In a shocking and callous response to the global concern over Copenhagen Zoo’s slaughter and public dissection of young Marius the giraffe, Deputy Speaker and former Education Minister for Denmark, Bertel Haarder, has branded the concern of thousands a result of a “fantasy world of political correctness”.
In a somewhat bizarre response to an email from a CAPS supporter on the issue, Mr Haarder wrote:
“Everybody eating meat, including children, should realize where the meat comes from as all of us who grew up in the countryside knows. Praise to the zoo for educating to the real world instead of to the fantasy world of political correctness! It’s important to show children how livestock can be slaughtered in a humane and decent way”.
His comments echo those made in recent days by both the head of the European Association for Zoos and Aquaria and the British Association of Zoos and Aquaria, who both suggested zoos had a role to play in educating children about meat consumption.
Leslie Dickie, Head of EAZA, said in an interview:
“On Sunday, millions of children ate dead animals. I would say educating our children about where meat comes from – and this included feeding the body of the giraffe to the lion – is an opportunity. These children will have to make a choice as adults whether they wish to eat meat”.
Kirsten Pullen, Head of BIAZA, was quoted in press this morning as saying:
“We get more and more disassociated between meat that turns up on our dinner plate and what an animal actually is and what goes on.
“We run a risk if we’re not careful of becoming so disassociated with the world around us that it does impinge on our understanding of what happens and what is going on in the world, whether that’s how animals interact in the wild or how we get food from farms and on to our plates”.
Liz Tyson, Director of CAPS, said:
“It seems that Mr Haarder, Ms Dickie and Ms Pullen all seem to think that zoos have an important role to play in teaching children about meat consumption; something which, in itself, is not only at odds with teaching respect and compassion for animals more generally but also one of most recognised factors in resource depletion around the world. To suggest that this was some sort of lesson in humane slaughter is also to ignore the fact that the vast majority of animals farmed in this country are raised in industrial, or factory farm, units. This incident had nothing to do with education about our dietary habits, and everything to do with getting rid of an animal that was no longer useful to the industry”.
Ms Tyson suggested that, if zoos wanted to make a positive contribution to changing people’s eating habits, they would be better to advocate plant-based diets which both promote respect for animals and reduce environmental impact.
ACTION ALERT: Help us to prevent another needless death Yesterday it was announced that another giraffe in a Danish zoo is under threat. Please read more and take action to Save Marius #2 now! [READ MORE\