American Greetings Ends Sales of Chimpanzee Cards That Have Exploited Endangered Apes

For Immediate Release:
November 10, 2022

Contact:
Robin Goist 202-483-7382

Cleveland, Ohio – It took a major PETA campaign, but American Greetings, the world’s second-largest greeting card company, has confirmed that it has stopped selling cards that feature degrading and damaging images of chimpanzees displaying the misunderstood “fear grimace” grin and dressed in costumes and party hats. The news follows tens of thousands of messages from PETA members and supporters as well as rallies at the card company’s headquarters—and the group is sending primate-shaped vegan chocolates to American Greetings in thanks.

Portrayals of chimpanzees wearing human clothing and posing unnaturally hinder conservation efforts by misleading the public into believing that the species—which may face extinction within our lifetime—is thriving. These images can also increase the black market demand for these wild animals as “pets,” which is one of the main forces driving them toward extinction.

“A thank-you card is on its way from PETA to American Greetings for scrapping cards that treat endangered chimpanzees like props,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler, a primatologist. “PETA is now calling on Hallmark to step up and stop exploiting these sensitive individuals, who need protection.”

Rite Aid and CVS are among the retailers that are removing these inappropriate greeting cards, and many top stock-image agencies—such as Getty Images, Shutterstock, and Dreamstime—are banning the commercial use of images of primates in human costumes and poses. Over 60,000 supporters have joined the push from PETA for Hallmark, the last major company to sell cards with these images, to follow suit.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind