Quammen, D. (2003, June 15). 'Eating Apes': Almost Cannibalism. The New York Times. [Online]. Available: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9401EED81E30F936A25755C0A9659C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=print [2003, June 15].
book; review; bushmeat; apes; cannibalism; logging; trade; disease; conservation
CANNIBALISM seems a quaint, titillating subject where we usually encounter it, in anthropological studies and spooky legends. Dale Peterson's ugly, important new book is essentially about cannibalism as construed more broadly than usual, and in his treatment it's anything but quaint. Picture a gorilla killed with a shotgun, butchered like a hog, its blood-dripping head tossed into a stewpot, its hands smoked like sausage, and you have the idea. That gorilla is no metaphor. ''Eating Apes'' is an examination of the slaughter, for food, of humanity's four closest primate relatives.
It happens in equatorial Africa, notably those countries (Cameroon, Gabon, and both Congos, among others) where chimpanzees, bonobos (also known as pygmy chimps) and gorillas (now divided into two species by some experts) live in the wild but often find their way, dead, into meat markets, even restaurants. They are typically killed with a 12-gauge shotgun firing big-game cartridges, each cartridge...