Chimps, who are already suffering from a shrinking job market, are baffled by this new decision. Spokeschimp for the American Council for Chimp Achievement, Bobo, told the New York Times that chimp skills are no longer needed in this high tech world. “We at ACCA are very concerned. There was a time when all a chimp had to do was dress up as a cowboy and ride a tricycle while smoking a cigar, and he was pretty much guaranteed a job, but times have changed. Medical research was one of the last fields where our species excelled. Now with that gone, what’s left for us? Let’s face it; I don’t see them making any Tarzan movies in the near future.”
The director of the National Institute of Health, Dr. Francis S. Collins, who seems to be oblivious to the fact that he is putting Americans out of work, said that chimps deserve “special consideration and respect.” When we asked Bobo what he thought of this statement, he laughed ruefully and said, “Respect? We have bills to pay. Maybe Dr. Collins should respect that.”
We found Bubbles, a chimp recently laid off from a bio-medical research center, on a street corner with a sign that read, “Will Throw Feces for Food.” We asked her how she has been affected by the cuts.
“It’s hard being out of work. I remember when my father’s second cousin Albert was shot into space. We were all sitting in the living room watching it on TV. We were all so proud. I even dreamed of becoming an astronaut myself. Now, I don’t know what the future holds.”
At a job-training center in Flint, Michigan we interviewed some other out-of-work primates.
Crackers, a 25 year old male said, “In ‘99, I got my degree in micro-biology research from CalTech thinking I would have some job security. There was a time in this country when a chimp believed that if he or she worked hard they could accomplish anything. That’s why my ancestors came here in the first place. It’s true that started out as nude entertainers at a zoo, but things were different then.”
On MSNBC, Chuck Todd asked Newt Gingrich what he thought the government should do to help American chimps, to which Gingrich responded, “Chuck, there are a lot of human Americans out of work right now. I think we should focus on them and not on the chimps.”
When we told Bobo of Gingrich’s statement, he responded by saying, “Newt Gingrich doesn’t understand the plight of any hardworking American, human or chimp. It’s very disheartening to hear a politician like Gingrich making such a distinction. Humans and Chimpanzees both have the right to pursue the American dream. I can’t believe such degrading rhetoric still has place in our national discourse. If it were up to Gingrich we would all be living in trees again. Oh God, I wish Planet of the Apes was real! I would love to bite that fat bastard on the ass.”
- Chimps’ use in research to be severely restricted – San Francisco Chronicle (sfgate.com)
- Chimps to be spared from use in US medical experiments (guardian.co.uk)
- Federal health agency mulls chimp research ban (cbsnews.com)