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Society eats 'Marius' the Giraffe Daily

Updated on February 16, 2014

Marius - this adorable creature with harmless eyes has caused much public outrage everywhere. More than 27,000 signatures ended up on a petition in order to save him just prior to his death. The mistreatment. The cruelty. To imagine that a healthy young giraffe had to be put to death in a Copenhagen zoo and then be fed to hungry lions is outrages to many –. But hold on! Aren’t some of those people who are outraged also condoning the death of many other Mariuses around the world? They don't seem to mind when they are scoffing down their burgers or juicy bacon strips. What’s with the outcry? When this particular animal had lived a far more decent life than most of the agricultural animals? It might sound harsh, but this is the truth.

Have you heard of the term “speciesism” it was first discovered in the 1970s in order to define discrimination against nonhuman animals, and it even goes further to specify the favouring of some species above others. Why are we discriminating? Is a Giraffe superior to a cow? That’s like saying it is okay to murder people who are from India or Iraq, but we are outraged when it happens to Caucasian Americans. Why don’t we feel appalled at what that chicken had to go through in order to land on our dinner plates and satisfy our stomachs?

All nonhuman animals equally have emotional lives. Just like us they feel pleasure, pain, fear and joy. So why are we devaluing their lives simply because they don’t share some features to other animals?

To the majority of omnivores reading this, please don’t get me wrong I don’t hate you. If that was the case I would have to hate my parents, sisters, dearest friends, 90% of society and perhaps stay single forever. I’m just trying to raise a point about the speciesism that is taking place, while cruel agricultural practices are on the rise.

Many times we are blameless because society creates much of who we are. Slavery and feeding humans to lions for sports was deemed fine not long ago. We have come quite far, and I’m optimistic that humanity is developing and improving daily.

To conclude, I have personally held off from discussing these sorts of topics for quite a while now. I’m anti fundamentalism of any sort or telling people how to live their lives. I have always been irritated by my more extreme vegan friends and their speeches on morality. But the story of Marius really hit a cord that I felt compelled to write down my thoughts as they all came together. I now realise that fundamentalism in order to protect innocent beings is not only honourable, but our duty for a better world where the dominant stop preying on the helpless.

Do you believe that we have a right to kill and eat animals

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    • Ranzi profile image

      Cut The Bullshit 4 years ago from All Over

      Hi Susan, I felt the same about this adorable Giraffe. To top it off I'm against Zoos keeping these magnificent creatures behind bars, and to think that he was murdered so normally and publicly. Yet when I was watching the outrage it just seemed so contradictory to people's way of life. I also understand that some meat eaters don't mean to be ignorant. We vegetarians and vegans were also blind and conditioned once to think it's normal to murder, torture and kill farm animals. But what I see is a cruel selfish society that doesn't want to know. They look at their own cat and dog and their heart melts, yet they give no thoughts to the suffering they eat daily. I guess just as slavery was a social norm and people followed it, this is what is a social norm now. The only problem for animals and why it's taking so long to liberate them from cruelty and slavery is because they have no voice. I do have a good feeling that veganism is the future, perhaps in a few hundred years. Thanks for stopping by and your comment. I will be sure to sign your petition.

      Mklow1! Long time.. Hey yes I'm back - I disappear for ages and every time something happens that I need to vent about I seem to find my way back to hubpages. First it's atheists and now meat eaters haha... I have heard about these ethics classes recently and apparently many people turn vegetarian or vegan in those classes. Is it true?

      Yes you're so right we live in a superficial society were even animals are discriminated against for beauty. They are even put down for their specie. (almost like racism) I personally don't believe that we have the right to do what ever we want with animals, and they were put here to be their protectors. (and I don't by into all that we need meat to survive BS) perhaps some people may need it depending on climate and genetics) however people are over consuming it and raping the hell out of the meat industry) I mean look around you at all the cancers and diseases around all because of animals products. And if there is a God and he/she is watching trust me hell is waiting for the animal torturers.

      Animals may lack our 'so called intelligence' but can they not feel? Do they not have blood? A beating heart? Veins? Hearing? Eye sight? A brain? They are made up in the same way we are, and perhaps even more sentient. Does that mean that if people are born disabled mentally we have the right to abuse them and treat them as though they don't feel? I do highly recommend that you watch the film 'Earthlings'

      Thanks for your comments as always :)

    • profile image

      Mklow1 4 years ago

      I agree that this is a sad story and killing this giraffe for lion food seems a bit illogical, but I couldn't help but think about my days in Ethics class when the teacher would present a similar case and then ask about the rats that are fed to pythons every day or cockroaches that are stepped on:

      Is there life not as valuable? And if so, then why is there not as much outrage at the same act?

      Is it because the giraffe is so darn cute and rats and roaches are so darn creepy or maybe because they are small?

      To change things up and apply this to a larger animal, would there be the same outrage if this were a warthog or a baboon?

      Sorry for playing devil's advocate, but I just can't help myself sometimes.

      By the way; it is great to have you back, Ranzi!

    • profile image

      Susan F. 4 years ago

      My petition protests the killing of Marius the giraffe and calls for the European zoos to change their laws so that they find other zoos or sanctuaries for healthy animals whom they can no longer take care of. Thank you or standing up for animals.

