Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Misplaced Affection, Monkey Style.

I've been waiting to blog about this, ever since I watched a documentary a week or so back with a title along the lines of 'My Monkey Baby'. It had to be American, I thought - and it was.
It was hard to believe any country would allow such goings on.

The first story, was of a young couple just setting out to buy their 'baby'. They drove hundreds of miles to pay around four thousand dollars for a tiny, two week old monkey, from a woman who obviously had a thriving business going. Her small, untidy house had an annex with several cages of breeding pairs of monkeys which supplied her with 'stock'. The cages were simple wire enclosures, like crates, and although their inmates were fed and watered, the cruelty of confinement didn't bear thinking about.

The new 'Daddy' had suffered a less than perfect childhood, and never wanted to have a child of his own, so in his early twenties he had a vasectomy. But he soon found he wanted the chance to lavish care and affection on a newborn, and persuaded his partner to go with the 'monkey baby' idea.

Once collected, 'Mummy' secreted the tiny bundle inside her coat, as they checked into a motel for the night. The feeding bottle they were using had a teat designed for a human baby, obviously, and the unfortunate primate had difficulty fitting it into its tiny mouth. It spent the night spread eagled on 'Daddy's' chest, clinging to his T-shirt for dear life.

The next couple were retired. It was the woman's second marriage, after the death of her original husband. They both spoke of 'our daughter' and fed the unfortunate creature, as far as I could see, with a diet of cakes, sugary snacks and lollipops. 'She doesn't like bananas', insisted 'Mama'.
Their wills made provision for the animal to be cared for after their demise - but with the diet they were giving it, I'd imagine it would never reach the 50 year life span it might have attained in the wild.

The third was a 'single parent'. Her own grown up children were no longer in contact with her, so her monkey baby was company, as well as surrogate daughter, now she was a widow. At least she
fed it a reasonable diet, but did spend a fortune on ridiculous, frilly garments she made it wear, changing them several times a day, as though it were a doll, a plaything. Which of course, to her it was.

The last couple had several monkeys, and they had the freedom of the house to wander in, with a large caged area to which they were banished occasionally for 'bad behavior'. They were only subjected to wearing garments when out in public, although nappies were used indoors - until the wearer decided they had enough, and removed the offending article...

With so many children in the world, crying out for love and attention, this misguided 'caring' leaves me speechless...


  1. I'm with you Jinksy, speechless!
    Poor little monkeys leading such a alien life. Never knowing the freedom of life in the wild.
    And there is the other point you made, all the children needing adoption.
    Nowt so queer as folk... as they say. American or otherwise.
    Love Granny

  2. How utterly hideous, Jinksy, I'd like to think it couldn't happen in the UK. Some people are so selfish, aren't they? How sad for those poor mites. Having said that about the children needing adoption, you wouldn't want any of those monkey owners adopting real children. Perish the thought.

  3. What absolutely revolting ideas! Those poor monkeys!

  4. It takes all kinds to make up this world, even the strange and unbalanced, and believe me, anyone who takes a monkey as a pet/child is a little strange and or unbalanced. I'm with you, why not just adopt a baby or child. But then a child you can't just sell again if you don't like being a parent, I would imagine that's part of what these people have in mind. Let them volunteer helping in a nursery or child care center, and leave the monkey's where they belong. In the wild with their own kind.

  5. the caring does indeed seem misguided but i am not sure any of these "parents" would make good mothers or fathers to children who truly need them.

  6. i have absolutely no words for you... gobsmacked, i believe hubby would say.

  7. There are so many children out there who are in need of a good home and need parenting; I am of the opinion that those children need to be taken in and cared for instead of an animal....just my opinion.
    Smiles from Jackie

  8. I felt sick reading this. I dislike any form of cruelty to animals. Unfortunately certain specimens of the human race don't have the same values. I once saw a cartoon where the roles were reversed, humans on a leash at the mercy of animals. Pity we can't 'punish' in a similar way.

  9. That is the sickest and saddest of stories - no wonder animals keep their distance from us Jinksy.

  10. God that's weird. And being a zoologist, the idea of monkeys being farmed in houses to breed pets makes me ache.

  11. The thought of breeding animals for this kind of existence makes me sad. I could understand caring for an orphaned or injured critter but to make a business out of matching infant creatures with less than sane people is sickening. I agree with Lime about them being questionable parents to human infants.

  12. Oh Jinsky, how did you manage to watch this program, it bothers me that those monkeys were bread to sell and it also bothers me that these suppose adults are so lonely that they think an animal can fill a void and make them happy. The whole situation is sad, and something should be done about it. People can make choices, but these little animals cannot. I'm inclined to think that these people need serious intervention and those poor little monkeys should be given a home, probably would have to be a zoo as they would not be able to survive on their own in the wild, their true life which they have never known. So sad my friend........:-) Hugs

  13. And the humane societies don't get involved? I'm stunned! Removing a primate from its parents at two weeks?? That's cruel enough, along with the cages. It's enough to make you weep. Then she sells them to people who have no clue....

    We have an Exotic Pet Refuge only a few miles from us. I'm guessing 90% of these unfortunate creatures end up somewhere like that, or dead. An adult monkey is not a pet for the inexperienced, whatever size it is.


  14. Horrid. Absolutely horrid.

  15. This is absolutely shocking!

  16. We have to take more care of each other!Visit ,keep company.This is more a cry for contact wth someone.

  17. I think it's people who want to care, but on their own terms. These creatures can be treated as human babies or they could revert to treating them as animals, or indeed to get rid of them completely maybe by selling them on or by them going to a refuge. It's like a win-win situation for these "parents" - the "children" are never going to be difficult or want to break free or move out, they are subservient and loving and won't question them. It's like having a permanent baby and not having to nurture another being into adulthood, as they would have to do with a human baby. They own their "babies" and have complete control. Thinking of it like this I'm rather glad they haven't been given human children to look after! The last woman you mention had children of her own, but they don't speak to her - why? Are they nasty children or did she not bring them up well? You've got to suspect that it's her fault that they don't want to know her now they have the choice.

    Ultimately these people must have some emotional problems which they should get sorted out, but a lot of people live in denial. I suppose it wouldn't be allowed in a lot of countries as monkeys cannot be kept as pets, I didn't think it was that easy to buy a monkey in America, but clearly I was wrong.

    Did you see a programme about the very large teenager called something like "Half Ton Son" or something? The mother lost her first child in its infancy and the second child she lavished so much affection on to and I think somewhere in the subconscious she equated feeding him with loving him and she would feed him whatever he wanted to eat. Kids have no idea of the consequences of eating the wrong foods, that's why they need adult guidance. This kid at 19 was an adult baby effectively because he had no idea of how to look after himself and relied on her for everything. He was 60 stone - too heavy to move basically. How can you let your child get like that unless you have a seriously warped sense of the role of the parent? He had a stomach stapling operation and she gave him a hotdog as a reward for managing to walk into the house from the car without collapsing. Ridiculous. Even after all that she's still giving him fast food! In the end he moved out into rehab to get away from her. She loved him, dearly, but she was killing him!

    I wonder how many of the monkeys would opt to move out given the choice?


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