For as intelligent as humans are, we have an amazing propensity for picking and choosing which information we like to believe. This is especially the case when it comes to our view of animals. We believe that our dogs and cats are intelligent and emotional beings who can understand and sympathize with us while also believing that other animals – namely cows, chickens, and pigs, are entirely incapable of these things and therefore perfect for consumption. The reality is that these animals are just as capable of having all the same emotions and intelligence as the other, but we decide to ignore this fact.
When it comes to animals that are more similar to humans, however, things get a little more tricky. Take for example, chimpanzees. These animals share around 90 percent of the same DNA as humans and are known for their high intelligence, ability to craft and use tools, learn sign language, and empathize with others. But despite this, we continue to subject them to horrific experiments in labs or force them to perform for us in circuses and zoos.
Some attempt to justify this disconnect by highlighting the differences between humans and chimpanzees but all it really takes is a single look at a chimp to see that we’re really not all that different.
Burrito is a rescued chimpanzee who is currently living in the care of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest (CSNW). He was born in a laboratory in 1983 then kept as a pet and leased out as an “animal act” only to be returned to a lab for use in a hepatitis vaccine research. He was never given the chance to be a real chimpanzee, completely deprived of interaction with any others of his kind, and knew nothing other than a life serving humans. After 20 years of this sorry existence, he was finally released to CSNW and his journey towards learning what it means to be free began.
We are so glad that after a lifetime of captivity this sweet chimpanzee is finally getting a taste of the life he deserved, however, we wish he never had to experience any suffering in his life.
We might be a highly intelligent species, but when it comes to compassion, we could all stand to improve. No animal should have to suffer like Burrito has for our sake. Looking into his expressive eyes, don’t you agree?
To learn more about CSNW and the incredible work they do, click here.
Image source: Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest