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- Animal Rights & Welfare
Society eats 'Marius' the Giraffe Daily
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.