Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tiger Bait Part 2

A reader just told me he thinks the San Francisco Chronicle didn't run my tiger cartoon on 4/30/08, presumably because it was too close to home. The SF zoo was where the tiger attack happened, so I can't say I blame them.

Another reader mentioned in the comments that he doesn't believe zoos are good things but if you're going to have them, the animals should not be able to get out of their enclosures just because they are stimulated. He goes on to say the zoo officials failed both the public and the tiger in allowing this to happen. I agree wholeheartedly.

A third reader pointed out that many people believe that Roy (of Sigfried &...) had a stroke on stage and that the tiger was dragging him to safety, as she would her young. This jives with the facts of the story and animal experts tend to agree that if he had been "attacked," he would have been injured far worse. I said the tiger "ate" Roy for comic effect, but I didn't mean it. If the tiger had wanted to eat Roy, there would have been much less of Roy left to take to the hospital.

I don't believe in imprisoning any animal for the benefit of another, so zoos and circuses are at the top of my list of offenders. Along with Seaworld and the like. I believe captivity is as painful for virtually all other creatures as it is for humans, most acutely birds and mammals because of their level of intelligence. Personally, I'd rather be dead than spend my life in jail.

Sorry for the lack of humor, just wanted to clarify.

9 comments:

marin_explorer said...

I'm glad my overwrought comment made some sense. I wanted to add that enclosing a big cat like a Siberian tiger amounts to slow torture, as they are solitary animals with territories as large as 120 square miles. That's similar to a human kept in the trunk of a Fiat--for life. No doubt, you'd have some pretty angry and unpredictable humans if you did that to them!

That said, I now give this blog back to the funny guy...

Kathryn said...

Speaking of tiger attacks... there was an article in the LA Times today about coyotes attacking toddlers. I know if I was an injured, hungry urban coyote, a slow, chubby, hairless, big-headed morsel like a human toddler would seem like the perfect prey. Instead of fixing the problem that created the starving coyotes, we just shoot 'em. *sigh*

julie said...

I don't know how you plan to fix the problem of the coyotes, Kathryn. Human civilization gradually keeps eating up more territory that are homes to wild animals. Should we shoot the humans instead and outlaw human babies?

Lisa Williamson said...

Dan, I applaud you and your wife for the work you do to help raise awareness of the importance of treating animals well. I never liked going to the zoo as a child; it always made me feel very sad for the animals in cages.

Jerry said...

Now my life has come full circle:

www.jerrymillerillustration.com/pics/vegas_jerry.jpg

Peter Anthony Holder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Anthony Holder said...

Speaking as someone who is not an animal activist, I still have to concur with the idea that zoos are bad.

In the past an argument could be made that zoos give western cultures, especially children, the chance to see animals that they wouldn't normally get a chance to see.

But with technology as it is today you can create virtual zoos, so what is the point?

And don't even get me started on the circus!

King Pappy said...

Um, why did these guys tease the tiger?
That's not too smart.

marin_explorer said...

But with technology as it is today you can create virtual zoos, so what is the point?

Very good observation! You're right--there's simply no reason for Zoos to continue--except perhaps to provide a substitute habitat whereby a species on the brink of extinction might be raised for habitat re-introduction, such as the California Condor program. I find the other zoo concepts flawed, and have more to do with cities and socialites wanting some "old-school" legacy than as concern for animals--imo.

As one who works on animal awareness projects via software, I'll say that good ideas often fall prey to many fiscal hurdles. Software requires $$$ to develop, and those who have the money, like to flaunt it in tangible tributes to themselves, ie zoos. I call it a "living mink coat". So a software package that would effectively bring children to an animal's real habitat isn't the sort of "visible investment" that cities and contributors choose to fund. I doubt we'll see any change until there's a new perspective from the top.