You must have heard of yoga with dogs, cats and goats. Now people would do yoga with baby lambs, baby goats, bunnies, alpacas, ducks, chickens, turtles, lizards, raccoons and monkeys too. The innovation is part of a July 20 event to mark one-year anniversary of a Philadelphia yoga studio, Yoga Hive Philly. “The animals seem to love it. At the farm, they’re not getting as much attention. When they get to come out and socialize, they’re all very happy,” said Gina Durante, a co-owner of the studio which started out last year with a goat-yoga event.
But the July 20 event has run afoul of animal rights groups which are telling Yoga Hive Philly not to use animals for yoga because contrary to what co-owner Durante thinks it is stressful for animals.
Peta (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) is asking people to tell Yoga Hive Philly that captive animals don’t belong in yoga studios.
“This month, a yoga studio in Philadelphia is set to “celebrate” its one-year anniversary by exploiting monkeys, reptiles, raccoons, and other animals. Being displayed at events is extremely stressful for animals and is never in their best interests. Primates and other wild animals are typically trained with fear-based methods to repress their natural behavior so that humans can handle them. And the exhibitor hired by the studio—Peaceable Kingdom—has been repeatedly cited for animal welfare violations,” Peta says in a notice on its website.
North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA), a coalition of leading primate sanctuaries on the continent, is opposed to the use of trained primates for entertainment. “While it may seem amusing on the surface, encouraging the use of primates at public events is harmful and dangerous to all involved, and very frowned upon by authorities,” says NAPSA in a letter to Yoga Hive Philly co-owners Durante and Heather Bonato.
“Though a promotional Philadelphia Inquirer article mentions that the monkeys will be contained “in crates” and not roaming freely, the very fact that they will be forced to attend this celebration is concerning. There is a reason why reputable sanctuaries never loan out their animals — because of the high risks of disease transfer and injury to both the animals and the humans. Primates can never be domesticated. Monkeys typically find public places frightening and stressful. Why would Yoga Hive Philly want to be associated with this?” says NAPSA in its letter.
NAPSA “respectfully” asked the studio owners to reconsider the inclusion of monkeys in their event but has not received any response from them yet. It has asked people on Twitter to remind Yoga Hive Philly it is harmful for the animals:
#YogaHivePhilly has not responded to our concerns about having a #monkey at their upcoming public event. This isn't ok! Help us remind them how harmful and completely unnecessary it is to have exotic animals at their party. Our letter is here: https://t.co/rHSkBgh4uH pic.twitter.com/9GqsBfnc66
— NAPSA (@napsaprimates) July 3, 2019