This msn headline depicting “grief and outrage” is already behind the times. I’ve seen pushback on social media in the other direction. Naturally, abortion is painted into the commentary.
I think that affection for animals is based in virtue. Many human beings have a sense of stewardship for other living things. With the environment, there’s a sense of our power in comparison with the vulnerability of life. Maybe a psychological analysis would suggest some animal lovers project a personal experience of vulnerability into their affection for cats, dogs, gorillas, etc..
I suspect that the current cultural indulgence for punditry feeds both sides of the kill or shouldn’t’ve killed debate. A lot more folks are no longer willing to accept the decisions of People in Charge. Parents are vilified for not paying attention. Zoo officials blasted for taking ten minutes to take a shot. Or not tranquilizing. Gorilla sympathizers critiqued for ignoring today’s abortions. Of course, punishment is prescribed for just about everyone. Not wishing to take further punishment, I’ve decided to stop reading about the story.
The deceased creature was the son of an immigrant, I think, but natural-born in this country. I don’t know that this makes a difference, but I’ve also been reading links for anti-immigrant sentiment all over my facebook feed. The impulse to protect those weaker than ourselves doesn’t extend quite into our own species, it seems. Or maybe we’re more afraid of some theoretical terrorist than a wild animal not quite in the wild.