Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Human Way - Feed it, Film it, Kill it

The utter asininity of man never ceases to amaze me, or surprise me.

Now, considering there’s no law against being a complete idiot, the majority of the time man displays his inevitable buffoonery, it’s laughable, something to chat about around the ol’ water cooler at work.

But when it winds up leading to the death of another living thing, it ain’t so funny no more.

Take the case of the innocent elk that was just snuffed in Asheville, N.C.

Now, this elk, who we’ll call Ed, was a regular in Great Smokey Mountain National Park. And much like another regular we remember hanging out in a national park, Yogi Bear, wasn’t shy about chasing down some munchies every now and again.

As anyone who has ever traipsed through a zoo will tell you, however, the feeding of the animals by human visitors is a practice that’s frowned upon (unless you stick a couple of quarters into the nearby gumball machine and extract some pretty disgusting-looking grub, which presumably is OK for animal consumption even if it does look like rat crap). I’m sure this park had posted the proper signs warning of the dangers of stuffing a bacon and lettuce with mayo on toast into the jaws of a nearby badger. But in typical human-being fashion, I’m positive such signs were completely ignored.

After all, Mr. and Mrs. Ima Fatass from Cowpie, Utah know better about what’s consumable for the four-legged and furry than vets, animal experts and learned folks that study that sort of thing for a living. Besides, they paid good money for their vacation and nobody, most of all some bozo who looks like Ranger Smith in Jellystone Park, is going to tell them who they can and cannot feed.

So Ed was fed, fed and then fed some more, to a point where Ed was ignoring his own animal instincts that should have told him that hanging out with the likes of Mr. and Mrs. Fatass was more dangerous than accepting party favors from Amanda Bynes.

It got to a point where Ed would simply approach anything on two legs, looking for a culinary handout.

This brings us to another sweetheart of a human being, Mr. iPhone. Now Mr. iPhone thinks that anything and everything should be the subject of a picture, which he is only too happy to take, and then post on whatever website he can find.

After all, as Mr.iPhone would be the first to tell you, he is so talented and important that anything he finds amusing should be loved and adored by all humans everywhere.

It just so happened that our boy Ed was in full begging mode, playfully nudging some guy on the side of the road in the park.

“Oh, how cute,” said Mr. iPhone, who proceeded to film this blessed event and rapidly post it on

Sure enough, the video goes viral and soon websurfers around the globe are watching en masse and creaming their jeans over the guy on the side of the road being nuzzled by a clone of Bullwinkle J. Moose.

It didn’t take long for the Great Smokey Mountain National Park hierarchy to become aware that one of its own – our boy Ed – had become an internet superstar, of sorts.

Now, the park hierarchy, one would think, should be looking after the well being of all of its critters, particularly the four-legged and furry, who might have a hard time thinking and reacting like anything but what they are.

After witnessing the video, the park hierarchy determined that Ed or any other food-crazed mammal running amok was a recipe for potential disaster (in other words, animal bites that lead to lawsuits that lead to some bureaucrat in the hip pocket of a local politician coming to the conclusion that the national park land was better suited to being the site of a new Best Buy-anchored strip mall, or better yet, a location to drill for oil).

This was the moment when the park folks should have swooped in, reprimanding all those who illegally stuff food into the jaws of those that don’t know any better and pledging to do whatever necessary to prevent these transgressions against nature to occur in the future.

Instead, and to the surprise of no one, they reacted like human beings. And rarely does anything good come from that reaction.

Did the park decide to move Ed 20 miles or so from where he was bumming dinner? Did the park decide to relocate Ed to a different wooded park? How about donating Ed to a nearby petting zoo?

Nope, the brainchildren of the park decided to do the human thing – they killed Ed.

Ed, that internet hero and innocent furry friend to park goers of North Carolina, was euthanized.

It’s the human reaction to most sticky situations, and a slam dunk to any situations involving a non-human – convince the public there is a potential danger (even if there’s no evidence to back it up) and then remove another soul from the planet.

So our star Ed found out what most stars soon learn – revered today, dead tomorrow.

Unfortunately for a soul that didn’t have a say in the matter, the lesson was literal.


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