Monkey Business

Posted: October 8, 2007 in Bureauacracy, Civil Rights, Compassion, Homelessness

Well, Gee Whiz! Now I’m certain that the world is going absolutely insane.

Yesterday, I was doing a Google search to do some cross referencing on homeless statistics. One of the links that came back was to a September 27, 2007 Associated Press article on the MSNBC.com site. The article was about a 26 year old currently living in Austria named Matthew Haisl Pan – who up until recently had only the name Haisl (pronounced HEE sul).

The article went on to describe the current court battle to have Haisl declared "a person with interest" all in an attempt to prevent the possibility of Haisl becoming homeless.  

So far so good, right? Yeah, well, think again. Haisl is a chimpanzee!

Austria has some of the world’s most stringent laws that preventing cruelty to animals. Despite that, however, it seems what they don’t have is adequate legislation that would allow animals that are being abused to be appointed a "legal guardian" in the event that they are being abused.

Subsequently, animal rights activists in that country are working feverishly to try and get the Austrian courts to declare Haisl a person so he can be appointed a legal guardian and so that the Austrian citizenry can make donations to keep Haisl from becoming homeless. After all, how would it look to the rest of the world if the paparazzi released photographs of Haisl standing on some corner holding a sign that read: "Will perform primate antics for bananas?"

I know, someone is going to ask why don’t they just put this chimp into an animal shelter. Well, that’s where he and another chimp named Rosi having been living for the last two or three decades, but now, since the shelter has filed for bankruptcy protection, they can no longer afford the $6,800 per month that it takes to house and maintain them.

Geez. $6,800 per month is substantially more than most of this nations’ any one homeless person lives on per year.

Here’s the kick in the pants: 26% of the people who took the online poll believe that Haisl should be declared a person!

Look people, I’m all for making sure that animals aren’t mistreated or abused, but we have some serious problems with human beings who are homeless.

In this country there are some 1.5 million children, 500,000 veterans, 120,000 senior citizens and, 400,000 persons with mental health disabilities – all of which are homeless. And it’s only going to get worse unless we take the necessary action to stem the tide.

Perhaps some activist group should go to the high courts in this country and try having them declared "persons with interest." Then maybe they’d get the assistance they need to help them find a way off of the streets of our nations cities.

As human beings we like to think of ourselves as the highest form of intelligence on the face of the planet. But all of that intelligence is worth absolutely zero if it isn’t tempered with compassion, mercy and, not only the willingness, but the actual act of reaching out a helping hand to those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

If we don’t take some serious action to find remedial solutions for homelessness in this country we’re going to find ourselves stood on our social heads.

It’s time we stop monkeying around before everything goes bananas.

Pun intended.

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