Monday, May 15, 2006

This could be compelling TV...

This is one of those stories that deserves comment, but achieving just the right comment escapes me:

Bears Eat Monkey in Front of Zoo Visitors

Now: I feel sorry for the monkey; and for the "horrified" zoo visitors. But I have to confess, something about this strikes me as kind of funny! Because I can't help wondering if some folks aren't shocked when they discover animals are, after all, well...animals. I have a suspicion, which I'll never be able to prove, that some of those horrified witnesses had the unexpressed thought, "but--but--they're so...cute and cuddly! Yeah . . .

After all, why is this more shocking than what cats do to birds and mice, birds do to grasshoppers, lions to antelopes, every day?

There are a lot of folks who live in a fantasy world: they are safely ensconced in the cocoon of peaceful, safe civilization, they never see an animal slaughtered, they never directly witness the ugliness of nature, and so their happy idealization of animals is never endangered. Meanwhile, the horrors that are visited on human beings never disturb their reverie.

16 comments:

glorybe said...

This is so true! I love the pro-life bumper sticker that says, "Save the baby humans". People seem to love animals more than their fellow man.

The first thing the "Dog Whisperer" tells his clients is that a dog is a dog and not a person. At least he totally blows their fantasy world out the door.

It is scary how people attribute human characteristics to animals, and then behave like animals. (?)

40lovemom said...

How quickly we forget the food chain. And survival of the fittest!

Nârwen said...

It's more shocking because the monkey, unlike one in the wild, couldn't get away. If it were running from a bear in the wild, there wouldn't be an electric fence to stop it.

Victor said...

If this is a particular point of interest for you, Father, you should check out the Werner Herzog documentary GRIZZLY MAN. I thought it was the best film of last year, and wrote a review of it here. GRIZZLY MAN also won Best Film for an online film-nerds poll that I participate in annually.

Rich Leonardi said...

Go rent the DVD "Open Water" this weekend. You will be dissuaded of any cuddly notions about nature.

Nârwen said...

Quite bluntly, if one puts predators in the same environment as prey, this sort of thing is pretty much inevitable, no matter how well-fed the predators are. Heck, lots of people have housecats that go from stuffing their face from a bowl to terrorizing the local birds. Why would bears, bears for crying out loud, be more gentle than kitties ?

Father Martin Fox said...

Victor:

Thanks . . .

Lots of things interest me. and I confess I have a somewhat warped sense of humor: I did think there was something funny about this.

Father Martin Fox said...

Victor:

As I recall, in Grizzly Man, the man gets eaten by bears. I remember an NPR interview, that basically argued, he asked for it.

Victor said...

As I recall, in Grizzly Man, the man gets eaten by bears. I remember an NPR interview, that basically argued, he asked for it.

Yes, Father. In GRIZZLY MAN, the movie's main subject Timothy Treadwell (and his companion) do get eaten, but by a single bear.

As for whether he deserved it -- that's an issue the film addresses and I discuss it in the review of mine I linked to (though if you don't want to read it until after you've seen the film, I more than understand. But it's not a spoiler-for-the-film that Treadwell gets eaten; Herzog tells the basic story in the first 10 minutes or so).

If you have a DVD player, I'd be happy to let you borrow my copy of GRIZZLY MAN. Just e-mail me with your address (as if I couldn't look you up, c/o your parish).

Father Martin Fox said...

Victor:

Thanks for the offer, but that won't be necessary.

Mark Anthony said...

Questions an attorney would ask before agreeing to defend the bear:

1)Was the monkey trespassing?

2)Did the monkey attack first, making it self-defense?

3)Was the monkey an operative for a terrorist cell, making the bear a patriot?

4)Was the bear on anti-depressants, neglected as a child, or hepped up on sugary cereal?

5)Was the monkey having an affair with the bear's spouse?

And most importantly...

Can the bear afford the retainer?

Mark Anthony said...

One other point: this is all our fault. Animals were vergitarians before the Fall...

Mark Anthony said...

vegitarians, not vergitarians...

Father Martin Fox said...

Mark:

Um, I know what a vegetarian is, but I'm at a loss about "vegitarians" . . .

Is that what Tom Cruise is?

On a more serious note, I can't help noticing that between this and my Sunday homily, "Bears eat monkey" is far-and-away the ratings winner!

Oh well . . .

Mark Anthony said...

First of all, it is unseemly for a man of the clothe to ridocule someone for a mispelings when blogspot commentters don't get spellchecking. Mean spirited Libertarian...

Secondly, the ratings comment is interesting in light of your Popetown thread. While certainly not endorsing such stupidity, one cannot deny that the appeal of the odd is much stronger than the sedate.

Victor said...

Father's a Libertarian?!?!?!?

I'll pray for his instant conversion ...

... sez the man who loves EYES WIDE SHUT, LAST TANGO IN PARIS and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.