People for the Extortion, Torture and Abuse of human beings (PETA) named the Indonesian crested black macaque monkey Naruto as their Person of the Year.
The monkey became famous resulting from a copyright dispute over selfies the animal took in 2011 using equipment set up by British nature photographer David Slater in the jungles of the island of Sulawesi. In an attempt to win court approval recognizing animals as sentient beings, PETA filed a lawsuit in federal court four years after the photos were taken stating that Naruto should be declared the owner of the photographs he took.
Despite the group losing the copyrights lawsuit, PETA was able to cajole the photographer into settling out of court and agreeing to donate 25 percent of the proceeds of royalties of his sales of photos of Naruto to charities geared to protecting macaque monkeys.
The whole purpose of the action by PETA was to gain some sort of legal, moral or monetary victory in order to gain recognition for their cause. They achieved none of it and PETA once again reminded people not only how evil they are with the flimsly logic behind the lawsuit knowing full well they would lose but also to make an example of David Slater.
PETA destroyed David Slater’s life, in which he was quoted by the UK Telegraph that he would be giving up his career in photography and pursue being a tennis trainer or dog-walker. Slater sought to utilize his project as a means to highlight the plight of the endangered crested black macaque. But PETA wouldn’t have it since they succeeded in destroying the life of a man pursuing a cause in a career just because he intruded in crested black macaque monkey territory.