A Culture of Monkeys


August 27, 2015 13:24 EDT

The Vervet Forest documentary aims to create a wildlife reserve for orphaned monkeys in the poorest region of South Africa.

The Vervet monkey—incredibly intelligent, with a unique language and a system of social hierarchy—has long been considered a vermin. Farmers shoot and poison Vervet monkeys, and Sangomas use their tiny limbs for traditional medicine.

As the natural bush continues to be destroyed to make way for farms, houses, hotels and other human projects, the monkeys are forced from their homes and into villages and towns, where they face grave opposition.

The plight of the Vervet monkey is a catalyst for a deeper conversation regarding social structure, lifestyle sustainability and the ideology behind cultural oppression. The story behind The Vervet Forest documentary draws parallels between the hunted animals and the way that people have abused one another and the land throughout South African history.

Half of all proceeds from the film will be donated to the Vervet Monkey Foundation (VMF), a nonprofit rehabilitation organization that cares for over 500 displaced Vervet monkeys in the small farming town of Tzaneen, South Africa. With these funds, as well as others, the VMF will purchase several hundred acres of land to sanction as a nature reserve. This will provide a protected and natural habitat for a multitude of wildlife, as well as dozens of jobs for impoverished individuals in the local community.

*[For more on The Vervet Forest, visit the Kickstarter page.]

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

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