For Immediate Release:
June 27, 2023
Sara Groves 202-483-7382
Kansas City, Mo. – This Christmas in July, Hallmark deserves coal in its stocking for being so out of touch with conservation work for great apes that it continues to sell greeting cards with demeaning images of chimpanzees on them, says PETA. As the company marks the 50th anniversary of its Keepsake Ornaments collection, PETA will be trimming trees with a spoof featuring a young chimpanzee displaying a fear grimace—which Hallmark fools consumers into mistaking for a grin.
Pictures of great apes dressed in costumes; engaging in stressful, confusing, and degrading behavior; and interacting with humans—which is condemned by every wildlife protection organization—hinder conservation efforts because they lead consumers to believe that the species are thriving rather than endangered. They also threaten to increase the black market demand for the animals as “pets,” one of the main threats to wild populations that tears family groups apart.
“After decades of profiting off the backs of endangered chimpanzees, Hallmark needs to do something positive by purging these exploitative cards from its inventory,” says primatologist and PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler. “PETA is calling on Hallmark to join the many other companies that have stopped selling these harmful images of great apes.”
Major retailers, such as Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS; card companies, including American Greetings; and stock image agencies, such as Getty Images, Shutterstock, and Dreamstime, are banning the use of these inappropriate images.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.