Friday, March 23, 2007

Knut the Cute

The adorable polar bear cub shown above, named Knut, was born at the Berlin Zoo in December 2006. His mother abandoned both him and his brother, and the brother died. The zoo intervened to save Knut and has been bottle-feeding him and raising him by hand.

Some asshole animal rights activist (I'm sorry, but is there really any other kind?) started spouting off about how Knut should be killed. This activist, Frank Albrecht (his resume was not attached to the article and no professional affiliation was mentioned, so I have no idea what qualifications he has--besides, perhaps, being smelly and unwashed?) said that the zoo should not interfere with nature, and that by raising the cub in a human environment, they were ill-preparing him for living in the wild. Well, gee, dumbass, how many zoo animals do you know actually go back into the wild? Use your head, numb-nuts!

Once the shit hit the fan, Albrecht backed down from his statement, saying that since Knut's been cared for by the zoo, it would be inhumane to kill him, but that if this were to happen again, they should allow the cub to die.

This guy should join PETA--they have about the same basic regard for animal life. Besides, it's heartening to me to know that there's still a human impulse somewhere, somehow to preserve life and care about it. That's rare enough these days. If it offends Frank Albrecht so much, maybe someone should refuse to care for him if he ever gets sick or abandoned.

Actually, he could come to America and live as a gay man. That should be about the equivalent.


Anonymous Ed said...

The Polar Bears are not native to Berlin so I'm assuming they were brought there against there will. There lives depend on humans now. WE owe it to them to give them every chance of a decent life. (what kind of life can they live in a Zoo?) I know people say they live longer in zoos than in the wild. Yet, I can't help thinking every effort should be made to leave them in the wild and not in a cage for our entertainment.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Fine, but since he's already been born and cared for by the staff, to suggest killing him is ludicrous--not to mention sadistic.

These people saw a little creature who was suffering and would die without their intervention. Their impulse was to save and care for it. Many natural purists take a hard line on the "let them be and let them die if nature demands it" school of thought, but I can't conceive of just standing by and watching suffering without at least doing something to help.

I don't understand that thinking. I don't know anybody who does. I don't want to know anybody like that.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Ed said...

I agree, the little guy was brought into this world under less than ideal conditions and we owe it to him to see he gets a fair chance. I see animal shows were the camera guy and narrator stand by and watch animals kill each other. They say we can't get involved. WTF! you already got involved when you invaded their home. Save the little Meerkat from the cobra you heartless bastards!

4:57 PM  
Blogger David said...

PETA does some good things. We need PETA, like we need Larry Kramer.

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Dave Awl said...

Hey Aaron, first of all, hello! Nice to find your blog -- it's been a while since our paths have crossed.

Second: you're right that this Albrecht guy is an arsehole, and his statements are appalling, but it's unfair to tar all animal rights activists with the broad brush of his aresholery. As a card-carrying member of the Humane Society of the United States, I can tell you that he does NOT speak for me or any of the animal activists I know. In fact, I've seen plenty of statements from other pro-animal activists disagreeing with him. Frankly, I think the only reason Albrecht is getting all this coverage is BECAUSE he makes animal activists look bad. Kind of like how mainstream media talk shows will always bring on the flakiest liberal they can find, to convince their viewers that liberals are all flaky moonbats. I personally wish Knut a long and happy life, and I agree with you that it would be inconceivable not to have saved him. Oh, and I loved your Kitty Condo story -- congratulations on your liberation!

6:53 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Wow, Dave, long time no see! How are you?

In general, I have lots of respect for animal rights activists. But the Humane Society lives up to its name: they care about humans too, and about our stewardship of each other as well as the planet. It seems like PETA, on the other hand, can be very "animal-centric," which is unfortunate, since they are part of the human race, and it would behoove them to try and get along with the rest of us. :-) Also, I've heard of them committing some atrocities against animals (in very isolated incidents) in order to "illustrate the wrongness of hurting animals" or something. Also, they will often stoop to what amounts to eco-terrorism, and that crosses a line. I don't have any objection to other animal-rights groups, really, although I've sometimes noticed an intractability in some individuals that causes me to avoid them. But that could be a symptom of fighting what they see as a very crucial battle where a tough attitude is justified. And they aren't all like that. I certainly don't mean to generalize.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out the blog! It's just a place where I ramble and rant with just enough familiarity that those who know me will recognize it, and just enough anonymity that employers (and potential employers) won't find it. ;-)

I'll have to check yours out, too. Are you still in Chicago?

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Dave Awl said...

Yes, I am still in Chicago, I've just been in a period of low visibility the last couple of years. Hopefully that will be changing soon! I agree with you that PETA's judgment isn't always the best; sometimes they do things that do the cause more harm than good. But I also think David's comment above is spot on; PETA is a lot like Larry Kramer. Every movement needs its "good cops" and its "bad cops"; by playing bad cop and taking a hard line, PETA/Kramer help make the good cops (HSUS and I don't know, Human Rights Campaign maybe) come across as moderate and reasonable -- harder to portray them as radicals when the bad cops have just made a big splash. Anyway, nice talking with you!

2:00 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

One of his friends says that Larry Kramer is not like that at all in real life...she says he's a "pussycat," and has a separate side that's very political. And I've re-read a lot of his writings, and found that I agree with him more often than not. I just felt like the TARGET of some of his anger a lot of the time, when in fact, on reflection (and more careful reading), I'm NOTHING like the empty-headed meth-using club-hoppers that are currently giving us a bad name.

Boy, was I relieved!

2:48 PM  
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7:53 AM  

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