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Kick the habit with the Great American Smokeout

The third Thursday in November marks the Great American Smokeout , a day set aside by the American Cancer Society to encourage smokers to stub out their last cigarettes.  Let’s assume the day applies to monkeys as well as humans.



If you thought smoking simians were an invention of internet videos and The Hangover movie franchise, think again. This frontispiece of a pipe-puffing monkey adorns Johann Matthäus Bechstein’s Naturgeschichte; oder, Anleitung zur Kenntniss und Wartung der Säugethiere, Amphibien, Fische, Insecten und Würmer, welche in der Stube halten kann from 1797. It seems an odd choice for a work dedicated to the care and behavior of domesticated animals. Stranger still, Bechstein, an eighteenth century German naturalist, was considered an early wildlife conservationist. He was a big proponent of the bat as well as an expert on cage birds. The Smithsonian Libraries holds more than a dozen books by Bechstein.

If you're an aspiring quitter, we hope you take this opportunity to kick your tobacco habit, whatever kind of primate you may be.

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