For Immediate Release:
August 25, 2023
David Perle 202-483-7382
St. Louis – Great apes are on the verge of extinction, except on cards showing them wearing cowboy outfits and made to show their teeth in a mock grin, so PETA is asking, “How would Hallmark CEO Mike Perry like it if someone turned him into a clown?” That’s what PETA aims to find out with its eye-catching new half-page message in The Kansas City Star that calls out the company for profiting off clownish images of endangered great apes, many of which feature young chimpanzees displaying what Dr. Jane Goodall calls “a fear grimace”—which Hallmark fools consumers into mistaking for a grin.
Pictures of great apes dressed in costumes; forced to engage in stressful, confusing, and degrading behavior; and interacting with humans—which is condemned by every wildlife protection organization—lead consumers to believe that the species are thriving rather than endangered and may increase the black market demand for the animals as “pets,” one of the main threats to wild populations that tears family groups apart.
“Hallmark has continued to profit from these exploitative images of chimpanzees even though CEO Mike Perry knows the harm that they cause to conservation efforts,” says primatologist and PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler. “PETA is calling on Mr. Perry to stop clowning around and join the many other companies that have banned these demeaning cards from their stores.”
Major retailers, such as Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS; card companies, including American Greetings; and stock image agencies, such as Getty Images, Shutterstock, and Dreamstime, have banned the use of these inappropriate images.
PETA’s message appears in The Kansas City Star today, August 25.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.