Two years ago, a giraffe passed away, as giraffes, and living things in general, often do. What made more than a handful of activists, and people not bogged down by the thought-conditioning images of capitalism take notice, was this giraffe was a childhood mascot; “Tweet” as his human handlers apparently called him, was the spokes-animal for Toys R Us for many years, and appeared in many films since. He had just finished his part in a new film when he collapsed in his enclosure, and passed away.
From what I have been able to find out, it was most likely age related, as he was 18 years old. Almost instantaneously, hatred is fired off in all directions regarding his death, with accusations of mistreatment the most readily available tool for attack. Doing my research on the passing of the giraffe, I found a distractingly high amount of hate for PETA by the commoners at large. People seemed to equate most articles relating the animals death directly to the human actors in the film. No one seemed to note that an animal, obviously inching towards death for the simple fact of his age, was still working at a job—A JOB—when he died.
No one should blame the lead actor in this film—and I should point out, I use that term generously—for anything other than horrendous acting choices, and ability. But what I have a problem with, was the fact that an animal well beyond retirement age, wasn’t retired.
I’m sure the argument will be made that ‘He enjoyed being in films’ up the wazoo, and maybe he did, I don’t know. I’m sure people making that argument don’t know either. But when it comes to animals being artificially inserted into an environment that has proven itself dangerous and stressful to HUMANS, I’m not sure how well any other sentient being can manage. Logic dictates that in order for an animal to concede to a lifestyle like this, it would either have to be conditioned via material reward (how very American), have its own will broken, or both.
Seems unfair to me. Makes me think about zoos, which before you even bother asking, yes, I am one of ‘those people’ against zoos. And circuses. Even though zoos CAN serve a pragmatic purpose, preserving endangered animals (note that those animals are often endangered because of human irresponsibility to begin with) I’m still against them. Fervently.
Ugh, I think I’m done with this. I’ll just end up ranting about the flaw of humanizing animals to the point where they talk, and dance, and promote products, and serve the purpose of reinforcing the conditioning our economic-driven society has done to us. The giraffe should have been retired. We don’t need to screw other species into our ass-backwards, trapped capitalist system of anti-life that we as pissant Americans have fucked ourselves into. And we shouldn’t.
I’m going to say something that, if I had readers, would no doubt ostricize me from them indefinitely. If you enjoy films of talking penguins living quasi-human lives, with post-modern sensibilities, then eat shit. If you enjoy talking donkeys that run around and sass sword-swinging cats with an affinity for ethnic-stereotyping, eat more shit. If you can’t enjoy watching from afar, an animal in its natural habitat, without coaxing it through various (often nefarious) means to ‘do something’, a’ la virtually every animal cinematographer in the past 40 years, then go fuck yourself. With a pineapple. Sideways.