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In praise of… Baboons

Thanks to LWS for the link.

"Baboons," wrote the distinguished American biologist George B Schaller, "live in a peaceful society in which not aggression but friendship achieves the desired result." He found it humbling to contemplate the social intelligence of the primates. "Baboons are individuals; each has its own temperament and idiosyncrasies, each has its own desires and goals ... scientific papers cannot express the fundamental charm, the fleeting social entanglements, the perishable moments of a baboon's life." Schaller believed that studying baboons would help humans to a better understanding of how to live in peace, harmony, cooperation and friendship: "A contemplation of baboons can help humankind correct a skewed vision of itself." And then there are celebrity restaurant critics. AA Gill, in the course of reviewing a meal in the Sunday Times, described the pleasure of shooting a baboon, which he did last Wednesday. He apparently blew its lungs out with a soft-nosed .357 – essentially for the "naughty fun" of it.
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