26 February, 2009

New Partisan Issue

Below: An eloquent comment on the
dumbfuckery of Cons.

There's this place near Flagstaff, Arizona called Deer Farm. It's basically a wildlife petting zoo, with a few domesticated but somewhat exotic animals thrown in. If you ever go there, I do recommend walking the right way round the path - my mom and I decided to do it backwards one day, and didn't see the "Don't Feed Me - I Spit!" sign on the llama enclosure until it was too late for one unfortunate woman's hairdo.

I saw my first peacocks there, but the outstanding memory (other than the sound a llama makes when it's about to spit corn all over an unsuspecting member of the public) is the stench from the monkey house. I don't know if they've still got monkeys, but I wouldn't blame them if they'd given that up as a bad job. Monkeys are cute in their natural habitat and in pictures, but not so much in real life. It doesn't matter how much you clean the cage - they still stink. And the little buggers, instead of enjoying themselves in the various branches arranged throughout the house for their climbing pleasure, ganged up at the barred front of the cage just waiting for the opportunity to take a chunk out of some poor goober.

Before I visited Deer Farm, I'd thought owning a monkey would be awesome good fun. Afterward, I swore off monkey ownership for life.

This anecdote leads us to Hilzoy's post, which had me agreeing wholeheartedly:

Yesterday, the House passed the Captive Primate Safety Act, which would make it illegal to "import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce" any nonhuman primate. (Humans are covered by the 13th Amendment.) This is one of those small-bore but really, really good bills that I've been rooting for for years. I wrote about it back in 2005; since I rather like my original post, here's a compressed and updated version, rather than a whole new one.

Owning primates as pets is a bad idea.
No kidding! And it's wrong on so many levels - as Hilzoy points out, these animals haven't been domesticated, they're strong, they've got sharp teeth, and they've got opposable thumbs, which means they can get a lot more creative in their mischief than your basic dog or cat. Add to this the fact that they're intelligent enough to get bored easily and figure out ways to keep themselves entertained (I think the red-faced screaming owner is part of the entertainment), and you have a recipe for disaster.

It's bad enough for the primates when their owners are somewhat sane, but it seems some folks buy them just so they can dress them up in ridiculous outfits. IMO, stuffing an animal into gawdawful ensembles should be a felony.

Primates are wild animals. They're our cousins. And it's about time they got some respect. You'd think most rational people could agree with this.

We must remember that Cons are not rational:
Postscript: Does anyone have any idea why Democrats voted for this bill 247-2, while Republicans voted against it 76-93? I didn't realize that this was a partisan issue.
Well, lessee, who sponsored it?
Rep. Earl Blumenauer [D-OR].
Ah. That obviously makes it a partisan issue. The Con philosophy seems to be ossifying around "We hate anything Dems like!" If the Dems introduced a resolution praising the cuteness of children, I'm not entirely sure the Cons would vote in favor. We'd probably hear plenty of arguments as to why children aren't really cute and parsing the meaning of the phrase "cute child," complete with diatribes against the out-of-control cuteness of children when what the country needs is less cute, not more.

Do not be surprised if this happens.

The blog where I filched the awesome orangutan pic, the Monkey's Cage, has this tongue-in-cheek advice:
Opponents of the bill might want to print bumper stickers saying, “When owning a pet chimp is a crime, then only criminals will have pet chimps.”
Do not be suprised if they do. They're getting just that unhinged.

1 comment:

Cujo359 said...

This is a law that might sound like a wonderful idea, but is useless in practice. Folks who are fool enough to want to own one of these animals are almost certain to not know that it's illegal. As you've noted, it's not the sort of thing that most of use think about all that often.

What this will end up doing is making people who have them or sell them criminals. Particularly in the case of importers, that's not a good thing at all. It's been illegal to import parrots for a long time. All that seems to have done is increase the mortality of parrots during transport.

I'd prefer that the government ensure that these animals have proper care, and take them from people who don't give them that care. Some people aren't able to take care of cats properly. If we encourage a general ethic that having an animal in your care is a responsibility, there would be fewer abused animals.