Monkey in a rocket

I feel sad today. A photo I saw this morning is to blame. It’s the widely publicized photo of a wretched monkey, restrained and sent into space in a rocket by the country of Iran. All the media articles I’ve read talk about fears that Iran may now possess the technical know-how to fire missiles with nuclear weapons. There is no mention of the monkey. Is it a girl or boy? Does he/she have a name? What condition was she/he in on return? In the pre-launch photo, the monkey looks wretched, terrified, helpless. Why is there no mention of this? Are we really all so uncaring, so ruthless. I feel such disappointment and shame in the species homo sapiens right now. My species. If I shed a tear or two for the monkey will that make up for all the others who don’t care?

There is a movement called GAP – Great Ape Project – which seeks to grant basic rights to non-human primates. The basic rights are the right to life, liberty and prohibition of torture. In the words of Peter Singer from the Great Ape Debate:

Chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas have long-term relationships, not only between mothers and children, but also between unrelated apes. When a loved one dies, they grieve for a long time. They can solve complex puzzles that stump most two-year-old humans. They can learn hundreds of signs, and put them together in sentences that obey grammatical rules. They display a sense of justice, resenting others who do not reciprocate a favor.


8 thoughts on “Monkey in a rocket”

  1. Rachel, I share your sentiments. We really need to do much better. At least the tide is starting to turn but not fast enough for me.

  2. Oh my. Poor monkey 😦 It’s unbelievable how people can do this sort of thing to an animal when they would NEVER do it to a human being…

  3. Despite what some would like to believe we are all animals part of a very diverse kingdom possessing a nervous system and feelings. Man has the largest brain but he is nevertheless an animal. Even some of the “lowly” lizards we encounter on our daily walks around Kangaroo Point have been tamed by regular walkers. Animals have rights and some civilized countries like Switzerland recognize this. Unfortunately, they are in the minority.

  4. At least this monkey came down safe and sound, unlike so many animal victims of space experimentation.

    Next time maybe they will put president President Ahmadinejad in a little capsule and blast him into space for a few days to see if he likes it.

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