    • profile image

      Susan F. 4 years ago I have been a vegetarian for over 30 years and a vegan for around 6 years. I deplore any animal cruelty and am totally opposed to factory farming. I am always saddened and sickened by the treatment of farm animals. I was particularly outraged and heartbroken by the case of Marius the giraffe. I don't think that one type of animal should be held above another. I just know that the mission of zoos in the US is supposed to be to educate people to love animals and to do breeding of endangered animals to help their species make a recovery. While I am not a supporter of zoos, I was shocked that a zoo would so brazenly slaughter one of the animals that they had pledged to lovingly care for. European zoos do not have laws to protect the animals in zoos from this kind of culling. Additionally, giraffes are endangered and often the victim of poachers in Africa. To think that a zoo of all places would slaughter a healthy young giraffe is beyond my comprehension. Additionally, unfortunately many people ARE meat eaters and they don't empathize with farm animals in the way that they would a captive zoo animal of an endangered species. While I find that very sad, it is a stepping stone getting people to care about a captive giraffe being slaughtered publicly in front of children. Please sign my petition above if you agree with the message. Thank you for standing up for innocent animals who have no voice.

    • Ranzi profile image

      Cut The Bullshit 4 years ago from All Over

      Hi Jaye... I totally agree, the Marius situation was very brutal. He was a beautiful creature and the way he was killed was unnecessary. I can totally understand outrage from Vegan/vegetarian people, yet it just seemed incongruent when my Facebook wall was flooded with outrage from people who I knew consumed meat on a daily basis. What's with the uproar when their dinner suffered way more. (but on the other hand I'm also glad that they got angry, as it shows that we are advancing as a society and there's hope) My initial reaction to Marius was no different to when I see/hear about the brutality of farmed animals. But to be quite frank, watching a pig being caged for one whole year, in such confinement where they can't even turn around causes me more pain than what Marius went through. Thanks for your insightful input.

      Hey Frogy! Yes it was a travesty, when you think that the future generation is being taught such savagery. Thanks for your support as always :)

      Lauraanimal, excellent point about no one can condemn a person fighting for abused children, and yes people who fight for the welfare of helpless animals should not be condemned. The only problem is when they start hating on non-vegans in an extreme way. I had one friend who didn’t even want to associate with them. These people cease to forget that once upon a time they were also ignorantly consuming meat and supporting the brutality of the factory farming industry. Just because they woke up one day and became enlightened doesn't give them the right feel superior. But they rather need to educate and guide which I've been doing with my family daily since I was 12 years old (they consume meat now once a month) which is quite an achievement. And you are so right when you said that people have to connect those dots themselves and when they do they will go vegan. Thanks for your comment and sharing your wisdom.

      Frank, long time dear hubber! I've been away. Only got the inspiration to write this last night 12am and finally logged into hub pages after a three months break. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      this article really got to me, I hate the mistreatment of all animals.. and this giraffe ..such a soft gentle giant hit me hard too.. a great liitle awakening hub ranzi thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      Lauranimal 4 years ago

      Exactly, except I don't like vegan "preachers" being condemned, since I am one. No one would accuse someone saddened over and speaking/working against child/elder abuse of being preachy. There are a few over-the-top vicious vegans who spew hate at all others not yet on the right path... I know of one in particular. And he is to be ignored and disassociated with since he is unreachable, will not change, is a detriment to the cause but thankfully a very tiny minority. But simply speaking about morality and pleading for the animals, as even you did in this article, should not be condemned. I too have loved ones who continue to eat animal products, and I have faults too, different ones.

      But Marius's killing and the outrage over it is indeed quite revealing. People have got to connect those dots, and when they do, they go vegan, saving about 900 lives each (preventing their being bred by no demand for them) per year in doing so (that's counting the male calves and chicks, etc., killed by the dairy and egg industries as well).

      We're all Marius...sensitive and innocent at our core, and our lives are precious. A vegan diet is perfect for that.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

      One of the other travesties of this story is that parents took their children to witness the fate of the giraffe. Nice write up.

      The Frog

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I don't eat meat and deplore the conditions under which factory-farmed "meat" animals and laying hens live their too-short lives. I've read about many scientific studies during the past decade proving animal intelligence and emotions. Many species that were thought for hundreds of years to exist only by instinct are actually intelligent problem-solvers. Did you know that pigs routinely beat primates playing video games in controlled experiments? I avoid walking past the refrigerated cases in the supermarket and seeing packages of bacon because the sight is painful to me.

      That said, the Marius case did strike a chord of emotion in me because (1) the giraffe is such a beautiful, graceful looking animal (that may be as unfair as liking the attractive person over the dorky nerd, but I'm human); and (2) the public manner in which the giraffe was killed, dismembered and fed to the lions (said by zoo officials to be "educational") seemed incredibly barbaric. I'm not naive enough to think that animals aren't euthanized as a "culling" procedure in zoos around the world, but this situation was appalling from beginning to end--starting with using Marius's favorite food to keep him still and shooting him with a bolt gun to cutting him into pieces and tossing those parts to lions in front of a crowd containing children (makes me wonder about Danish sensibilities). It was disgusting, but then, so is factory farming.

      Unfortunately, I can't do anything about either situation other than refuse to eat meat and not visit zoos. Most people who eat meat do not like to hear comments from vegetarians or vegans about animal cruelty, and the majority of people eat meat. The numbers of people who live on a plant-based diet continue to grow, but I don't think the majority will ever change.