Human Life – Animal LifeYou have probably heard about a 400-pound silverback gorilla killed recently because a 4-year-old boy somehow got into the gorilla’s enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Hot Springs, Ark. – You have probably heard about a 400-pound silverback gorilla killed recently because a 4-year-old boy somehow got into the gorilla’s enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo.
The gorilla dragged the child around his enclosure for several minutes and could have very easily killed him. Why or how the child got in there is beside the point, but folks are freaking out because there is a dead gorilla. Never mind that a child is alive.
Don’t get me wrong here—any life that is lost is a tragedy, but human life always trumps animal life. We have got to get our priorities straight here.
Social media is going crazy with critics of the zoo’s decision to shoot the gorilla. “There had to be a more humane way to handle this.” That is the main gist of what folks are saying, and while that may be true, is it worth risking a child’s life?
As with any situation, it’s easy to sit back and criticize when you weren’t there or have never been in those shoes. Thanks to the Internet, that has been made even easier.
I believe Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard put it best when he referred to the critics as “Monday morning quarterbacks.”
This situation mirrors what is happening in animal agriculture today. A subset of consumers, who honestly believe they know what is best for the animal, demand producers raise animals a particular way—regardless of what science says. Consumers no longer trust the farmer, rancher or even veterinarian.
In a world where we see more and more folks wanting to see the animals they consume “humanely raised”—in quotes because I believe livestock and poultry are already humanely raised in this country—we’re seeing a trend that values animal life just as much as human life. That is a dangerous path.
It’s not a stretch to say that animal rights groups place animal lives at a higher priority than human lives. Once an easily brushed off fringe group, these folks are spending hefty amounts of money and gaining increasingly more political power. They are getting their way and doing it quickly. They are controlling the message that farmers should own.
Whether it be implementing Meatless Monday in school cafeterias or attempting to dictate how animals should be raised on the farm, more and more people are listening. State by state, legislation is being passed.
That is why it’s so important that we stand up and tell our agriculture stories. It is also extremely important that elected officials with farming backgrounds or some understanding of agriculture be the ones making decisions about the future of Agriculture.
For more information, contact the Garland County Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703, or email Jimmy Driggers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you be interested in joining an existing Extension Homemakers Club? How about forming a club in your community? EHC is the largest volunteer organization in the state. For more information about how you can be involved in EHC in Garland County, call 623-6841 or email me at email@example.com.
If you’re between the ages of 5 and 19, you can join 4-H! We have a club for you, or you and a group of friends can organize a club of your own. For more information on the 4-H program call the Extension office at 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Master Gardener Information
If you have an interest in gardening of any type, or would like to learn more in the horticulture field, the monthly Master Gardener meetings are open to the public and guests are always welcome. For information call the Extension office at 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email email@example.com.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.
By Jimmy Driggers
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jimmy Driggers
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
236 Woodbine Hot Springs AR 71901
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
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