L.A. Times Op/Ed: Harambe the gorilla dies, meat-eaters grieve

Harambe the gorilla
Peter Singer and Karen Dawn

Last weekend at the Cincinnati Zoo, a child got curious and a gorilla got shot. The 4-year-old boy crawled past a barricade and fell into a moat surrounding the enclosure housing Harambe, whose 17th birthday had been celebrated the day before. In the 10 minutes the two spent together, Harambe showed no intention of harming the boy…

Zoo officials chose to shoot Harambe as the only way to guarantee the child’s safety.

Full Story: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-singer-dawn-harambe-death-zoo-20160605-snap-story.html

 

4 thoughts on “L.A. Times Op/Ed: Harambe the gorilla dies, meat-eaters grieve

  1. They had other options. They got trigger happy. They could have darted/tranquilizer with shooter cocked and ready in case. When shooting is an option, it tends to become priority solution.

  2. Poor Harambe, gunned down in his enclosure where he should have been safe. When you think about it, Harambe’s life was lived on the edge–he was only as safe as an uncontrolled child, a witless teenager, a drunk, or a psychotic didn’t plunge into his space. The careless mother, with too many kids to watch, and the clueless zoo, that didn’t seem to notice that a 3-foot fence might not keep people out, go on with their lives. The mother can declare she was glad God protected her son, and the zoo staff can say they had to shoot their gorilla to save the intrusive child. They can get on with their lives.

    Some have written that Harambe should not have been in the zoo, that he should have been in the wild. He was born in captivity and could not be released in his native land. As for those gorillas in their forest or mountain homes, they are on the edge too. Read Dian Fossey’s “Gorillas in the Mist” or Fawley Mowat’s biography of Fossey, “Woman in the Mist.” The books are full of the dangers facing the gorillas. Cattle are encroaching into their territory. Over 20,000 acres were taken for pyrethrum cultivation to make insecticides. Poachers were killing the gorillas to acquire gorilla heads and hands for the European market and killing whole gorilla families to obtain one baby for foreign zoos. Currently, rangers are still trying to protect the animals from some of the same dangers. Although Harambe was a lowland gorilla and Fossey studied the highland gorillas, both species suffer from the same life-threatening human presence.

    Other wild animals live as long as they can escape next hunter or avoid the snares and poisons set for “trash” animals that bother the welfare ranchers encroaching on their territory.

    Then there are the billions of animals whose lives are doomed from the moment of conception until they’re loaded on trucks for a horrific trip to the slaughterhouse.

    One thing they have in common–all these on-the-edge and doomed animals–is that they were born onto a planet where the master species views them as resources, to be gawked at in zoos, hunted for sport and trophies, turned into cheeseburgers. What about the pets, you ask? The lucky ones do have forever loving homes. The rest are safe until their “owners” find them a nuisance or until they move and pets are wanted anymore, or until the animal gets sick or hurt and threaten big medical bills. Then their lives are worthless too.

    When Harambe died and some people were horrified and expressed their outrage, the same group of trolls who showed up for Cecil and Marius came on lamenting over aborted babies and insisting that human lives are more important than animals, no matter what.

    Harambe and all the rest deserve a legacy. We can give them one by not forgetting them and by fighting the trolls and the speciesism that ended their lives.

  3. Nothing short of an abomination; also shocked at the fact that the mother won’t be charged! WTF I don’t care how many kids she has, if you’re going to have kids you need to be responsible for each and everyone — and everything they do or get into!

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