• Wayne Perkins

Monkey Business

If you ever needed proof as to how stupid some of the human species can be then you need to look no further than what I am about to tell you.

A wildlife photographer, David Slator, had his unattended camera used by a “monkey” to take what turned out to be a quite passible selfie and David, as photographers do, tried to sell some of the photos.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) filed a lawsuit in 2015 against Slator to try and gain financial control of the photographs for the monkey whose name was Naruto.

Jeff Kerr, general counsel for PETA said “Naruto should be considered the author and copyright owner, and he shouldn’t be treated any differently from any other creator simply because he happens to not be human”

I’m not kidding! That’s what he said. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

To close out the story, a panel of three Judges dismissed the case and Naruto himself has so far seemed reluctant to comment publicly although he was observed to throw some faeces in a particularly aggressive manner.

Make of that what you will.

Now it would be a boring old world if we were all the same and while I personally rate PETA’s philosophy, morality and intelligence as slightly below that of a concussed kitten, I do support their right to live by their beliefs and more power to them.

I would actually go further and say that PETA is at least to some degree made up of genuinely well-intentioned people and play a vital role in bringing issues to our attention which allows us all to engage in debate. 

We may not always like the debate but that’s the way our society figures out complex and polarising issues.

But honestly! A lawsuit over a monkey selfie? I mean, how stupid can you be and still breath.

The first question that springs immediately to mind is. Who on earth was the non-compos mentis individual that thought this was not just a good idea but a great use of (what I’m sure is hard fought for) funds raised by grassroots members?

My second question is. If PETA reflects, as they claim, the changing attitude of people towards farming and animal treatment and this approach is a precursor to how they expect the world to be, then let’s not beat around the bush. 

The world is screwed, humans are inventing their own destruction and if we think a “monkey selfie lawsuit” is a just and appropriate use of our judicial system, then surely we no longer deserve to be the top of the food chain?

And lastly, given the level of critical thinking obviously going on in the upper echelons of PETA that results in this type of unmitigated dribble, can I suggest that they install Naruto as one of their board members.

This will not only give him a bit of extra banana money but will substantially raise their IQ level.

Naruto might throw some faeces around the board table from time to time but, if what comes out of the board members mouths is anything like what comes out in their press statements, Naruto’s faeces will very probably go unnoticed.

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