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About this blog: Growing up in Brooklyn, NY I lived in high-density housing and experienced transit-oriented services first hand. During high school and college summers I worked in Manhattan drafting tenant floor plans for high-rise office buildi...  (More)

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Denmark Stumbles

Uploaded: Feb 11, 2014
I've long had an affinity for Denmark, even taking 3 years of Danish in college and visiting 3 times. And Palo Alto hosts a local diplomatic outpost – the Denmark Center for Innovation on Page Mill Road. So I've always had a positive feeling when it came land of Hamlet. Until now.

I was astounded and saddened to see the video of a beautiful, healthy giraffe killed by the Copenhagen Zoo this week. Autopsied, chopped up for food for other carnivores at the zoo, in plain site of the public including children. I still don't understand the reasons proffered – to preclude inbreeding – couldn't have an alternate plan.

Not nice.
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Posted by Alan, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on Feb 11, 2014 at 1:46 pm

They absolutely could've looked for an alternative home for the giraffe, and I wish they had. Still, I think the reaction about this is excessive. While not common in Denmark, giraffes are not threatened in Africa. Therefore, was this much worse than, say, killing a steer? They fed the giraffe to lions. I'm sure, if they had not eaten the giraffe, the zookeeper would've fed other meat to the lions; it still would've been a lost life.

They slaughtered the giraffe publicly, but I think the audience knew what was about to happen; parents could have protected their children from the sight. However disturbing, I don't think they were any more inhumane to the giraffe than a beef ranch is to a steer. You could argue there is something "more honest" about doing this publicly, than hiding the fact they lions require meat, and meat comes from dead animals.

So - it was shocking; but not that different from what already goes on. It's just that people were paying attention.


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