On the Killing of Marius the Giraffe

February 11, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Photo credit: Reuters, Tina Burgess

 

Why are they calling the act of killing Marius "euthanasia?"  Even if you don't disagree with the Copenhagen Zoo for killing Marius, don't warp the already controversial act of mercy-killing by calling Marius's MURDER "euthanasia."  Even with true euthanasia, when the act really is catalyzed by and executed in mercy, we can't seem to agree whether it's right or wrong.  
 
But killing Marius was not an act of euthanasia.  He wasn't ill.  He wasn't suffering so badly that death was the only way to end his bodily misery.  He was a living creature, with the same life resonating inside his body that we have in ours.  He had a working heart that pumped healthy blood in his arteries.  He had a mother, and father, and caretakers.  He had his own giraffe desires and fears.  They may not look like ours, but who in the world are we to say he doesn't have them?  Or that he doesn't have a right to his life because he is a specimen of an overrepresented genetic stock?  
 
Those are just words.  
 
But Marius was a GIRAFFE.  He was alive.  I believe this means that he-as-a-living-creature possessed more value than and took precedence over any hapless and blundering choices inherent in the management of captive non-humans by humans (even more abhorrently when it is called "conservation").  I am not writing off Zoos as a whole, but please, let's at least be honest about our shortcomings.  He was ALIVE.  This most precious thing here on planet Earth - living, and all its rich experiences - was not respected.  How can anything justify that????
 
P.S. I tried to find another word besides murder to use in this post, but I couldn't find another suitable noun to describe taking the life of a living creature without "justifiable" cause.
 
Marius the giraffeMarius the giraffe
Photo Credit: Keld Navntoft
 
 
 

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