Monkeys aren’t tattoo artists—or props for a social media stunt. After influencer Funky Matas posted a video showing a monkey tattooing his leg, PETA is reminding people everywhere that animals are not ours to use for entertainment.
#31Ene | ¡QUE LOCO!
Funky Matas hace historia al dejarse tatuar por un Mono.
El tatuador e Influencer venezolano va camino a un nuevo récord. pic.twitter.com/V8HxpGQoFj
— 800 Noticias (@800Noticias_) January 31, 2023
Primates are intelligent, curious, and highly social animals with complex physical and psychological needs that can’t be met in human homes, on the sets of films or television shows, or during social media shoots.
Using a social media platform to exploit a monkey for a publicity stunt could result in an increased demand to obtain these animals, which would fuel unscrupulous primate dealers who mass-breed primates in order to sell them to private owners, with no consideration for the animals’ welfare.
Primates used for entertainment or to be sold as “pets” are taken away from their mothers by animal breeders and dealers prematurely—a practice that’s cruel to both the baby and the mother and denies the infants the maternal care and nurturing that they need for normal development. In order to force young primates to perform on cue, physical and psychological abuse are common.
In stark contrast to their lives in nature, primates confined to a human home and used for entertainment are denied adequate psychological and social stimulation, proper exercise, and the opportunity to engage in natural types of behavior. Their instinctual needs—which include exploring, choosing mates, raising young, and foraging—are completely thwarted. As a result, they often develop neurotic behavior patterns, such as pacing, rocking, swaying, cage-biting, and self-mutilation. Many suffer from debilitating loneliness and depression.
Monkeys are unpredictable, and whether because of the stress of social isolation and living in an environment that defies their every genetic expectation or simply because it’s in a monkey’s nature to solve problems through aggression, they can and will bite humans. This is why so many “pet” primates and those used by the entertainment industry end up dumped at roadside zoos or other substandard facilities, where they’re kept in cramped, barren cages—sometimes in solitary confinement for the rest of their bleak lives.