October 13, 2015

“Give Us Free!”

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Adonya

A recent update in my Facebook News Feed made me think of one of my favorite  movies, Amistad, where Cinque, one of the main characters, stands during trial (which was defining his status as either stolen goods [kidnapped; has a right to freedom] or property [receives no rights]), and proclaims, “Give us free!” It is a poignant moment in the film where one life is simply asking to be set free.

This update was being toted as cute, sweet and “OMG my heart broke into a million pieces because this is so precious”.

The update included the video below. It is of a pregnant woman who, while visiting a zoo, presses her belly against the glass of an Orangutan’s enclosure (aka its prison).

Although, the woman is overjoyed with the interaction, I witnessed something more.

I witnessed an animal who was being separated from its normal life… by glass.

I witnessed an animal who was locked up for our entertainment.

When we place other lives behind “bars”, it is a reflection of who we are, for we cannot be whole when other lives are imprisoned in this way.

I used to go to zoos, circuses, aquariums, and animal parks, and I always left feeling sad… and incredibly guilty.

The operative words in that statement are “used to”.

It is has been almost 9  years since I stepped foot in any of these establishments. The reason? I redefined how I entertained myself… and my son.

I have chosen to no longer entertain myself based on the imprisonment of other lives.

Imprisoning animals is unnatural, and for this Orangutan (and other caged life), I proclaim, “GIVE US FREE!”

SIDEBAR: I am all for taking in an animal to care for it (should it be orphaned/injured). I am also all for that animal’s rehabilitation, so that it can return to its natural environment… which is not an enclosure at a zoo, aquarium or animal park.

{steps off soap box}

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