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Chimpanzees are highly intelligent and emotionally complex individuals who mourn their dead. Yet for decades, American Greetings has profited from using demeaning, clownish images of them on its greeting cards, even though chimpanzees are at risk of extinction because of habitat loss and the illegal pet trade. According to Dr. Jane Goodall, they may face extinction within our lifetime.
An American Greetings e-card, February 2021
Studies have shown that the inaccurate portrayal of chimpanzees in the media—such as those wearing clothing or accessories, displayed in a studio, or interacting with humans—actually hinders conservation efforts, leading consumers to believe that they’re plentiful rather than endangered. These portrayals increase the black market demand for chimpanzees and other endangered great apes as “pets,” which is one of the main forces driving them toward extinction.
After meeting with PETA, Rite Aid took swift action to remove greeting cards featuring damaging images of great apes from all its stores and directed American Greetings to stop stocking the cards in Rite Aid stores. Walgreens took similar action, urging Hallmark to stop selling the cards in its U.S. stores, and Boots (owned by Walgreens Boots Alliance) in the U.K. is pulling all such cards from its stores. Top stock-image agencies like Getty Images, Shutterstock, and Dreamstime are banning unnatural images of primates, and greeting card company Moonpig dropped all images of captive great apes. Continuing to exploit endangered chimpanzees for profit is a form of speciesism—a human-supremacist worldview.
Please join PETA in urging American Greetings to retire all images of chimpanzees and other great apes used on its cards.