Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Kill Knut. Save the World (trademark pending)

“Save the polar bears—Kill Knut.”(trademark pending) While I’d buy a t-shirt with that slogan in a heartbeat , any rational (non-German) animal rights activist should find such a mantra reprehensible, right? Apparently not.

While Cuddly Knut may have touched the hearts of millions worldwide and is apparently thriving in captivity, it has been widely publicized that the German animal rights activist, Frank Albrecht, has called for the orphaned polar bear cub’s immediate execution (link).

Though healthy, happy, and in no threat of drowning due to global warming, Albrecht’s death sentence is based on Knut’s care representing a “gross violation of animal protection laws.”

This “kill ‘em to save ‘em” (trademark pending) philosophy seems to have precedent within the animal right community (link). In fact, PETA has a pretty respectable body count going with over 14,000 confirmed kills since 1998.

I have to admit that I am outraged. Why did it take a proposed hit on a cuddly polar bear cub and the rantings of a seemingly crazy German to show me the commitment these groups actually have? Anyone can file lawsuits and wage media campaigns against zoos and pharmaceutical companies guilty of animal abuse. It takes a REAL animal lover to exterminate thousands of would-be family companions and refuge-protected endangered species!

Perhaps Albrecht’s (and PETA’s) plan should be considered for other socially-sensitive areas: foster care, orphanages, mental institutions, prisons…really, the possibilities are endless. Consider how many orphans, criminals, mentally/physically disabled could be spared the traumas of captivity by merciful euthanizing.

But maybe I am being too ambitious and ignoring the immediate opportunity. We can’t change the world overnight, but we can start with a 19 lb. cub. “Kill Knut. Save the World (trademark pending)”.

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