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San Diego, Calif. -- PETA has fired off a letter to Brian Luscomb, vice president of corporate communications for Jack in the Box, urging him to immediately pull the company's "Monkey Spaceship" TV ad and make a commitment not to use great apes in future advertising campaigns. The company's ad features chimpanzees who build a spaceship while dressed as astronauts. PETA points out that chimpanzees and orangutans used as "actors" are torn from their mothers as babies often when they are just days old — and are electrically shocked and beaten during behind-the-scenes training sessions.
Why should ads with great apes be labeled "V" for violence? A primatologist who spent 14 months working at a California facility that trains great apes for the TV and movie industries observed that trainers kick, punch, and beat chimpanzees in order to make them obey commands. Chimpanzees used for entertainment are usually only a few years old. By the time they reach age 8, they are too powerful to control and are often discarded at roadside zoos or sold to cheap traveling shows. World-renowned chimpanzee expert Dr. Jane Goodall supports efforts to end the use of great apes in the entertainment industry. In March, Goodall and a group of primatologists concluded in the journal Science that the derisive portrayal of chimpanzees and orangutans in ads is undermining efforts to save these endangered animals.
Other companies — including Yahoo! Inc., Honda, Subaru, PUMA, and Keds — have taken action in behalf of great apes by agreeing not to use them in their ads.
"All chimpanzees trained to perform have been torn from their mothers — a traumatic process that scars both mother and baby for life — and abusively trained," says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. "It's time for Jack in the Box to join other companies and permanently dock its 'Monkey Spaceship' ad and any others that use great apes."
For more information about the suffering of great apes used as "actors," please visit PETA's Web site NoMoreMonkeyBusiness.com.
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