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[personal profile] radiantsoul
The internet seems to be aflame with the dead Gorillas story. The story seems to be a 3-4 year old boy somehow slipped away from his mother and climbed into the Gorilla cage in the zoo. The Gorilla got close to the animal and the zookeepers shot it dead.

A heady mixture of:-
1. we love animals
2. bad mother!
So for many people an innocent animal has been killed and the mother is responsible.

Neither of these points really stack up in my mind.

Firstly we don't love animals. We treat them like shit and it is accepted, totally accepted. In fact it is regarded as pretty weird if you do care much about animals - beyond the odd pet. Had her son slipped off and bought a beefburger no-one would have condemned her, although this would surely have contributed to the death of a cow. I suppose you might argue a gorilla is more intelligent than a cow, but I have no way of being sure. Maybe the gorilla is rarer, which makes some sense to me. But to value an animal on how rarity is different to how we value people. It is exactly how we value objects, and it might be akin to smashing a beautiful work of art - tragic but hardly a violation of the objects rights. And it seems odd that rights depend on how rare you are anyway. Human rights are generally regarded as indivisible, animals have to share them around(perhaps with bonus rights for being more like humans).

Secondly the bad mother argument is based on the one minute she took her eye off the child. Perhaps not the other four years in which she might possible have done a very good job. There is not enough information to tell. The baseline assumption has to be that someone is at least an average mother though, I don't think that losing sight of a child for a couple of minutes is that bad. I have certainly done it.

Perhaps her big downfall was not to show some kind of remorse, presumably because she was more worried about her son. Had she been able to afford a PR firm they might have advised her to combine gratitude with sorrow. As it was all the selfish, neglectful bitch could feel was happy her son was alive.

I am sorry that the Gorilla had to die, and that the zoo failed to adequately carry out what ought to have been in primary duty to protect the safety of its visitors and staff. Also sad that gorillas have to live in zoos to be safe, although it is quite hard to condemn people from eating bushmeat whilst eating a chicken and bacon sandwich.

I guess I feel a bad for the mother and worse for the people who are signing petitions and dedicating facebook groups calling for her to be punished. At worst she made a mistake, if you are sitting down and hating someone for their mistakes then it does not say much about your charity or compassion. I guess these are the types of people who burned witches or jews - hating because they are told to hate and the rest of the crowd is doing it.
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