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Who were the lions eating yesterday?

Who were the lions eating yesterday?

Posted 14 February 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 7 Comments

Tags: zoos, giraffes, exotic animals, Melanie Joy, carnism

Maybe you've already heard… A few days ago, a healthy 2-year-old giraffe at Copenhagen Zoo, named Marius, was killed. The zoo decided they didn't have space for him. So he was shot in the head and his body was fed to the lions - in front of a crowd of spectators.

Marius's death has shocked people all around the world and has raised some big questions: Is the real reason Marius was killed that he was no longer cute enough to attract visitors to the zoo? Do zoos really have a role to play in conservation or do they just profit from confined animals? (There are some thought provoking answers to these questions here and here.)

But the question that jumped out at me when I heard about Marius's death was this: Who were the lions eating yesterday?

It's always tragic to see a young healthy animal, like Marius, killed. He deserved to live a full happy life, just as we all do. But like Marius, the pigschickens or cows who were fed to the lions yesterday would have also been young and healthy. They may not have been as exotic, and they probably didn't have a name, but does that make them any less deserving of our concern?

With people the world over understandably saddened and outraged by what happened to Marius, I hope this is an opportunity for us to reconsider how we view all animals - to recognise that they all have the ability to feel joy and seek pleasure, just as they all have the ability to suffer.

So why, as a society, do we seem to care more about the well-being of some animals than others? I don't know anyone who can answer that question better than Melanie Joy. If you haven't seen her presentation 'Carnism: The Psychology of Eating Meat' it's certainly worth a watch:

I would love to hear your thoughts about Marius's death and Melanie Joy's talk in the comments below :)

« ACT says NO cages and NO crates. Ever!     We're going to Soundwave! »

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Veggie Veronica Veggie Veronica 14 February 2014
Marius was killed because he was considered 'surplus'. The breedind program didn't need him anymore.
But many zoos offered to take him! And school children watched him being dissected.
Please sign this petition to shut down Copenhagen and another zoo:
Another giraffe, ironically called Marius is also going to be killed in Denmark as well:
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Kelsey1 MsDrago Kelsey1 MsDrago 17 February 2014
Signed multiple petitions regarding this.
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creo que todos los seres que c creo que todos los seres que c 22 February 2014
si llego a esta parte del mundo tal barbaridad y los medios informaron que se descuartizo el animal frente a nios para que aprendiesen sobre la anatoma del animal a mi ver una barbaridad cometida por personas que las dan de intelectuales   carentes de todo sentimiento sin palabras -
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moo moo 26 February 2014
I wholeheartedly agree this is wrong. And I can understand that the animal was not healthy (although this blame could easily be put onto the zoo as well for not taking extra precautions like birth control).
I do not however, agree with the fact that zoos are not for conservation. This statement is set very widely and does not go further into it. As a zookeeper in the carnivores section as well as a vegan, people can never work out how I am able to do it. The animals I work with play such a major role in conservation; Education!! They are not cages, they do not perform and I spend hours every single day creating enrichment for them. I agree, all animals should be in the wild, but this comes with an exception. I have asked many people, "If you heard about some animal in some far away land that was in trouble due to habitat loss, would you REALLY care?" Of course I would, but to someone who isn't driven by this everyday then the answer most of the time is hesitant. How would they even know they were under threat? Wildlife Parks and Zoos show people the true beauty of animals. The problem is that they have gone too far. As you mention, what is the difference between the pigs, goats and such that get fed to them on any other basis?

I work between Australia and South Africa. I like how things are run so much more over there. Local farmers who own horses, donkeys or other game as pets contact us if the animal is unwell and needs to be put to sleep. Rather than the painful process of the 'green dream', we are called to end it quickly, and the body does not go to waste. These animals need to eat, and we will never breed more than we can feed. I think the main thing we all (worldwide) need to focus on, is HOW these animals are killed and under what conditions they have lived their lives previously. At my Wildlife Park in Australia, we are very open to the public. We get local farmers bring in rabbits, foxes and yes, we breed goats and give them the very best quality of life and have the right flow to give them a lengthy life.
As I have mentioned, I am a vegan. I do not consume any product from an animal as we do not need to. But lions and other carnivores do. It needs to be done the right way and for the right reasons
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It was show in Russian News as well. I was horrified.
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Fadeaway Fae Fadeaway Fae 22 March 2014
What a hideous thing to do. Human beings really need to be held accountable for these types of actions. I would suggest not ever going there, ever. Hit them where it hurts, in their pockets.
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karthik1 karthik1 1 April 2014
i heared this in Indian news channel and really worried about it.
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