Did anyone catch 'My Child Is a Monkey' on channel 4 last night? It revolved around people who, for various reasons, choose to keep capuchin monkeys as 'life companions' and treat them like human babies; playing dress-up, teaching them to eat at the table and getting them to wear nappies (I'm not saying 'diapers', doh!).
Said reasons, I imagine, fall into one of the following categories:-
- Human babies grow up, whereas monkeys can be treated like babies throughout their 40 year lifespan, giving these abusers a purpose in life.
- Nut-jobs tend to have their kids taken into care by the state, while monkeys' well-being appears to be less closely monitored.
- Human babies reared by these people would grow up maladjusted and kill the parents in their sleep.
- You can't pull out human babies' teeth or neuter them to make them more placid and manageable without getting thrown in jail.
Who'd have guessed taking an animal that would naturally have a whole forest for a backyard and wedging it into a cage the size of a cupboard might cause behavioural problems and transform cute, fluffy monkey babies into delinquent hoodlums with a penchant for transplanting people's faces? I know, it's a shocking discovery.
What's also bad for them as it turns out is to feed them a human diet loaded with carbs because this can induce diabetes. This was helpfully pointed out to one monkey-mummy by a vet who advised that unless she switched her baby's diet to one composed mostly of fruit and veg, it wouldn't survive. So what does she do? Gives the monkey spaghetti for tea and sets off to church to ask god to save her child.
God wasn't available for comment at the time of filming, but I'm sure he'll do his best.