Eating Apes by Dale Paterson Essay

“Is it right, in the deepest moral sense, for one conscious being to eat another?” Throughout Eating Apes, Dale Peterson takes the readers through what he experienced, saw, and the issues presented with trying to protect the apes to gear us to answer that question. He was able to do this with the stories of Karl Ammann, who took the photographs presented in the book, and Joseph Melloh, a gorilla hunter from Cameroon. Prior to taking this class, my knowledge of apes going extinct went as far as being aware that we needed to save them from extinction. However, I was unaware of neither how brutal apes were treated nor how pivotal they were to people in Central Africa’s diet – until I began reading Eating Apes. Eating Apes is a descriptive but difficult book to read through that describes why the ape population was diminishing and the various stakeholders involved.

Peterson wrote this book to illustrate and inform others of how humans were killing and eating apes such as gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos for food in Central Africa. He further tries to understand what was happening in Central Africa by interviewing ape hunters. These interviews helped him realize that hunting was not about hunger, but a choice. Hunters working with snares in the Central African Republic, could make anywhere between $400 and $700 a year, which are comparable to the wages earned by the national parks guards (115). In other words, hunters were making a reasonable sum of money by hunting that they continued to do it. While traveling through Central Africa, Peterson also took the time to explore the meat markets and soon found that chimpanzee and gorilla meat were sold at higher prices than beef or pork, because they were considered luxury items. …

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…rward and help.We may not all be conservation biologists, but I believe getting our local communities to petition or raise money and awareness of species going extent can we help. It does not have to stop there, maybe writing letters to big corporations like CIB and voicing our opinions about the bush meat crisis will help them realize that their actions are affecting everyone globally. I feel that many of the corporations involved and behind the illegal slaughtering of apes are under the assumption that their actions are only affecting the local populations and those populations are benefitting because of the food and money. However, I believe that once these companies see that the bush meat crisis and the illegal killing of apes are detrimental on a global scale, can we effectively help end the bush meat crisis.

Works Cited

Eating Apes by Dale Peterson

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