January 12, 2004


Bad things are happening to orang-utans (easily the coolest ape). Bad, bad things. So. A tentative thought - who wants to adopt an orang-utan? (Warning: cuteness overload) I mean, if MonkeyFilter owned its own monkey primate... how cool would that be? Hmmm?

  • What?
  • Not to be an incindiary progressive (which I am), but the extinction of the orang may hinge on foreign interests (that's us, America) willingness to purchase oil and lumber from countries that don't properly protect their indigenous species. But hey, we shoot bears in New Jersey when they get forced out; seems unlikely we'll be too receptive on this count. I'm not hopeful. On an entirely different tact, this is like About Schmidt gone horribly wrond.
  • Very true, you damned dirty progressive. It's all very well doing this sort of thing individually (that's an end to my famous Dowel, Patchouli and Primate parties then), but it really needs some sort of government action, no? "The Forbidden Zone was once a paradise. Your breed made a desert of it, ages ago..."
  • wrond?
  • Ah, yes. My old nemesis.....
  • "Take a bow, sugar beet!"
  • I love legitamate theatre.
  • Coolest apes, in order: 1) Orangutans 2) Bonobos 3) Interpol
  • Good Dr Z: We MUST have a mon an itty bitty, fuzzy wuzzy orang baby! It will make a perfect mascot. Like Mofi, it's now SOOOOO adorable and mega cute--cuddly, loveable, dependent, but when grown, it will be a more than 200 pound, dangerous, unmanagable Filter. But we'll still love it, complete with all the matted hair, warts, and that fermented banana odor. So who is in charge of collecting the donations? REMINDER: MoFi posters, like orangutans, are completely unsuitable as pets.
  • complete with all the matted hair, warts, and that fermented banana odor Hey!! I resemble that remark.
  • I hate to de-derail this particulary fun thread back to a serious tone but, boycotting product exports from Indonesia doesn't seems to be of any help to this problem. But actually it could create more serious problems for that country. From the CIA factbook:
    Indonesia, a vast polyglot nation, faces severe economic development problems stemming from secessionist movements and the low level of security in the regions; the lack of reliable legal recourse in contract disputes; corruption; weaknesses in the banking system; and strained relations with the IMF. Investor confidence will remain low and few new jobs will be created under these circumstances. In November 2001, Indonesia agreed with the IMF on a series of economic reforms in 2002, thus enabling further IMF disbursements. Negotiations with the IMF and bilateral donors continued in 2002. Keys to future growth remain internal reform, the build-up of the confidence of international donors and investors, and a strong comeback in the global economy.
    Also, they depend on plywood exports for the recovery of their economy. As shown in this article from forest.org which mentions the lift of an indonesian ban to plywood exports. Of course there's a lot of political maquinations behind this that amount to no good. And the benefits of the exports go to too few people. Yet what Indonesia needs it's political reformation and economic growth as a way to overcome their problems, not a boycot that will further ruin it's development. Also that would generate more foreign investment that would help Indonesia cut it's dependece on deforestation. Right now, the best option for the protection of what's left from orangutan populations its creating more and better protected reserves in Malaysia territories on Borneo island. Maylasia right now is in better economic shape and it's increasing growth has drastically shifted its dependence on forest production to electronics and other kind of commodities. Of course. If you have no need for plywood don't buy it. I'm not arguing in favor of helping their economy by buying more plywood products. I'm just saying that going for tactics like boycotts and such could bring unintended consecuences for countries that really don't deserve them. Let Indonesia growth then start boycotting Japan's plywood industry, which is the greatest consumer of Indonesia forest exports.
  • MonkeyFilter: matted hair, warts, and that fermented banana odor. Top-notch analogy work, BlueHorse. I like the cut of your jib. Hmmm. I can start collecting names of anybody who, in principle, wants to adopt a mon orang. Then we can work out how to collect the donations once we're up to an arbitrary number of orangs monkeys that I shall in my wisdom designate as meaning "we, as a group, want to adopt a mo orangutan". Let's do it, people...
  • I don't have time to do the collecting, but it sounds like a fantastic idea and I'll contribute something even if it's only a small amount. I'm going to get my Little Monkey a Roots and Shoots membership for Christmas this year too. He's only a year old but I want him to grow up with the knowledge that he can do something to help. I think as adults we become too apathetic and cynical as far as the success of personal or community initiatives. A little wide-eyed innocence is a good thing.
  • Thr mighty metropolis of Mazama proudly casts its 102 101 96 (and still growing!) votes for this noble measure. Seriously.
  • Put me on the list of orang-adopting MoFites.
  • This is good. I feel we are rapidly nearing that arbitrary number of adopters I was talking about earlier. I'll look into all the orangutan adoption possibilities, get in touch with a few organisations perhaps. Then I'll post something to the blu lavender in a day or two, so we can work out how this thang is gonna go down. Keep putting your names down in this thread for the meantime, if you got the orangutan love. Also, in a more serious tone - I do agree with Zemat about the general futility/potential counterproductivity of boycotts in this kind of situation. A widely organised boycott, backed with a strongletter/email/phone campaign, can be very effective against corporations - but an ad hoc, personal boycott of a country? With the possible exception of South Africa (and that case was exceptional) they're woefully ineffective. They may ease your conscience, and there's nothing wrong with that, but I also fear that they draw attention away from more effective efforts to actively change policy at a governmental level. But equally, I'm fully with tracicle. It's a horrifying thought (and one that's unpleasantly close to home) that we should greet every wrong in the world with a resigned shrug. (btw - Roots & Shoots looks fantastic - I wasn't aware of it before.) That's pretty much what this post was about. There was no reason to highlight the decline of orangs over any other bad news story - other, of course, than that I likes primates, you likes primates, we all likes primates - but it shook me this morning to think that such wonderful close relatives of ours could become effectively extinct in the wild in such a short space of time. It may not be much of an effort... but it's not a resigned shrug. It's a tiny denial of hopelessness. And that's a start. Oh, and they look so damn cute...
  • Can we do it without a Paypal account? I contribute on a credit card.
  • I'd like to do it without PayPal too. Useless bloody company. I'm going to post this, more explicitly, on the FP in a little while. Then we can see where we go from here...
  • Monkeys in trouble Sadly, orang-utans are not the only ones in trouble these days
  • Dr Zaius: Thenk you, Thenk you. One of my finer thoughts. As for the rest of you, polite clapping will be enough. I do not require a bouquet.
  • Meanwhile, in Indonesia...