonstration outside NBC's North Hollywood offices in
protest of the network's cruelty in using wild-animal "actors" in its
new, and thoroughly panned, show Animal
Featured as a central character in the show is a capuchin
monkey named Crystal. At the news conference, Richardson and Bagnall described
how the use of a monkey on NBC's hit series Friends
led to a wave of "pet" monkeys being discarded at primate sanctuaries
after misguided purchasers realized that they were unable to meet these complex
animals' specialized needs.
The cheap laughs that Animal
Practice gets from putting a monkey in a lab coat come at a high cost for
Crystal and other animals on the show, who spend their lives deprived of
everything that is natural and important to them. Stolen from their mothers
shortly after birth—a cruel act for both the baby and the mother that denies
the infants the care and nurturing that they need—monkeys used for
entertainment, like other "animal actors," suddenly find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings, isolated from others like
themselves, and forced to learn and perform unnatural and bewildering stunts.
The "smile" that Crystal exhibits on the show is
actually an expression that indicates fear and stress in capuchin monkeys. As
capuchin authority Dr. Eduardo Ottoni explains, "[S]ince we do not usually
understand their communicative behaviors properly, fear, submission, or avoidance
displays can easily be mistaken for 'smiles.'"
If this cruelty in the name of comedy turns you off, you can
help by turning off Animal Practice
and urging everyone you know to do the same. Please also politely express your disappointment about the use of Crystal and other wild animals to NBC Entertainment Chair Bob
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.