Friday, December 28, 2007

Zoo Nous

It is not that zoo keepers are cruel, I suspect rather that most of them come from the pet loving population that is such a substantial element of the US population. It is not that they are thoughtless or poorly trained and thus culpable for incidents like the tiger escaping from the SF zoo on December 25. No I was thinking about this, and how someone like Jan Cox felt so deeply the plight of the confined animal. His sense of raw connection to living creatures was something he did not reveal in his public emotional posture, just his actions, and I may at some point discuss more about his concern for animals and how he demonstrated it. But the gulf between the compassion of Jan Cox for anything trapped and ordinary pet lovers makes that gulf comprising the moat around the tigers enclosure mean and mere.

Which is by way of asking how the ordinary can continue to like PBS nature documentaries and train for zoo jobs and have no inkling of what an animal in a zoo goes through. Apparently hardly any whisper of compassion based on the communal nature of all creatures ruffles their actions.

How is this, and what I noticed was the similarity between zoos and ordinary thought. Control is maintained through a strict separation. A separation necessary for the existence of the zoo and safety of visitors, of course. In people this is called binary thought, things cannot get mixed up regardless of the violence this does to reality. This is for the safety of the sanity of the ordinary.

Here in Pinpoint Georgia we are near a big time zoo which has a history of dreadful cruelty. And ongoing and hardly disguised at all is the current cruelty to the huge mammals called whales. They keep dying at the Atlanta Aquarium and it is this excuse and that, and just get another one; the problem that these creatures must have a cage the size of the ocean to live happily cannot rise to the surface of anyone's awareness, at least not anyone on the tourist boards awareness. Reality surpasses conception as it must.

No comments: