To think that the response to animal killings is disproportionate to everything else going on in the world right now?

(91 Posts)
littlemisseatsherfeelings Wed 01-Jun-16 13:50:22

Straight off I feel obliged to lay a disclaimer down to say I agree that the killing of the gorilla was really very sad and a complete waste of already endangered life. I thought the same when the killing of Cecil the lion got a hyper response as well. I think animal lovers could think I was being heartless if I didn't acknowledge this, and it really is sad.

That said - I NEVER see this kind of reaction about some truly horrific things going on EVERY day around the world. To humans. Our own kind. Day after day after day people are losing their lives. It is brutal. The refugee crisis, the conflicts in Africa, South America, just so much bloody war. Yet so few seem willing to talk about it.

You don't see the same numbers on petitions (430,000 for the gorilla when I checked a short while ago), you don't see as many long impassioned status rants on Facebook. It's just very awkward to start a conversation about the devastation to humankind right now, whether it is online, in the pub or wherever. But an animal gets killed and ALL HELL breaks loose. Celebrities shouting about their horror. The main news headlines full of it.

I get it to an extent. It's escapism. No one wants to face the reality of babies being burned in a war they didn't choose to be born into. Torture in prisons, FGM. The list goes on. It's depressing.

After sharing some stories about the war in the Middle East last year, and my distress at what I was seeing, the response on Facebook was very very quiet. I got a few comments that it made people uncomfortable. So I stopped doing it. But I read about the goings on in our world every day, my heart aches for what I am seeing and yet I feel like I have no one to talk to about this stuff. Like there's a stigma for wanting to enter into a discussion about it.

So back to my question, is it just me who thinks the reaction to animal stories is always disproportionate? Why can't we feel passion for other humans the way we do to one single animal we have never met or engaged with?

OohMavis Wed 01-Jun-16 13:53:52

Well, you've answered your own question.

I get it to an extent. It's escapism.

That really is it. It's like having your house literally fall down around you while you scrub a stain on the carpet.

claraschu Wed 01-Jun-16 14:03:16

People make a big fuss about an individual and ignore a genocide.

The body of one little boy dead on a beach had more of an impact on people's consciousness than the thousands who have died fleeing Syria. Madeleine McCann is remembered more than the hundreds of girls kidnapped by terrorists. One gorilla's death is noticed when millions and millions of animals die every day, and hundreds of species go extinct each week:

"According to the UN Environment Programme, the Earth is in the midst of a mass extinction of life. Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” or “background” rate and, say many biologists, is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65m years ago.

Read more on guardian.co.uk

Individuals pull on people's heart strings.

Kitsa Wed 01-Jun-16 14:30:33

I agree. And am also unimpressed by 'animal lovers' breaking their hearts over this who happily eat animals that happen to be less cute/rare/visually striking.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Wed 01-Jun-16 14:35:38

I agree and just had a similar conversation with a friend.

yaaasqueen Wed 01-Jun-16 14:36:36

I was very very sad about Harambe but I really do agree with you. I have a Facebook friend who is posting about being curled up sobbing over this, weeping, can't eat or sleep and constantly shaking with anger.

Another very good friend who is speaking with such vitriol - I've never heard her speak like that. However she once commented that a boat of people capsizing in the Mediterranean is ok because they knew the risks, and how bad could it be where they were from anyway ?

I think it's because we innately lack the human ability to relate and empathise with our "equal beings". An animal is cute/special/dependent on us.

formerbabe Wed 01-Jun-16 14:42:19

I am very unsentimental about animals. I couldn't/wouldn't hurt one....nor would seeing one harmed bring me any kind of enjoyment of any sort. But, I wouldn't donate to an animal charity or spend any time worrying or getting upset about such things, certainly not when there's children starving/suffering/dying in the world.

HummyMummy72 Wed 01-Jun-16 14:53:06

Not much to add, but completely agree with you OP. It makes me sad as well.

Former - I feel the same way RE charities..one of my mums relatives is filthy rich wealthy and has already announced all her money will be left to her pet cats. It really sickens me.

EponasWildDaughter Wed 01-Jun-16 14:54:57

YANBU OP

I think sometimes the innocence and powerlessness of animals strikes a chord with the helpless and powerless feeling that most people have about the atrocities that on in the world today. Their state is a mirror or our own.

Or something.

(I know what i mean grin)

AnchorDownDeepBreath Wed 01-Jun-16 14:58:19

Like you said, it's escapism.

It's also that animals are largely innocent and it's the actions of humans that cause the bad things that happen to them. That's a much lighter topic, an easier fight, than accepting that some humans cause the bad things that happen to other humans. There's a discomfort in that, a powerlessness. Most people don't want to face that, especially not on social media.

littlemisseatsherfeelings Wed 01-Jun-16 15:35:29

Anchor that is something I never thought of, that people feel less emotional about humans attacking humans because they can see 'someone' is at fault, whereas the animals are innocent in their eyes.

There are no innocent humans are there angry

I also refuse to give to animal charities. I cannot bring myself to justify that when there are fellow humans without food to eat, somewhere to sleep, or some sort of health charity I can contribute to instead. I'm not sorry about it either.

littlemisseatsherfeelings Wed 01-Jun-16 15:37:59

I've just seen that 'Anonymous' have got involved now, targeting the parents FFS.

