Marius the Giraffe: Another Victim of Radical Ideology

By | February 24, 2014 | 0 Comments


Copenhagen Zoo kills healthy giraffe because he had “unsuitable DNA” and was “surplus to our needs.” Visitors including children watch as he is shot with bolt gun and fed to lions. The lions enjoy their meal. The long-term effect on the audience, especially the children, remains to be determined.

President Obama orders that cars and light trucks get 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. But lighter cars are more dangerous in a crash. Whether he is unaware of this fact, or simply does not care, remains to be determined.

Judge orders severe reduction of water to California’s Central Valley farms, in order to protect delta smelt, a two-inch fish. President Obama visits but offers no solution.

Four firefighters, including two young women, die in forest fire while officials hesitate to allow water-dropping aircraft to draw water from lake, for fear of disturbing endangered fish.

Some of us live in the real world, or at least try to. We recognize that human history is filled with wars, persecutions, and mass murders. We understand that we must face problems in order to deal with them. We see ourselves as realists and pragmatists, though we are called conservatives. Our ideal is individual freedom, based on our belief that each individual is created in God’s image.
But others live in a fantasy world, or at least try to. They see human history as a struggle to impose enlightened, leftist programs on ignorant, benighted people too stupid to know what is good for them. They see themselves as liberals, progressives, or environmentalists, but we see them as enablers of totalitarianism and enemies of freedom. Their ideals are “social justice,” “environmental justice,” and “fairness,” based on (surprise!) what they, the “elite,” decide. They want to remake society and individuals in their own image.
Is this judgment too harsh? Consider the news items at the beginning of this column. Consider the common threads that run through them:


● Marius the giraffe was killed by the Copenhagen Zoo. He wasn’t ill – he was a healthy two-year-old. He wasn’t dangerous – he was popular, especially with children. But he didn’t meet the zoo director’s notion of the ideal giraffe. His DNA was similar to that of other giraffes in the zoo. No, he wasn’t their litter mate – giraffes have only one young at a time; twins are rare. But his DNA wasn’t “diverse” enough to suit the zoo director. As a remedy, Marius could have been moved to another zoo or animal park, which in fact offered to take him.
Alternatively, Marius could have been neutered. But this wouldn’t suit the zoo director’s idea of a “normal” giraffe. Or Marius could have been sold to an American millionaire, who offered to take him. But living alone also didn’t fulfill the director’s idea of “normality.”
The zoo director believed he had the right to kill animals that didn’t fulfill his notion of suitability. This is identical to the Nazi attitude toward human beings. One might think that five years of Nazi occupation during World War II would have made Danes allergic to Nazi-like ideas. One would be wrong. Some people learn to hate totalitarianism. Other people learn to emulate it. What we learn from experience depends more on us than on the experience.
The zoo director saw the giraffe as his property, to do with as he pleased. He had not been taught to see it as God’s giraffe, and himself as its caretaker, responsible to the Owner for how he did his job. He narcissistically assumed that he and not the giraffe was the star of the show. He egocentrically assumed that how he felt was more important than how the giraffe felt, and more important than any rules of ethical behavior.
Once we accept the notion that we are empowered to make life-and-death decisions based on our own whims rather than on ethical principles derived from the Judeo-Christian tradition, it’s all over.
● Exaggerated fears of global warming cause liberals to enforce unreasonable fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks. They believe themselves entitled to enforce whatever furthers their goals. But results from actual highway crashes confirm that people in smaller, lighter vehicles are more likely to be killed or injured. No matter – these people believe that theoretically “saving the planet” is more important than actually saving human lives.
● Exaggerated fears of extinction of a two-inch fish cause liberals to severely restrict water to the rich agricultural Central Valley of California. Does this result in tens of thousands of farm workers – mainly Latinos – being laid off? Does reduced food production threaten to raise food prices, thus harming the poor and minorities? No matter – in the liberal mind, saving a tiny fish trumps all other considerations.
Even worse, the fish may not be a species, but only a subspecies. Recall that the northern spotted owl, for whose benefit the logging industry in the Northwest was severely restricted, may be merely a subspecies of spotted owl. In fact, the delta smelt may not even be a native fish. Years ago they were hybridized with Japanese wakasagi in an attempt to strengthen them. The law is the Endangered Species Act, not the Endangered Species, Subspecies, and Every Imaginable Variety Act.
● Exaggerated fears of extinction of other fish caused authorities to refuse to allow water-dropping aircraft to draw water from a lake. As a result, four firefighters – two of them young women – burned to death in a forest fire. We didn’t lift a finger to save firefighters, but we expect them to risk their lives to save us. On 9/11, 343 FDNY firefighters lost their lives doing exactly that. To value fish above firefighters is to spit on their memory.
But no matter – to prevent the theoretical loss of a few endangered fish, bureaucrats stood by idly while four human beings actually burned to death. It goes without saying that none of those responsible was fired, much less imprisoned. Death resulting from “depraved indifference to human life” is second-degree murder. At least it would be in other circumstances. But if the chief concern is to save fish, then it’s just a regrettable necessity.
The leftist priority ranking goes like this: Theoretical considerations trump animal life, and animal life trumps human life. When in doubt, just recall what the Bible teaches – and do the opposite. Your chances of being politically correct will be excellent.
Conservatives tend to believe that paradise is something we strive as individuals to deserve in the next world. Liberals tend to believe that paradise is something we strive as a group to produce in this world – and that all other considerations must be subordinated to this overriding goal.
An earthly paradise sounds nice in the abstract. But humans and animals do not live in the abstract. We live in the here and now. If we do not want to end up like Marius the giraffe, we had better turn off the TV sitcom, put down the bag of snacks, get up off the couch, and become politically active. Otherwise, some remote, faceless bureaucrat may decide that our DNA is unsuitable, and that we are surplus to his needs.


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