Friday, May 14, 2010

Sign it for the 'Squatch

Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while knows that I'm a huge fan of Jane Goodall.  This isn't just because she thinks that the existence of sasquatches could be a very real possibility.  At least as important would be that she's just an all around do-gooder, and the world needs as many of those as it can get.  

"For Cliff -
Together we can reveal the secrets still out there.
- Jane Goodall"

Dr. Goodall seems to be on the right side of primate legal issues, which all bigfooters probably should pay attention to.  After all, when sasquatches are proven to be real animals, they will probably be afforded the same rights as the other great apes.  (If sasquatches prove to be of our genus Homo, or even something entirely different, then the legal circus that follows will prove to be very interesting!)  The better our legal system treats the other great apes now, the better sasquatches will be treated later.  

I received an email from the Jane Goodall Institute today.  Signing their proposal was a no-brainer for me.  When I suggested Conservation Before Discovery several months ago, the protection of apes was a central part of that idea.  I'm always eager to do my part for the cause.

Habitat destruction is a common enemy of all the surviving species of great apes, including humans.  The problem of bushmeat (which is the killing and eating of apes) isn't a problem for humans (thank goodness), but is a grave threat to chimpanzees and the other African apes.  (I don't think sasquatches would have to face this problem, but there are some strange folks lurking in the woods...)

Please join me in doing a very small thing for the benefit of our closest biological family members:  Sign this petition.  Please read the email that follows and do the right thing.  A page from the Jane Goodall Institute will pop up after you sign the petition to request a donation, so help if you can.  (You already did help, just by signing the petition though.)  

Dear Cliff,

If you haven’t had a chance to sign the Jane Goodall Institute’s bushmeat petition—there’s still time! Dr. Goodall and I will be visiting members of the U.S. Congress the week of May 17, 2010 to educate them about deforestation in Africa, including the link between logging and the illegal commercial bushmeat trade. Please help us reach our goal of 15,000 signatures from our supporters by May 16, 2010.

The illegal commercial bushmeat trade is an issue that we can’t afford to ignore.

At the turn of the 20th century, there were approximately one to two million chimpanzees in the tropical forests of Africa. Today, scientists estimate that there are fewer than 300,000 chimpanzees remaining in the wild. Habitat loss and the illegal commercial bushmeat trade are the two biggest threats facing wild chimpanzees, and these problems are inextricably linked.

The remoteness of chimpanzee habitat was once the chimpanzee’s greatest defense. But now major logging and mining businesses are encroaching deeper and deeper into forests, cutting roads into previously inaccessible areas and providing greater access to poachers who kill many species including endangered chimpanzees. In some cases these companies actually hire hunters to provide bushmeat for their employees. Scientists estimate that bushmeat hunters process 10,000 metric tons of bushmeat from African forests each year.

Please sign the petition and ask your representatives to support legislation that discourages the illegal commercial bushmeat trade and other destructive activities—like irresponsible logging and mining practices—that contribute to it. If you have already signed, please ask your friends and family to sign the bushmeat petition. We need all the help we can get.
Thank you so much for your support of my work and the Jane Goodall Institute.

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