Monkeying Around

FOR DOWNLOAD MORE GALLERY Sue Redfearn, writing in The Huffington Post, says, "You might want to sit and think a minute before taking your kid to see gorillas and the like."

Her reason? Gorillas poop and eat it, they play with their genitals, and have copious sex with each other.

Sounds like a typical American teenager. The only difference is that teens don't eat their own poop, but eating at Sonic qualifies as an equivalent.

Poor Sue got all flustered because the poop eating was witnessed by her 3 year-old who then needed an explanation, and it got even worse when a teenage boy jockeyed for a better position in order to take a photo of the hungry ape.

This incident took place at the Washington Zoo, and coincidentally the same thing happened in the same place some years ago when I took my daughter to the zoo. A young gorilla pooped, grabbed it from his anus, and proceeded to eat it like a twinkie.

To this day we still laugh about it.

Another time two elephants were going at it at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio. I still have that photo.

Both times I didn't have to explain because my daughter already understood how bodies function.

Sue admits, "maybe I don't get out much." That's an understatement. Sue apparently does not watch NatGeo, Animal Planet or Discovery on television, where animals do all sorts of interesting things, like eating each other, and feeding other dead creatures to their young. Or maybe Sue does watch these shows with her daughter and finds it easier to explain cannibalism and murder in the animal kingdom than it is to talk about sex and excrement.

Anyone out there that has or had children knows that kids love a good poop or fart joke. There's really nothing funnier than just saying the words, they will roll around laughing for hours.

Not at Sue's house, though. At Sue's house, such things are "virtual car wrecks", with animals behaving like "drunk rugby players".

To her credit, Sue took this as a learning moment and asked the Ape House curator why the gorillas eat their own poo. It turns out that they do it for perfectly natural reasons, like being too lazy to seek out fresh food, or to recycle all the vegetable matter that did not digest completely the first time through. The curator also said, "It's rather amusing to me to watch visitors react. There are parents who use it as an educational opportunity, and then parents who move their child quickly away."

As with the bodily functions of apes, the way human bodies work can be easily explained without getting all red in the face. It's really sad that people cannot handle the sight of natural animal activity, and imagine how difficult it is for them to talk to their own children about the way their own bodies work.

Children are curious about everything, and if parents are too uptight to answer questions in a matter-of-fact and honest manner, kids are going to seek out their own answers, which can lead to disinformation.

In our textile society, kids become teens become adults, and throughout the entire growing process they constantly wonder what other people look like under their clothes. Be honest now, it's a natural thing. In nudism and naturism, that barrier is broken immediately, the curiosity is fulfilled, and body parts become very unimportant.

The reason kids laugh at gorillas eating poo or having sex is because they are encountering something completely foreign to them. Kids will also laugh if they see someone else naked because it's something they rarely or never encounter. I grew up attending nude swims at the YMCA, and seeing my friends without clothing was completely ordinary. No laughing, no pointing, no joking, no big deal.

By making nudity taboo, we have made monkeys out of ourselves. Try explaining that to your kids.
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