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Russell Shaw Headshot

I Honor The Animal Freedom-Fighters

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First, a couple of caveats from this blogger looking thru the windows of his glass house.

I eat animal flesh. I don't hunt or fish, and I know that eating animals is wrong. If you will, count my carnivorousness as a character weakness.

Second, I don't like to see people hurt.

Still, though, there is a part of me that rejoices when animals that we oppress fight back against those humans that oppress them.

Just yesterday in Mexico City, for instance, a half-ton bull set for "combat" in the bullring jumped the fence and leaped into the crowd. "Television images of the bullfight showed the beast jump over the heads of journalists and into the most expensive seats at the capital's vast ring," the BBC reports.

Bullfights are demeaning, cruel and teasing to the animal. In some nations, bulls are castrated after they fight. So when this bull goes for moneyed spectators who have paid the most to finance this blood lust, it is at least symbolic revenge.

I get the same feeling when I read about instances when:

An elephant breaks free of the demeaning, depressive chains and bars of a sleazy roadside circus, and points his sharp tusks at those who have paid to see him in chains.

A chimpanzee whose group has already been decimated by poachers stalks a logging camp and attacks the logger who is attempting to deforest his home.

A tiger forced to perform acts wholly unnatural to his breed attacks his trainer.

A rodeo bull attacks a rider who has teased him.

I could cite other examples. I'll bet that you can, too.

All of these acts have happened. And they will happen again and again.

Maybe I have a bit too much of the metaphoric poet's soul in me, but I tend to see animals like these as freedom fighters, avenging the deaths, injuries and humiliations visited upon them by humankind.

Hmm. Maybe "humankind" is a misnomer.