The Fear of Monkeys - The Best E-Zine on the Web for Politically Conscious WritingWhite-Throated Guenon - Issue Forty-Two
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White-throated Guenon  from Christiano Artuso The White-Throated Guenon, also known as the red-bellied monkey and the red-bellied guenon, is a diurnal primate that lives on trees of rainforests or tropical areas of Nigeria and Benin. They are usually frugivores but insects, leaves, and crops are also in their diet. They usually live in small groups of four to five individual monkeys however, there have been groups of 30 discovered, and in cases, some males wander alone. They are arboreal, living in moist tropical forest and the wettest parts of dry tropical forest, however they can also be found in secondary bush and old farmland. Males weigh from 3.5-4.5 kg and females weigh 2-4 kg. Females give birth to one offspring, which is a factor of decreasing population. They were once considered extinct due to constant hunting for the fur of their unique red belly and white front legs, but a small group was subsequently found near the Niger River in 1988. They are still considered an endangered species due to their decreasing population. They are present within Nigerian forest reserves and sacred groves in Benin, but hunting and logging restrictions are difficult to enforce or nonexistent. They are one of the species that live in the Guinean Forests of the West Africa Biodiversity Hotspot.

   


How Amazing

by

Peter Mladinic

 

How amazing
is the ignorance about the value
of animals.
The not knowing, not caring
not wanting to know,
not concerned in the least
is barbed wire amazing, rusty razor
shocking, mountain river astounding.

Animals--dogs, cats, birds, fish--to these
are nothing. Let's feed the fish plastic,
let's litter so the birds and squirrels choke.
We don't see it, shopping at Shop Rite,
praying in our prayer houses, half asleep
or busy texting at desks in our college
classrooms.

Strays are as foreign as Martians.
Where they go, what they do does not
pertain to us non-enlightened ones
aspiring to be robots, apprentices of
conformity.

Animals--dog as hood ornament, that's
okay. We can look, and think how cute.
Dog on display at the dog beauty pageant,
that's okay, and dog in TV beer
commercial, use the dog to sell beer,
to sell dish detergent, to sell furniture,
razor blades, suits, and weed killer, that's
okay, in that dogs and cats are
commodities like weed eaters, lawn
mowers, and boxes of cereals we consume
and throw away.

Too many strays? Round up a bunch.
Put them in a room and gas them, then
burn the corpses, then wait for the next
batch. Don't just gas two or three, wait
to get a good batch, then gas them.
Someone will do it, while we shop at Walmart
for spaghetti, while we shop for bed-
sheets at Target or diddle our cell phones
at desks in classrooms or listen
to sermons in our worship houses.
Someone will gas the dogs and cats
and someone will burn the corpses.

After all, they're only animals, so gassing
them, round them up and someone . . . it's
like mowing the lawn, the grass
gets too high, you mow it; you get a good
number of these strays . . . it's simple,
quick, efficient. Problem solved.

My pets? Nothing is more dear to me than
my fur babies, and when one of my fur
babies dies he or she crosses the rainbow
bridge; they don't just die, they don't just
go out of existence. My pets are my world,
at least part of my consumption-
conformity-obsessed world. But those
others, those other dogs and cats you see
roaming the parking lots and gardens, they
are a nuisance, they're not My pets.

Pay someone to round them up, someone
to gas them, and someone to burn them.
Just get rid of them, they're trash, no
better than a tissue slipped from a pocket
while someone is walking, a tissue that
litters the lawn.


Peter Mladinicís fourth book of poems, Knives on a Table is available from Better Than Starbucks Publications. An animal rights advocate, he lives in Hobbs, New Mexico.
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