Animal, Animal Cruelty, Animal Welfare, Anna Nekaris, Curelty, Exploitation, Facebook, Google, Illegal, Indonesia, Primate, Slow Loris, Smuggling, Southeast Asia, Trade, Twitter, Video, Welfare, Wikipedia, YouTube
I know I may come across as a bitter cynic. In fact I’m not sure I’ve written a single positive thing on this blog and that’s mainly because I view it as my place to vent. There is however another reason I complain so much.
It’s because I hate people.
Not specific people of course; there are many I like a great deal. I’m talking more of the human race in general. Let me share with you a current example of why, if I had the choice, I would probably wipe our species from the planet.
This is a Slow Loris.
The Slow Loris is a nocturnal primate originating from South and Southeast Asia (Bangladesh to Indonesia etc.).
You may have heard of or seen these cute little critters via Facebook, Google+, Twitter or any number of online networking sites. There are a couple of videos of them on YouTube which have ‘gone viral’ as they say, because they show one of these little guys being all super cute and fluffy and ‘I WANT ONE’!!!
I’m not going to link to the videos and I have not actually watched them, because I refuse to.
Despite what these videos show, Slow Loris’ are not pets, and it is illegal in most countries to have one as a pet. They are illegally sold, smuggled and bought in countries all over the world for the pleasure of human beings who know nothing about them but just want one because… because it’s so CUUUUTE!
They are also endangered, and will soon be added to the critically endangered list, thanks to the aforementioned videos and the power of the internet.
Dr Anna Nekaris wrote an open letter to the IPPL (International Primate Protection League) in August of last year citing the YouTube videos and providing some interesting facts about people’s reactions to them. In her letter she states:
Combined, as of late March 2011, the two videos received 31000 likes vs only 1200 dislikes. With more than 9000 comments left on both videos, we were able to categorise them into three major categories: writer endorses pet trade/ wants one; writer informs public against having one; writer identifies the species/ compares it to film/ other. Through analysis of the first 100 comments, we found that for both videos, nearly 60% of comments were from those who wanted one as a pet or were attracted to the idea of having one, whereas only 5-10% informed the viewers of the illegality of keeping lorises as pets.
Here’s another picture for you
As I’ve said, the Slow Loris is not a pet. It is a wild animal and as such does not make a good pet. Yet still that doesn’t stop people capturing them, pulling or cutting their sharp teeth out and then selling them to someone who wants one because they saw it on a video on the internet… because it’s so FLUFFY!
Most Slow Loris’ die from infection when they are mutilated this way, but those that don’t, assuming they also survive the process of being smuggled overseas, can look forward to a life of YouTube stardom, so long as they do what their owners want and be all super cute and fluffy and stuff. However, their docile behaviour in the videos is actually due to it being their passive defensive reaction to threatening situations, not to mention the glaringly obvious fact that when their owners want them to perform for the camera, and being nocturnal creatures, daylight is a wholly unnatural state for them to be in. These things however, are immaterial to the humans who in my opinion merely view them as living toys.
So yes, when I hear about animals being treated in this way purely for the entertainment of ignorant homo sapiens, I can’t help but become more and more certain that the world would be so much better off without the human race.