Gorilla Commentary

gorillasThis 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.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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4 Responses to Gorilla Commentary

  1. Liam says:

    The residue of Calvinism was transformed in the 19th century into a free radical in the American civic religion. It shows up in the form of dogmatisms that have a religious energy to them but are re-directed to create shibboleths (that divide us, openly or impliedly, into Elect or Non-Elect) about non-religious objects. Food, public policy, breast-feeding, child-rearing, pets, the environment, et cet.

  2. Melody says:

    I’m an animal lover. I’m sorry that the gorilla is dead. But I’m not sorry the child is okay. If the gorilla had to be killed to save the child, then I don’t think there was any other choice. What I have noticed lately is that people feel way more merciful to animals than they do to their own species, if comment sections on news stories are any indication.

    • Liam says:

      Well, they tend to be compassionate to *cute* homo sapiens. If you’re not cute or adorable in some way, you’re toast.

  3. charlesincenca says:

    When inevitability, inertia and ignorance collide as they do, a certain immobilization takes me over as I do my best Peggy Lee, lamenting “Is that all there is?”

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