Darwin’s Bicentenary

By B. R. Gowani

(On the occasion of the 200th Birth Anniversary of Charles Darwin, other members of the Great Apes: a Chimpanzee (Chimpoo), a Female Gorilla (Gori), and an Orangutan (Orange) discuss why a century and half after Darwin’s discovery of the common roots of humans and apes do many humans still refuse to acknowledge their distant cousins while continuing their cruelty to animals and why do they super-exploit their own kind.)

Gori: Hey guys, did you know our Big Brothers are celebrating the 200th birth anniversary of the guy who showed them their true roots?

Orange: Not everyone. There are many who refuse to acknowledge our common ancestry, despite the fossil evidence.

Some people believe that a Big Guy called God — or Big Gal called Goddess — made this Universe and its inhabitants in six days. And they were the last to be created in God’s image with a license to rule over fishes, birds, and all that moves on Earth.

Chimpoo: It saddens me to see that they deny our relationship, despite the 98% DNA similarities. They were more willing to accept the truth when they were walking on all fours. Even after they went bi-pedal, initially, they were not this unreasonable, as they struggled to meet their basic needs – not very different from our own.

Orange: Stories abound of the time when human-apes and other apes were culturally close: humans were content to acquire a little territory and sufficient food to fulfill their needs. Following that, they would be on watch to defend their families, or relax, or play with their children.

Gori: Playing with children! Now this is a thing of the past for millions of their families. Exploitation of one’s own has always existed. What has changed, however, is that some humans have become super-masters and have converted other human-apes into economic slaves.

Chimpoo: It’s a paradox, my dear. Many of their achievements such as telescopes and computers make me proud; but destructive and surveillance devices make me sick.

Orange: Hey Chimpoo, you’re getting a bit too sentimental. I know human-apes are closer to you then they are to us, but still they are very dangerous primates.

Chimpoo: I’m not that sentimental. I feel for my cousins. I don’t want to see them on the road of ruination and …

Gori: Chimpoo, howsoever articulately you try to put it, it’s hard to disagree with Orange. Listen! Those human-apes who are in power don’t give a damn about us or other chimps. If they drop a nuclear bomb tomorrow, and if some of us miraculously survive, don’t expect them to provide us with chemotherapy.

Orange: Chimpoo, if you read the history of our planet, they have committed the most violence of all the living beings. If we consider even the most ferocious animals, none of them match the violence that human-apes have committed over the ages. I would vote to stop considering them as our own.

Gori: As if they care.

Chimpoo: Your anger is not groundless; but, ask yourself: Is it fair to group all human-apes together? There are some who fight for our and other non-human animal rights.

(He then produced a couple of pictures lying under the tree trunk.)

Orange: Those few human-apes are indeed to be commended. But some of them have their own political agendas. Also, in the process of fighting for us, they exploit their own. For example: PETA [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] models fighting for our rights, are also pets of the fashion, modeling, and entertainment industry and are not people of normal weight. They perpetuate the myth that being of a certain size and shape is desirable.

Chimpoo: Do you want to save your skin or worry about PETA model ethics?

Gori: We should be grateful to these PETA models. Many of them have brought their kind closer to us, by shedding clothes and other inhibitions.

Orange: Do you think so?

Gori: On second thoughts … No! The capitalists would never let them revert to their original natural state. The fashion industry would go bankrupt.

Gori: [disdainfully] Put those pictures back under the trunk right away! The bitter fact is that this place ain’t big enough for animals and human-apes. This planet can only survive if human-apes leave. It seems in the process of destroying themselves; they may also eliminate the planet.

Orange: Chimpoo is right there are human-apes who care for us and do make efforts to protect us from vultures among them.

Gori: Looking at these PETA models, the human-apes will probably disregard our condition and ogle these models, instead. I prefer the video by Gary L. Francione to these models. Let me show you what I mean:

Gary L. Francione: Theory of Animal Rights

Theory of Animal Rights from Gary L. Francione on Vimeo.

(After the video Gori continued.)

Gori: These human-apes are miserable creatures. Have you ever seen any of our children working in factories for adults who generate huge profits from their labor?

Chimpoo: Look at me Gori Darling; you are comparing two different modes of life. They value insatiable materialism; we live content with fulfillment of basic needs.

(Gori cut him short.)

Gori: Mark my words Chimpoo! If tomorrow they come up with an idea to make money through you, they won’t hesitate to exploit you. If they develop taste for the chimpanzee meat, they’ll open chimp farms and start killing your kind. You have seen how cruelly they use animals in the circus. In spite of that, they have the nerve to make up phrases such as, the cunning fox, filthy pig, and they call the spotted hyenas as cowardly scavengers!

Chimpoo: Calm down, honey. If we were in their place, would we have been any better?

Orange: [quickly reacted] It is not a question of whether we would have been any better or not. We are fundamentally different in some ways. Many human-apes make their females wear veils. Some even kill their own kind by deceiving them. An example is the tobacco industry: Marlboro has so many different ways to entice the kids and adults alike: regular, light, ultra-light, menthol, menthol light, and list goes on.


Chimpoo: Let’s forget all this. I have some good fruit and vegetables: let us have a feast.

Gori: Let me tell you one thing. Our life is simple and most of us are quite content with what we have.

The condition of the human-apes, however, is pitiable. Many of them lack fulfillment of their basic needs. Their lack is particularly painful because of the tremendous pervasiveness of their advertising. Added to this is the flaunting of material riches by fellow members. The advertisers continue to relentlessly entice indiscriminately without penalty. The material plenty is produced by workers who are never able to afford these luxuries. Consequently, they die without satisfying their desires. This is the story of countless human-apes.

B. R. Gowani can be reached at brgowani@hotmail.com

Comments are closed.