Fashioning a giant greeting card as a prop, PETA called on Hallmark Cards to stop using chimpanzee photographs on the company’s cards.
A couple PETA supporters staged a noontime display, with a member wearing a chimpanzee mask, looking out from a barred window in the fabricated card. The organization charges that primates used in greeting card pictures have been kept in facilities that violate animal-welfare standards.
Hallmark responded that PETA is misinformed about the photographs the company currently uses.
Hallmark’s statement said, “Hallmark has not created any new chimpanzee photography in nearly a decade. Since then, any new card featuring a chimpanzee has been illustrated or pulled from our existing photo library of licensed or sourced images.”
PETA contends that chimps pictured with “grins” are actually displaying “fear grimaces” that may indicate abuse.
Hallmark spokeswoman Jaci Twidwell said the card company can digitally alter photographs to, for example, put a hat on a chimpanzee and that the animal doesn’t actually have to wear one.
Twidwell said the photographs Hallmark uses are “ethically sourced.”
Fewer than 50 of Hallmark’s 30,000 cards feature primate photos, and the company doesn’t intend to pull any of the cards from distribution, Twidwell said.