Primate Rescue Center

Shutterstock Bans All Images of Primates Dressed as Humans

Melanie Parker December 22, 2017

Wonderful news for primates! Shutterstock, the world’s largest subscription-based stock photo agency, as well as their subsidiaries, recently made the compassionate decision to BAN all photographs that feature primates in unnatural settings. This great victory comes thanks to pressure from animal rights organization PETA.

Shutterstock has removed and banned all photos that feature primates wearing clothing or accessories, being shown in a human environment, such as an office or circus, exhibiting trained or unnatural behavior such dancing or performing, as well as unnatural interactions with humans, such as holding hands. In addition, any media that includes wild apes or monkeys that have been digitally altered to place them in unnatural settings have also been banned.

This is fantastic news considering the inherent cruelty behind such photos. In order to make animals comply with unnatural demands, they are either kidnapped from the wild and beaten into submission or bred in captivity and taken from their mothers at birth so they can be handled and fed by humans. According to PETA, the “smile,” that chimpanzee’s exhibit, such as on greeting cards is called a “fear grimace” and physical abuse is common during pre-production training. What’s more, photos of primates in unnatural settings fuels the demand for wild animals to be kept as pets.

“Shutterstock’s decision is a reflection of evolving industry standards, as well as a sea change in public opinion: Consumers are more aware than ever of the suffering that wild animals endure when they’re used for any form of entertainment,” PETA stated. The majority of ad agencies, including BBDO, McCann, J. Walter Thompson, Droga5, Grey Group, and DDB, have pledged to never use great apes in their ad campaigns.

Shutterstock’s announcement to ban photos of wild animals in unnatural settings comes on the heels of Instagram announcing a new warning to help educate users about the cruelty involved with taking selfies with wild animals. A definite step in the right direction!

Be sure to share this fantastic victory to end cruelty to wild animals with your friends and family!

-One Green Planet

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