--Bhagavad Gita 4:7-8
|I'm just sayin'|
Today's NY Times Magazine has a cover story on animal rights, a very fitting topic for this weekend, where that theme has emerged a few times on its own.
Friday after work, I went to see two films in the Margaret Mead film festival at the Museum of Natural History, because the Monskter's band performed a little set after one of the movies. The first one was about the murder of a union organizer (stirring use of graphics + overdone political message = hour-long REM video), and the second was about a pygmy from the Belgian Congo who was displayed at the World's Fair and then ended up living in the monkey house at the Bronx Zoo. Ugh.
So, yesterday we had an ultra-pleasant day with my bro and sister-in-law and their two adorable moppets at the Aquarium. The new Alien Stingers exhibit is breathtakin', featuring ethereal backlit jelly fish.
It was during the Dolphin and Sea Lion show that I started having twinges of discomfort. I'm guessing these animals are well-loved by their trainers, but is there really that much difference between displaying a pygmy at the monkey house and asking everyone to gawk at these beautiful, dignified creatures performing tricks?
These chimps were resuced from just such a fate.
My attitude towards animals is not that they "have rights", since the concept of "rights" is a wholly human phenomenon. I have, rather, a feeling of responsibility towards them. We are here to take care of the animals, not exploit them.
As anyone who's been reading this blog for awhile knows, I have been eating meat for the past year, but deep down I have never felt completely justified in doing that. Personally, it makes my life easier to eat meat, but philosophically, I haven't fully squared myself with the practice. I know that I can survive without eating meat and am considering going back to vegetarianism as a devotional practice and out of respect for the critters.
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