Relative Abuse

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

bz panel 10-02-13bz strip 10-02-13Bizarro is brought to you today by Wedding Party.

Chimp intelligence has long been a subject of intense study by us humans. There is a book by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Jared Diamond, called The Third Chimpanzee in which, among other amazing, fascinating scientific and historical observations, he makes a case for considering humans a third kind of chimpanzee (alongside the Common Chimpanzee and the Bonobo) rather than a whole new category of super-special, divinely-ordained, non-animal creatures. This book was seminal in forming my world view and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I agree with his assessment wholeheartedly and you can see evidence in the remarkable similarities of not only our bodies (around 99% identical DNA) but also our social behavior.

A great place to witness this is on a New York subway train. If you stare at someone, they are likely to consider your behavior aggressive and become defensive or aggressive themselves. If you move your lips outward and upward (smile) the other rider will know that you mean no harm, and relax. But if you flash your teeth by moving your lips outward and downward, they’ll consider it a precursor to an attack. These are just a couple of many similar behaviors we share with the other great apes. Chimps are also the only known primate other than us that has been known to kill its own for no discernible reason (not survival-related). Sadly, they are still evolving as we did, but whaddyagonnado?

As most of my Jazz Pickles know, I’m an advocate for the rights of all animals to live a natural life without being molested by humans. Most people do not go as far as I do but it is difficult to argue that chimps at the very least deserve this kind of respect. To imprison a chimp for entertainment (pets, zoos, circuses) or for medical experiments is, to my mind, no different than using human children for the same purposes. Chimps are capable of everything a human toddler thinks, feels, and understands about their world. I don’t care if we miss out on some nifty new drug that controls some nasty disease in humans, I cannot convince myself that the end justifies the means when it comes to the suffering of an innocent victim. One can also argue that our unnatural diet is a primary cause in many of our worst diseases, anyway. Stop abusing animals in factory farms to make 99¢ burgers, nuggets, and hot dogs, and we won’t need to abuse them in labs to cure heart disease and cancer. Our selfishness is our own demise and that of many other species and the planet as a whole.

Sorry about the soapbox but I get riled. :o)

REGURGITATED PICKLES: These two cartoons from 2004 express this same sentiment more succinctly. It was born from one of my favorite sayings, “Humans aren’t the only species on the planet, we just act like it.”Bz 01-15-04 DNAego WEBbz 01-02-04 dolphin WEB

I promise to make tomorrow’s blog post more funnier and less seriouser.