July 27, 2012

About this smoking orangutan

Now, look. This poor orangutan isn't responsible for her smoking addiction -- her zoo handlers are. They let it happen when they didn't stop zoo visitors from tossing cigarettes to her for 10 long years. (You wouldn't think you'd have to watch out for a thing like that, people tossing lit cigarettes to animals, but there you go.) And now they want to force her to stop smoking, cold turkey.

She likes to smoke. So give the poor thing a cigarette three times a day, after meals -- oh, and one at bedtime and another after sex (should sex occur). But that's it -- don't give her more than the four cigarettes a day. The problem, I'm sure, was that people were giving her cigarettes all day long. They turned her into a heavy smoker.

With people, you can't just say "have four cigarettes a day and that's it," because people do whatever they damn please. I'm sure a ton of smokers would love to smoke only four cigarettes a day -- but they can't because they have free will (and charge cards). This, however, is a zoo animal, a captive. It would be a simple matter to limit her smoking to this perfectly acceptable minimum. She'd hardly cough.

So I say: let her have a good time. She can't go out and buy her own cigarettes, after all. It's not like her habit's going to grow. It'll stay nice and manageable. But the important thing is, she'll not only get used to the 4-a-day routine, she'll be happy. And that's what it's all about.

PS: I just read the linked article, one I picked at random, and was happy to see this phrase: "As Tori is weaned from cigarettes in the coming months..." Good. Don't be cruel to the poor thing.

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