Wednesday, March 21, 2007

where polar bears fear to tread

Berlin Zoo's baby polar bear must die: activists

This artcicle found on todays 9msn explains that: 'Berlin Zoo has rallied to the defence of Knut, a three-month-old polar bear cub, rejecting demands that the animal be allowed to die after being abandoned by its mother.'

An animal rights activist explains that "Hand-rearing a polar bear is not appropriate and is a serious violation of animal rights[...] In fact, the cub should have been killed," It seems that animals are being humanised through contact with people, and this is a bad thing.

The animal rights activist says the humanisation of animals is wrong. At worst the arguement draws on the notion that animals are part of nature, and we as humans are not. We can only interfere with nature. We overide the intristic programing of life to reload our own ways for animals to follow.

At best he suggests that the nature of polar bears & humans are vastly different with no common meeting ground. In his view animals 'animalise' - thats normal. Humans 'humanise' thats normal. Anything in between is not normal, its un-natrual.

For the most part the arguement fails. The dog lovers, cat keepers, bird in park feeders & zoo keepers tend to believe that animals & humans mix. So why not polar bears? Whats more important? the survival of an animal with a little bit of humaisation or its death? Is humanisation so bad? Not really - it just means the animal would have to wear a cute little ribbon in its fur.

Of course its a different story for a child reared by wolves or other forest critters. While a pet is tolerated, & sometimes loved, a wolf boy is the subject of contraversy & is quite often intolerable. I guess there is a little animal rights activist in us all, but only when we want to see it our own way.

Enter Gay Adoption

This entire situation has some parrallels for issues around gays rearing children, and in particular adoption. To explain, indulge this personal anecdote. I once met a woman who told me she was agianst gay marriage. She explained to me that she was ok with gay people, and she didnt mind gay marriage so much either... But the idea that they should be allowed to raise a child seemed wrong. For her gay marrige was a step in the direction toward gay child rearing so she couldnt really support it either.

So its ok to be raised by straight parents & turn out gay, but not the other way around. Why? what would a gay parent do so different? Well the answer is gay parents would 'homosexualise' the child. We would raise the child & socialise them in some other way than the prefered & natural 'human' way.Is this a sugestion that homos are not quite human? or just that the way that they raise children is not quite the same?

Well thats one perspective, held by zoo keepers. What about the perspective of animal rights activists? would they dig gay parents? I'd assume yes - provided the child was gay too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read about the polar bear too - my goodness - soooooo cute!
In relation to your comments re gay parenting, in Feb 2004, two male penguins were found to be homosexuals, they mated together, and were observed caring for an egg shaped rock as if it was indeed an egg. Eventually the zoo gave them an egg and they sucessfully hatched a female chick.

Such a cute story don't cha think?