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Growing Up With Chimpanzees

Written by PETA | March 2, 2011

Dawn Forsythe was just a young girl in the 1950s when her dad, Arthur, got a job at the Detroit Zoo training chimpanzees to perform in shows. She grew up with the chimpanzees and was allowed behind the scenes of the shows, where the animals were housed and trained. She recalls holding the hand of a chimpanzee and thinking of him as her sibling.

Even though Dawn’s father was abusive to her and her family, she never saw the connection between their home life and his job, and she loved going to the chimpanzee performances. Then someone saw Arthur throw a chimpanzee against the wall, like he had done to Dawn’s mother, and Dawn wondered how many times Arthur had abused the animals as well. Many years later, as an adult, Dawn wanted to tell her firsthand account of the link between cruelty to animals and cruelty to humans and the abusive ways in which chimpanzees are trained to perform. You can read the rest of her story here

Fortunately, zoos in the United States have stopped their chimpanzee performances. But the animals are still abused and made to perform, such as in current commercials for CareerBuilder. Please don’t patronize companies that abuse chimpanzees in this way, and instead choose animal-friendly companies, such as Monster.

Outside CareerBuilder’s Chicago headquarters, PETA members tell the company to stop abusing chimpanzees.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • ChimpTrainersDaughter says:

    If people are interested in reading more about my chimp training father, I’ve started a blog at I will explore the issues about chimps in entertainment, how we got to where we are, and how we fix it…

  • Dawn Forsythe says:

    There has to be something more we can do to bring attention to these ads. How about if the great ape advocates get together to annually award a prize to the most uncreative, lazy and insensitive ad? We could develop a statue, hold a big dinner, invites lots of press, etc., etc. It’s time to rachet up the pressure.

  • Animal Rights says:

    It’s really wrong abuse/kill/torture animals and use them to test new medicines and stuff. For example, one way that doctors found out that smoking was bad for you was that they made rats smoke. Isn’t that cruel? I think so. I’m only 10, but I’ve read countless books on this topic. I love your article and I’m glad that many zoos have finally stopped the chimp performances.

  • Lorraine Gadoury says:

    I’d rather see the end of all human life than endure so much animal abuse. When will it end??? Pitiful excuses for human beings who call themselves civilized. Shame on you.