“The question is not, Can they reason?, nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being? The time will come when humanity will extend its mantle over everything which breathes.”
-Jeremy Bentham, Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789)
An innocent gorilla was killed last Saturday. His name was Harambe.
By now you should have heard the news.
The incident was sparked when a 4-year-old boy managed to fall into the “Gorilla World” enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, only to have the enormous animal rush over to the child, drag him around like a toy, and proceed to stand guard over him for several minutes. All while onlookers gasped with fright, and parents pleaded for divine intervention.
Ruling out the use of tranquilizers, the zoo opted for the abhorrent—the unthinkable—and shot down the beautiful beast, depriving him of precious spirit, rendering his 450lb frame cold and lifeless. His family will likely grieve uncontrollably. The zoo will forever be marred with darkness. And all because some damn humans couldn’t keep an eye on their child!
This was nothing short of a tragedy.