Brock professor teams up with primate sanctuary for book launch and fundraiser

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Brock professor teams up with primate sanctuary for book launch and fundraiser

Published on March 23 2010

A Brock University professor is using his new book about apes to raise money for an Ontario primate sanctuary.

John Sorenson, an expert in Critical Animal Studies and a Sociology professor at Brock University, will team up with the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary on March 26 for “Ape in the Mirror”, a book launch and benefit for the unique wildlife charity. The sanctuary, located about one hour northeast of Toronto in the Sunderland area, houses primates retired from biomedical research, zoos, universities and private residences. It is currently home to 19 monkeys.

Sorenson’s book, Ape, is published by Reaktion Books. Apes share at least 98 per cent of our genetic material, yet their extinction is imminent, Sorenson said. Their numbers are threatened by several factors, including habitat loss, poaching and other human callousness, he said.

“There’s a lot of interest in apes because they’re so much like us,” he said. “Biologically, we have evolutionary links. There are a lot of similar behaviours in terms of social interaction and intelligence. But the future for primates in general is pretty grim.”

Sorenson’s book includes a look at apes in art and popular culture — from Michael Jackson lore to their usage in designer ads — as well as their current treatment and possible extinction.

The event will be March 26 at 7 p.m. at the Niagara Artists Centre, 254 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines. The event is sponsored by Brock’s Department of Sociology. There is a suggested donation of $5.

cover of the book Ape by John Sorenson