By Jonathan Aluzas
I’m no scientist, but I can read and write. ?So, when you read this, you’re reading conclusions based upon other people’s research and my assumptions. ?But I think there’s room for common sense conclusions in this world, despite our need for a scientific rationale. ?I tend to be a guy who appreciates research to back an opinion, but I don’t think a peer-reviewed, double-blind test is necessary to determine that the sun will rise tomorrow, so there are times when you should just call things the way you see them and let science be damned.
Chimpanzees don’t need personal trainers. ?Now, this may seem obvious, because…..well…..they’re chimpanzees. ?But let’s stop to ask the question, “WHY don’t chimpanzees need personal trainers.” ?This is just the kind of hard-hitting scientific stuff I lose sleep over. ?It’s not that chimps don’t need trainers because they don’t particularly care about their abs or whether they have a fat butt (because if they were L.A. chimps, they probably would), it’s because chimpanzees are in great shape! ?By now, we’ve all heard that chimps and gorillas are up to 5 times stronger, pound for pound, than humans (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-would-a-chimpanzee-at), but that’s not what I’m referring to when I say they’re in great shape. ?After all, that’s just a biological, evolutionary advantage.
For the sake of clarity, let’s differentiate between WILD chimpanzees living in their natural habitat, and CAPTIVE chimpanzees living in a human-designed and managed habitat. ?Captive chimpanzees aren’t faring nearly as well as their wild counterparts. ?So, maybe it should be stated that, while WILD chimpanzees don’t need personal trainers, captive chimpanzees and humans do. ?Here are some facts:
- Humans and captive chimpanzees suffer from obesity and obesity-related illnesses. ?Wild chimpanzees do not.
- Humans are very susceptible to cancer while wild chimpanzees are minimally afflicted by it (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
pmc/articles/PMC1382208/), and wild chimps have been known to spontaneously clear the Hepatitis C infection (https://www.humanesociety.org/ news/press_releases/2009/12/ hepatitis_c_research_using_ chimps_121509.html) while humans require lifetime treatment.
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- The wild chimpanzee’s diet consists of over 65% fruit, roughly 25% leaves, around 6% seeds, and less than 4% meat and insects.
- The Standard American Diet consists of roughly 50% carbohydrate (mostly processed), 35% fat and 15% protein.
- The difference: Wild chimps have a diet of 100% natural food, almost entirely plant-based, with very little fat and meat. ?Americans have a diet of mostly nutritionally-devoid, processed foods that are high in refined sugar and flour, too much meat and too much fat.
- Wild chimpanzees, according to recent research, eat many plants for medicinal purposes. ?They intentionally seek out plants that aid with diarrhea, bacterial infections, worms and other illnesses and learn from each other which plants serve as natural remedies (https://pcrm.org/good-medicine/2012/winter2012/just-the-facts)
- Humans treat themselves like garbage disposals and then pop whatever pills the doctor gives them to treat the symptoms.
- The difference: Wild chimpanzees are smart enough to seek out natural treatments for illnesses instead of creating illness and then masking it with pharmaceuticals.
- Wild chimpanzees spend a large part of their day foraging for food. ?What does foraging mean? ?It means climbing, digging, walking, and otherwise moving around to gather up all of the food you need. ?It means that a large part of their day is spent in physical activity. ?They also swing from branch to branch among the trees. ?Try doing that some time. ?Not easy.
- Humans sit on their butts for most of the day and occasionally move when it means getting to the fridge. ?And they almost never swing from tree to tree.
- Captive chimps have restricted physical activity. ?Even if they have a large enclosure, the total amount of space within which to roam and forage is?significantly reduced. ?They don’t have to move much to acquire their food, so they don’t.
- Captive chimps have a diet that has been compromised, too. ?It’s impossible to replicate the natural, wild habitat of chimpanzees, in which they often forage for up to 60 – 205 different food items (https://www.nagonline.net/HUSBANDRY/Diets%20pdf/Chimpanzee%20Nutrition.pdf). ?So, they’re not able to consume
the wide variety of natural foods that they require, which leaves them with diminished nutrition. ?Attempts to recreate chimpanzee food often falls short, because experts don’t quite understand their RDA.
- Reduced physical activity and a compromised diet has made captive chimps more like humans.