Monday, September 24, 2007

You Can Have My Celery When You Pry It From My Cold Dead Hands

Today's photo is of a serious vegetarian at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. Click to enlarge in a new window.


Adam Kochanowicz said...

What a terrible place the zoo is, that people come to see animals locked up in cages for our entertainment and amusement, then they visit the restaurant to actually eat the animals. It is unfortunate that more people cannot compare to the meekness of this gorilla.

Ryan McGinnis said...

There are fairly compelling arguments for zoos, IMO. They are, primarily, educational institutions; living in Nebraska, I would likely never have had an opportunity to see these incredible creatures -- at least not in this lifetime. Additionally, the Omaha Zoo is #2 in the country behind the San Diego zoo -- meaning that the animals that are housed there are cared for at a level that is likely not seen in many other places in the world.

Second, while I'm sure gorilla burgers would probably sell, I'm positive you can't buy one at the concession stand. :) In fact, the zoo is so concerned about their animals that they won't even give customers lids and straws, for fear that they'll somehow end up in the exhibits, choking the animals.

Lastly, it is a human tendency to anthropomorphize animals. Gorillas are not "meek"; they're gorillas. Their social system is foreign enough from ours that I doubt we can apply human social terms to them. Even if you were going to apply a term, I doubt "meek" would be it. There was actually a sign up at the zoo that said that the wounds on the gorillas were not to be worried about -- they give them to each other as they "interact". In other words, part of being a gorilla means beating the crap out of each other from time to time. We don't, however, call them "vicious psychopaths"... because we don't hold wild animals to human social standards.