Stay Free! |

Carrie McLaren carrie at
Mon Jul 5 16:41:47 EDT 2004


Although the press release below is unaffiliated with Stay F---! 
(it's from Monkeywire, another project of mine), I thought some of 
you might appreciate it regardless. It's a response to the news, 
released over the weekend, that President Bush is succeeding in his 
plans to water down the Endangered Species Act.


For immediate release


Leaders of a Brooklyn-based primate news service have called on 
political activists and news media to cease from referring to U.S. 
President George W. Bush as a chimp or monkey.

The heads of Monkeywire, which bills itself as the "number one source 
for news about monkeys and apes," have called the Bush primate 
references "misguided and demeaning."

Bush has been described as a "chimp," (Globe and Mail), a "grinning 
chimp" (In These Times), a "smirking chimp," (, 
"the Chimp in Charge," Democratic Underground, a "hairless chimp" 
(The Columbian) [incorrect on both counts], and a "pretzel-eating 
chimp" (AP) with a face that reveals "thin-lipped brow-furrowed 
monkey confusion" (San Francisco Chronicle). The President's actions 
have similarly been conveyed in simian terms: "Bush proposes to 
monkey with the Constitution" (Slate).

Monkeywire cofounders Carrie McLaren and Joe Garden maintain that 
such comparisons overemphasize physical similarities between Bush and 
chimpanzees while downplaying important differences in genetics, 
behavior, and natural habitat.

Humans share over 99 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees, our closest 
genetic relative. However, that fraction of a percent accounts for 
clear differences in mental capacities, physical dexterity, and body 

Bush shares with lower primates the ability to make his desires clear 
despite an inability to communicate in English. He also understands 
and reacts to negative stimuli, and makes use of simple tools. 
However, Bush's dental records -- which were used as evidence of the 
President's service in the National Guard -- clearly demonstrate that 
he is human.

The Monkeywire heads say the most marked distinctions between Bush 
and chimpanzees are not physical characteristics, however, but 
behavioral ones.

"Bush has proposed changing the Endangered Species Act to allow 
imports of endangered species and body parts," says McLaren. "A chimp 
would never do that."

Chimpanzees are an endangered species. The chimpanzee population has 
dropped from 2 million to 150,000, due in part to the slaughter of 
apes for "bush meat."

When changes to the Endangered Species Act were proposed last year, 
renowned primatologist Jane Goodall predicted that bush meat trade 
could eradicate all great apes within a couple of decades.

The Monkeywire heads also cite Bush's position on global warming as 
evidence of his anti-chimp position. Bush withdrew from the Kyoto 
Treaty and reversed his 2000 campaign pledge to regulate industrial 
emissions of carbon dioxide. The Monkeywire founders argue that such 
decisions may contribute to the devastation of chimps' natural 

"Obviously, Bush is not a chimp," said McLaren. "But we hope everyone 
can come together to release him into the wild."


For more information on changes to the Endangered Species Act, 
contact Brian Nowicki of the Center for Biological Diversity at (520) 

For depressing news about the modern-day plight of primates, visit:

The Great Ape Project -
The Jane Goodall Institute -

NOTE: The above organizations have no affiliation with Monkeywire.

More information about the Stayfree mailing list