Urrrrgggghhh. I think it's time to delete the internet sad

BigbyWolf Wed 01-Jun-16 15:40:32

Totally agree OP. Some people are bloody weird about animals.

DontDead0penlnside Wed 01-Jun-16 16:22:59

Your original question was [AIBU] "To think that the response to animal killings is disproportionate to everything else going on in the world right now? "

Why are the mutually exclusive? I think this falls under the category of the "Fallacy of relative privation ("not as bad as") – dismissing an argument or complaint due to the existence of more important problems in the world, regardless of whether those problems bear relevance to the initial argument."

We can be sad about the gorilla; but that doesn't have any effect on other events happening in the world. It doesn't mean we care less about Syrian Refugees or Global Warming or the European referendum, for example. One does not negate the other.

ExitPursuedByBear Wed 01-Jun-16 16:28:37

I don't have a finite reserve of empathy.

Caring about one thing does not stop me caring about another.

BUT - by and large I prefer animals to people.

Lottapianos Wed 01-Jun-16 16:32:39

'I am very unsentimental about animals'

Same here. Not an animal lover at all. Its very unfortunate that the gorilla was killed but they absolutely had to do it. There's fierce debate raging about who was to blame - zoo v parents - and pitchforks are out in force. Either way, I think the zoo staff made absolutely the right choice.

I don't understand anyone actually crying tears over the death of an animal (apart from a pet) but then some people don't understand tears over the death of celebrities, and I cried for 3 days after David Bowie died smile

It's only my experience, but the devout animal lovers that I know are not terribly keen on humans, and can be somewhat, er, challenging company

Twinkie1 Wed 01-Jun-16 16:34:09

I didn't make a fuss about the bloody gorilla. He was in all likelihood going to kill a little boy.

I'd not blink twice about pulling the trigger on any animal which was attacking a human.

Just can't understand all the bloody fuss.

Mummyme1987 Wed 01-Jun-16 16:35:08

People seem to care more about animals than other humans a lot of the time.

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 01-Jun-16 16:37:39

People are becoming emotionally deadened to the migrant crisis. This is starkly clear when you compare the reaction to the photogprahs of Aylan Kurdi to the photographs this week of the baby who drowned along with 700 other people.

FoxyLoxy123 Wed 01-Jun-16 16:39:13

I think people get very used to some of the most awful things because they seem so recurrent. It feels like every time I load BBC News another boat has sunk with people in the middle of the ocean, or a bomb has gone off somewhere else. When these things happen further form home I think people find it easier to detach, too. That doesn't stop it being awful.

Animal stories are quite poignant I think as a lot of people humanise animals. The media has been saying how the gorilla was being gentle and then got scared by the crowd which was when he began to drag the child etc. There are lots of people (like myself) who don't agree with zoos anyway, and so there is pushing coming from that angle too. The likes of Seaworld saying they will stop breeding killer whales hasn't just happened, people have been lobbying for years. I personally heard much less about the lion than I did the gorilla, I think that's just ticked the boxes of 1) zoos and their existence 2) responsible parenting 3) animal lovers generally.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Wed 01-Jun-16 16:40:57

Possibly because humans aren't endangered at the moment. But thanks to human action plenty of animal species ARE in danger of extinction.

WiddlinDiddlin Wed 01-Jun-16 16:43:26

Its easier to focus on the individual to identify with them (whether thats a dead toddler on a beach or a dead gorilla in a zoo) ...

Its incredibly difficult to comprehend mass killings, in some cases the sheer numbers are mind boggling, very often those people are all complete unknowns as well.

We all felt much more for the victims of 911 because they were (well many of them were) indentifiable as individuals, we heard their stories, saw photos of them, heard their relatives talk..

When its a bigger disaster in a third world country we don't 'know' these people, its much harder to indentify and connect.

Im not sure people genuinely DO care more about animals than people - thats certainly not reflected in how we actually TREAT animals - people may be more vocal about animal issues, but this doesn't translate into them actually DOING anything.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 01-Jun-16 16:47:19

For me, it's all about humans terrible actions.

They kill, they maim, thay cause horrific injuries on each other through torture and mutilation. Often in the name of war but mainly in pursuit of pleasure.

Humans also do it to animals. Not the other way round.

I do reserve sympathy for the animals. They would be far better off without humans on their planet.

Lumpylumperson Wed 01-Jun-16 16:47:44

YANBU.

I have a colleague that insists that animals are equal to humans and doesn't understand why the little boy's life is of greater value than the gorillas.

It's astonishing that she genuinely believes that the child being killed would be no more tragic than the gorilla dying.

I love animals but I very much agree with you OP. I also don't give to animal charities as j feel that meeting human needs is the first priority. When there no more starving humans etc then let's help the animals IMO.

Sallyingforth Wed 01-Jun-16 16:52:44

I wouldn't put my hand up as being an animal lover. I'm a meat eater, and have never had a pet. But the human population is growing out of control while animal species are steadily being eradicated.

We have a responsibility to preserve other species, and when I become world dictator I will ban any wild animal from being killed to 'save' a human.

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