Thoughts on today’s article in the New York Times, Today’s Lab Rats of Obesity Studies: Fattened Monkeys.

  1. “[D]emand for the overweight primates is growing as part of the battle against the nation’s obesity epidemic.” Really?  We are the most populous overweight primates on the planet! What shortage?!
  2. Barbaric, cowardly research design: “Dr. Grove said he needed the animals separated at all times so they could snack between meals, since that is an important reason people gain weight.  And allowing them outside [they are housed in cages], even one at a time, would mean they would exercise more;” “the study will do what cannot be done with people – kill some of the monkeys to examine their brains and pancreases.”  Really?  We are testing self-evident, scientifically imbecile hypotheses just to find more “magic pills” to do what can be accomplished behaviorally?
  3. Idiotic rationalizations: as Dr. Grove is catching flack from animal rights groups, he offers the following gem of a rationalization – “This is a booming industry in China.  They have colonies of thousands of them.”  Really? We are now going to worry about outsourcing monkey-abuse research to China?

I am not, of course, saying Dr. Grove is bad.  He isn’t.  Any of my readers could probably predict the following assessment of mine: he is not what he does, and he is doing the best that he can.  It’s just that his “best” (and the “best” of similar research), frankly, sucks.

My post, of course, is not about Dr. Grove, but about our primal narcissism (primal, by the way, is just Latin for “first-ranked,” and, of course, we ourselves did the ranking).  Primates ourselves, we forgot that we are, forgot our kinship to all that is.  We must re-member and re-mind ourselves of our membership one mind at a time.

Speak up against this inhumane scientific nonsense that is being done on your behalf in the name of yet another war, the War on Obesity.  Fight the problem of obesity yourself: the solution is ancient – ignore your restless monkey-mind and eat mindfully.

Let’s face it: there is no shortage of overweight primates (just look around); there is a shortage of humanity and compassion.  Fill the gap.

Wake up, fellow primate!

Pavel, a fellow primate

Reference & photo: Today’s Lab Rats of Obesity Studies: Fattened Monkeys.