i guess i don't remember hearing about the victim of the chimp mauling, charla nash, back in february. it's a sad, sad case and i feel particularly sad for her because it wasn't her chimp. i also feel particularly sad for travis the chimp- but i do not feel compassion for his 'owners.' nope. this whole thing got me thinkin' again. i suppose it's the whole 'god gave man dominion over the creatures of the earth' thing- to paraphrase genesis in the old testament bible of a couple religions worldwide- that mentality that has pervaded since the religions were formed. see, what most folks don't realize about animals- because it would be highly inconvenient to know these things- is that they are high functioning. what do i mean by that? they can reason, communicate, problem solve, feel emotions, shelter and feed themselves- and generally do all of those things humans do, albeit to a lesser scale.
creationists and other anti-evolutionists swear that god created us in his image but facts reveal that our closest relatives are the great apes- aka chimps and gorillas, etc., so, i guess i find it particulary reprehensible that we keep these fellow mammals as 'pets.' i don't wonder that travis tried to break free a few times. think of the human slaves kept hostage who break free after years of being held against their will. but, i suppose a species that can enslave fellow members of their species simply because of the color or their skin- wouldn't be a bit swayed by the fact that the great apes are not that far behind us on the evolutionary scale.
chimpanzees in the wild have been documented to manufacture and use simple tools; war against neighboring bands of chimps for territory- and even murder. and we use these complex mammals in laboratories and keep them as entertainment props. and, the fact that we can blithely excuse it with 'they're just animals' makes me embarrassed to be a part of their family tree.
and that got me thinkin'- about what i eat. right now, i have in my freezer chicken and beef that was raised by people who don't mistreat their animals. these people don't stuff them into too small quarters and confine them there to fatten them up quickly to slaughter them inhumanely. we are what we eat- and i am working towards vegetarianism but until then, having been raised in a meat eating culture- i will choose meat that has not been abused or mistreated. the animals certainly deserve better.