Hundreds of great ape advocates quickly roared their outrage when Tropicana used a 3-year-old chimpanzee in a TV ad for Trop50. Within 72 hours, a sane adult at Tropicana took charge and dropped the ad. I hope Tropicana fired their marketing team and put the disgraced public relations department into remedial training. I think we can pretty well rest assured that Contagious Content, their advertising company, won’t be winning any awards for the most juvenile and exploitative ad since CareerBuilder’s Super Bowl travesty.
But what about the little chimp?
|This is Rosaire and one of the |
older chimps in her chimp show.
This fate awaits Aiden/Chance.
Aiden was renamed “Chance” by his current owner after she bought him from a family who bought him as a pet. He faces years of performances. Pam Rosaire, Aiden’s owner, uses several chimps in a chimp show. But the others are all large, so Rosaire uses the small tyke to make the real money. And when Aiden isn’t so darned cute any more, Pam will find another baby to bring in show biz money… and the cycle continues.
What if we could stop the cycle of exploitation?
It was a long shot, I knew, but I had to try. I sent a private message to Pam, asking to talk to her. I guess it isn’t surprising that she didn’t respond. So I’ll send this “open letter” to her instead. Hope, as they say, springs eternal.
Dear Mrs. Rosaire-Zoppe,
You and I both agree that chimpanzees are special. But, beyond that, I’m sure we don’t agree on much. After my childhood living with a chimp trainer, I hate seeing chimpanzees used in entertainment. I’ve been writing a blog for a year, and I’ve found that a lot of people are as sickened by it as I am.
I’m sure that after your life of using chimpanzees to make a living, you despise what I stand for. So this letter may end up in the heap of animal waste that your outfit shovels out, but I thought it was worth the effort…
Can I buy Chance from you, and find a place where he can live his life as normally as a captive chimp can? I would work with the accredited chimpanzee sanctuary community, to place Chance with a stable female who has mothering potential, so he can be a kid again. I would make sure that Chance never worked another day in his long, long life. He would never wear a leash.
I am not rich. Far from it! Like millions of baby boomers, I am struggling to prepare for retirement someday. But if you would agree to sell Chance to me, at a reasonable price, I would try to find the money. I may be naïve, but I think people would chip in to bring this little guy to an accredited sanctuary. If they don't… well… you get to keep Chance and I will have learned a hard lesson.
I realize that most sanctuaries would not sanction what I am trying to do. Respectable sanctuaries do not believe in paying for the apes and monkeys they take in, and I think they are right to do that. Paying for primates sets a bad precedent and, besides, they don’t have the extra money. There are too many primates and not enough space. But, I admit, I’m letting my heart take the lead on this and, besides, a sanctuary wouldn’t be paying for Chance. I would be, hopefully with the help of friends.
Do you want to discuss this? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.