The debate is on over the recent shooting of Harambe, a gorilla from the Cincinnati Zoo. After a child found his way into the gorilla enclosure the dangerous animal response team was forced to make the hard decision and put the gorilla down for the sake of saving the child. Max Lindenman wrote an article today in which he explored the reasons for the resulting blame-game:
With God, who created mankind alone in His image, struck from the equation, we’re hard pressed to name what inherent value any of us has that a gorilla – especially an endangered western lowland gorilla – might lack. If our only concern is meeting some quota, then, yes, we might as well install a preferential option for the ape. Twenty years ago, St. John Paul II warned that any culture given to assigning human life a priority value or a price tag would end up creating a tyranny of the strong over the weak. In his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, he wrote that, in such a culture, “A person who, because of a handicap or, more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being or life-style of those who are more favoured tends to be looked upon as an enemy to be resisted or eliminated.” And he named this culture for the ages: The culture of death.
There are a lot of things that might have helped avoid this situation. The zoo might have installed a Plexiglass barrier. The child’s mother might have used a toddler leash. It seems that everyone feels strongly one way or another about this tragedy, and we would like to ask: