Have you heard the one about monkeys being used as lab animals for scientific experiments? Seems that a company called Bioculture Puerto Rico Inc. wants to set-up a research facility in Guayama (east of Ponce; look it up) that will breed monkeys and test drugs on them, including vaccines like that used for/against the swine flu. In the hullabaloo, PETA got involved and may have duped Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro into signing a letter pledging to engage in civil disobedience to fight this facility, petitions abound and no one with any real government authority wants to go on record about this matter.
Hoo boy. Where to start?
Okay, Let's start here: I bet the only freaking link you clicked on was about Benicio Del Toro. If that's so: screw you.
Second of all, I usually think of PETA as rabid cretins, but I support them in this effort. No, monkeys don't have rights, but We don't have any right to haul their hairless asses from Mauritius to Puerto Rico for lab experiments. Especially since...
We've got thousands of monkeys running amok in Puerto Rico. Most of them work for the government (shut up: you knew that was coming), but years ago, macaques and rhesus monkeys escaped from a university facility and have been living large on the southwest side of the Island. Where I live.
Coincidence, I assure you.
The monkeys cause severe crop damage, more severe when you consider We have the agricultural production of the Gobi Desert's rock plains. They've been a problem for years and many people--Me included--have come out in favor of hunting them down and exterminating them as a non-native, harmful species.
And before you get on your high horse and abuse it, the monkeys are known to harbor hepatitis and herpes. We know that because that's what they were infected with when they escaped.
But one man's monkey on his back is another's mon(k)ey maker. (Took Me nine seconds to come up with that. Please hold your applause as I'm busy right now.) Look down at the very bottom of this article to find the following quote:
"The increasing lab demand for macaques meanwhile has encouraged Puerto Rican trappers to intensify efforts to capture feral rhesus macaques and red monkeys. The monkeys were introduced to Puerto Rico to be bred for research more than 80 years ago. The National Humane Review, formerly published by the American Humane Association, mentioned efforts to extirpate them in the 1930s.
Estimating the present monkey population to be about 1,000, the Puerto Rican government has invested $450,000 in the present capture campaign, according to Danica Coto of Associated Press."
By some estimates, the (real) monkey population is in the several thousands, not a mere thousand. Reports of monkey sightings have been made in Cataño, just west of San Juan and site of a recent refinery explosion. (Coincidence, I assure you.) That the government wants to throw money at the problem is (a) about time and (b) as useful as monkeys pissing on the CAPECO fire. The government can't handle its own monkeys, so it should just turn the handling of these monkeys to private industry.
Yes, that's right: Let's legalize capturing monkeys in Puerto Rico to sell to labs. I'll bullet My list:
A) We need to get rid of monkeys that don't belong here. I say We do that with Our politicians, too.
B) Capturing the monkeys generates revenue and produces tangible benefits to farmers, labs and monkeys in Africa, who get to stay home.
C) A monkey's life is less valuable than a human's. Disagree? Okay, who should We protect: the person who can get bitten and savaged by a monkey with herpes or hepatitis or the monkey? Don't say "both" because the monkey doesn't belong here.
D) Best-case scenario is the captured monkeys go back to Africa. Okay, PETA, put your money where your howling mouth is and pay for that. Uh-huh, I thought so.
E) My Plan: Round up 100-110 monkeys, throw them into a session of the legislature and lock all the doors. Last monkey standing wins.
The Jenius Has Spoken.
P.S. And on the subject of animals, dead or otherwise, here's this about tons of dead fish in one of Our lagoons. Coincidence, I assure you.