Mirror, mirror on the wall ….

image: whyevolution.com

Article

Charles Siebert writes;

The first live chimpanzee to set foot on Europe’s shores arrived in The Hague in 1641, on board a Dutch merchant ship returning from Angola. The only known visual record of this unwitting pioneer’s existence is an engraving done that same year by the Dutch physician and anatomist Nicolaes Tulp. Not a chimpanzee so much as an ape-human hybrid.

Sadly a familiar occurrence within today’s equally distorting framework of trying to coerce evolution in a direction it didn’t quite go for chimps, by making them be us: living on our turf and terms, dressing in our clothes, acting in our films and commercials, suffering in our research labs.

The most tragic example of this is Lucy, who lived in the late 1960s and early ’70s. Raised from infancy to age 10 as a human child by the psychologist Maurice Temerlin and his wife, Jane, Lucy made her own meals, mixed her own cocktails, flipped through magazines, slept on soft mattresses, raised a pet cat, learned sign language — and had no contact whatsoever with other chimpanzees. By the time she reached sexual maturity, however, she became more and more difficult to handle, and the Temerlins decided they had to let Lucy go.

The chimp that Tulp, in fear of science, preserved as a mythic human, Temerlin tried to make a human, in science’s name. Lost in the shuffle of either agenda were the animals themselves, creatures we still can’t regard and respect for what they are and just leave alone.

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5 Responses to Mirror, mirror on the wall ….

  1. earthpal says:

    Ah, this makes me so sad. It typifies our meddlesome human tendencies.

    I love these mammals. They are so cute and irresistible. And the babies are very similar to human babies. But they’re not domesticated animals. They’re wild. And if it’s not illegal to to keep a primate as a pet, it bloody well should be!

    They can survive and thrive perfectly well on their own. They don’t need us to humanise them. They’re not human!

  2. matt says:

    Exactly. And of course there’s the wider point about our relationship with nature, how we use it, abuse it and see ourselves as detached from it, not a part of it. It’s the root I think of why we destroy our natural surroundings for what we think is our own gain, but is ultimately our own doom.

  3. the Grit says:

    Hi Matt,

    We have adopted 3 pit bull dogs that are rescued animals – found wondering loose and sick on the streets after being abandoned by dog fighting groups – so I am extremely aware of the dangers that come from living with not completely domesticated animals. With this in mind, I have to say that anyone who wants to take a wild animal, like a chimp, into their home should be examined thoroughly by the Government, both for mental stability and for knowledge of what requirements such action will imply, and that, if they give up on their project, they should at least be forced to pay for the animal’s up keep in a decent care facility, or go to jail.

    Well, sort of. My actual instinctive reaction is the desire to find these people and beat them to death, preferably, in the chimp case, with a bunch of bananas. But I would never ever do that. Assuming of course that there was any chance I’d get caught.

    Nature wants to kill us, just like every other creature on the planet. Really, before you get so down on humans, you should consider that we are the only critters who can even consider what our environmental impact is. You should also take into consideration that my previous statement doesn’t apply to the vast majority of our population. The efforts of those who care would be better spent at educating people who don’t know any better.

    Oh, wait, I seem to recall some ancient words of wisdom to guide us in this area:

    Do as I say, not as I do.

    Put your money where your mouth is.

    Not in my back yard.

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    (and the modern version) People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    Just something to think about,
    the Grit

  4. the Grit says:

    Hi Matt,

    I harvested and ate the first young radish from my garden today! Tangy! Figured y’all were the only people who’d appreciate it :)

    the Grit

  5. matt says:

    Farmer Bob,

    I sure as hell hope you be enjoying the fruits of your labours. Now you going to be cookin’ up somethin’ special for the wife with all that produce coming along over the summer months? :)

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