The latest tragedy that occurred in the San Francisco zoo in which a tiger somehow got out and attacked three persons brought a flashback in my memory. If my memory serves me right, it was way back in the 80s, when my parents were still alive. At that time, I customarily took my parents out during Saturdays to do something. One time, it was to the San Francisco zoo. So, we were going through all the animal habitats and guess what the topic they kept asking was? “Is that edible?” Every animal that they saw, they saw them through the eyes of a traditional Chinese person – as food.
I can’t blame my parents for thinking that way. They grew up in a traditional Chinese village setting where survival meant the ability to gather enough food to keep hunger away. Nowadays, we and the animal kingdom seem to be separated by a couple of walls. Any young kid in a modern society would have a crying storm if they watched how his or her animal protein reached the dinner table. I remember as a young kid at a farm how animals were slaughtered so that I would not go hungry. Maybe all kids in industrialized societies should have tours to slaughter houses so that they face the realities of life.
I would like to conclude 2007 by awarding Ellen DeGeneres the award of celebrity gone wild (or I am a celebrity and I can do whatever I want). As some of you may know, Ellen DeGeneres adopted a dog from a private animal shelter. After not being able to co-exist with the dog, she decided to give away the dog to her hair stylist. However, like all fame people who think they are the main prince or princess, she did not read the adoption papers. It specified that the dog should be returned to the animal shelter if things did not work out. Further, it specified that the dog should not live with young children. Whatever the reasons were behind those provisions, I am sure they were for the welfare of the dog.
When the animal shelter recovered the dog, Ellen DeGeneres threw a fit and made crying noises during her show. How pathetic! Her producer even threatened the owner of the animal shelter. If you search the Internet, you will find petitions from her fans to have the dog returned to Ellen’s hairstylist.
My point through all this rambling is that Ellen DeGeneres forgot one principal point. She adopted the dog and she should have read the adoption papers. A dog is not just an item that one owns and disposes at will. Could you imagine if she actually adopted a human baby, decided that the baby did not fit her, and gave the baby to someone else? Most likely, the human baby’s adoption agency would have arrested her for child endangerment.
Anyway, having been taking care of an adopted dog lately, I plead to everyone who reads this not to take the caring of an animal lightly. Ms. DeGeneres may have had a good heart when she decided to adopt the dog, but she was totally wrong in playing the owner who can do with the dog whatever way she wanted. She forgot that as a celebrity, she has responsibilities too. She basically destroyed that private animal shelter.