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They call themselves Monkey Moms, and their “forever babies” Monkids. Cute? Maybe not.

I understand the desire to have a pet. I understand the desire to have a baby. What I do not understand is why anyone in their right minds would think a monkey of any type would fit either bill.

I am among the first to think monkeys are cute, especially the smaller species. And when they’re babies, they do indeed remind us of infants with their huge eyes and clinging behavior. But to take one of these animals in your home, raise it as a child, and think it will be your “forever baby” is abusive to the monkey, and stupid to the extreme.

It makes no more sense than bringing a lion cub into your home and then wondering why you have problems when it’s no longer a cub. Monkeys are wild animals with needs and instincts, and most of those needs and instincts don’t match up with life indoors, sitting in a high chair and eating a human diet. As these “babies” grow, they become more aggressive, and when frustrated can do serious harm to humans, other pets, and your house.

Seventy percent of monkeys being raised by humans develop diabetes. In the wild, no monkeys develop diabetes.

When they begin to reach puberty and develop behavioral problems, people have their teeth pulled. Yes, you read that right: they have perfectly healthy teeth pulled so that when their “forever baby” bites them, the worst they’ll get is a bruise. Most vets won’t do this, of course, but there are always the unscrupulous. But teeth or no teeth, monkeys of any size tend to be stronger than humans. Try dealing with that.

My question is how anyone in their right mind thinks that taking an animal that is meant to swing from the treetops with its own kind, eating a diet of raw fruits and vegetables and leaves, can possibly be meant to sit in a high chair, eat a human diet, sleep in a crib, wear diapers, and never be allowed out into the natural world except on the end of a leash?

If you deprived a human kid of its needs in this way, you’d go to jail. But it’s okay to do to a monkey?

Many states are passing laws to prevent this practice, but the Monkey Moms respond with, “The government has no right to tell me I can’t own a monkey.”

Maybe no right to tell you you can’t own one, but certainly a right to tell you that you can’t abuse one.

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