22 May 2010

Visit the zoo to learn all about animals. Then eat them.

Last week Chinese astronauts gave new life to a stereotype by stating that they had dog on their space menu.

Why keep the awkwardness to the space program though? The Beijing Zoo not only lets its visitors see and learn about crocodiles, kangaroos, and hippopotamus, but will serve them up to you on a plate too.

I'm always conflicted going to zoos. One one hand, I'd never be able to see these animals in their natural settings. And from an educational perspective people can get so much more from actually seeing an animal versus reading about it in a book, and it's not like you can create a wild animal park everywhere.

But I've got to wonder what it really feels like for these animals. How would I feel to be locked in a studio apartment for my whole life? Sure, theoretically they get free meals and health care, a roomie of the opposite sex or at least a conugal visit or two occasionally, and a life free of predators, but the boredom must be insane. Even as a kid I thought that all the monkeys throwing sh*t around was more of a last resort to them because they'd exhausted every possible form of entertainment for themselves.

I couldn't imagine how awkward it would feel if, after seeing all the animals we'd be debating which one to munch on off the zoo restaurant menu. Maybe I'm being hypocritical. We take our kids to petting zoos and the mini farms and have no problem arguing over if we want a hamburger, sausage, or chicken nuggets afterwards, so why should this be any different for any other animals (none of the species on the menu are endangered).

Probably part of my messed up and closed minded Western upbringing. I remember being amazed at the size of an elephant the first time I saw one in real life. I can't imagine seeing that same amazement in my kids and then going for Barbar burgers afterwards.

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