Planet Without Apes Analysis

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Every few years, Hollywood releases a new Planet of the Ape movie, which is always a blockbuster hit. Moviegoers flock to see these movies of how apes rise together and how they are actually more intelligent than meets the eye. Most people do not know the premise behind these movies of how smart and closely related apes are to humans. This is because people probably have never taken a physical anthropology class and have not done research on apes –our closet kins. Known for his immense studies in the fields of apes and monkeys, his long term research in the behavior of chimpanzees and mountain gorillas, and his experience in the forests with the apes, the co-director of the Jane Goodall Research Center and writer of our textbook, primatologist…show more content…
In his book, Planet Without Apes, Stanford introduces readers to apes, shows why the apes are endangered, how similar we are to apes, and why we should protect the apes. He does so in nine chapters – “Save the Apes”, “Heart of Darkness”, “Homeless”, “Bushmeat”, “Outbreak”, “In a Not-So-Gilded Cage”, “The Double-Edged Sword of Ecotourism”, “Ethnocide”, and “May There Always be Apes”. Stanford strategically chooses the name Planet Without the Apes, as a parody of the Hollywood franchise, hoping such a title would capture potential readers’ interests. Stanford does not simply tell us why we need to save the apes – he brings us on a journey with the apes and by the end of the book, we feel compelled to save the apes. Stanford opens up his book with his prologue: “Save the Apes!” which serves as a thesis to his entire argument. He shows readers how similar we are to the apes in terms of social and physical behavior. With that, readers go onto a journey with the apes. In the first chapter, “Heart of Darkness,” readers are introduced to the four siblings – the chimpanzees, the Gorilla, the Bonobo, and the Orangutan.…show more content…
This aspect is “The Double-edged Sword of Ecotourism.” In this chapter, Stanford expresses the positives and negatives of ecotourism. Ecotourism is a form of tourism which involves visiting fragile and undisturbed natural areas and in this case, the main reason is to see gorillas. Ecotourism has its good and bad. It is good because those poor communities that live close to the habitats of the apes can have a source of revenue. Those areas are really poor, and with ecotourism, they can earn about $9000 dollars a month. However, those areas may not exactly be the safest. Stanford cites a 1999 cross border attack by rebel groups in Rwanda in which 8 ecotourists were murdered and this attack deterred tourist from going there for many months. Another negative aspect of ecotourism is how it affects the apes. Although, many apes who do live in these areas of habituation and have tourists coming in and out, the apes develop really high stress levels. When humans move too quickly or make loud noises, the apes are stressed out and can flee. Not only that, but increased stress levels lowers their immune systems making them more susceptible to disease. Stanford ends this chapter saying that ecotourism is bound to happen if the countries are too poor to provide for their people and that “the apes will have to live with the results” (190). In

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