We wrote the other day about all the sooks crying a river of tears because some lions in Copenhagen Zoo got a tasty feed of Marius the giraffe.
James Delingpole writes about the issue in The Telegraph.
One of the giraffes at Copenhagen Zoo has been killed, publicly dissected then fed to the lions. Public outrage has been immense. â€śHow could they do such a cruel and terrible thing?â€ť people are asking on Twitter and elsewhere. â€śAnd what kind of a sick, weird parent would you have to be to take your children to watch a giraffe being cut up with a surgeonâ€™s knife?â€ť
Let me have a stab at answering the second question first, because Iâ€™m one of those sick, weird parents. If Iâ€™d been anywhere near Denmark that day, I too would have eagerly dragged my kids along to the zooâ€™s operating theatre to witness the ghoulish but fascinating Inside Natureâ€™s Giants-style spectacle.
Why? Well, partly for my entertainment and education, but mainly for the sake of my children. I know we all love to idealise our offspring as sensitive, bunny-hugging little moppets who wouldnâ€™t hurt a flea. But the truth is that there are few things kids enjoy more than a nice, juicy carcase with its guts hanging out. Dead birds are good; dead badgers are better; a dead giraffe is all but unbeatable.
You first tend to notice this trait on family walks. Desperately, youâ€™ll try to keep your reluctant toddler going by showing it lots of fascinating things. Sheep or tractors may do the job, just about. But not nearly as well, say, as a dead rabbit with its belly distended with putrefaction and flies crawling over its empty eye sockets. Itâ€™s your childâ€™s introduction to a concept we all have to grapple with in the end: what Damien Hirst once called â€śThe Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Livingâ€ť.
This, no doubt, is one of the reasons for the enduring popularity of Roald Dahl. Dahlâ€™s brilliant insight is that children, au fond, are horrid little sickos who like nothing better than stories about giants who steal you from your bed in the night to murder you, and enormous crocodiles that gobble you all up. His is a natural world red in tooth and claw: Fantastic Mr Fox really does slaughter chickens â€“ because heâ€™s a fox â€“ and when he gets his tail shot off you know, much as you might wish it otherwise, that it is never ever going to grow back.Â Read more »