By continuing to browse our site, you are consenting to the use of cookies. Click here for more information on the cookies we use.


Defending life
from conception to natural death



How modern society makes a monkey out of ethics

Posted by Anthony Ozimic on 3 June 2016

​What can pro-lifers take away from the outrage over the killing of gorilla Harambe?

This past week an ape made world headlines, when a four year-old boy climbed into its enclosure in Cincinnati zoo.

Harambe, a four-hundred pound gorilla, was shot dead after it became clear that the boy's life was in danger. The simian’s demise was met both with outrage and outpourings of sympathy reminiscent of the mourning for Diana, Princess of Wales. A Facebook page entitled "Justice for Harambe" was set up and received thousands of 'likes'.

Similar outrage was also expressed this week on another continent of the New World when Robert Borsak, an Australian MP, revealed that he had shot and ate an elephant during a hunting trip in Zimbabwe. Another MP condemned Mr Borzak as "unfit for office".

Discrimination alert

Armchair experts argued that the gorilla should have been tranquilised rather than killed. Zoo officials - the real experts - explained that tranquilisers would have taken too long to work and could even have made the gorilla even more violent. Others were similarly put to rights by Mr Borzak when he explained that the elephant he ate was killed as part of a controlled cull to reduce over-population caused by the success of conservation efforts.

These debates are about the reasonableness of alternatives. The more revealing questions, however, are about discrimination.

The negative reaction to the killing of gorillas and elephants suggests a discriminatory attitude – towards other animals. Many (if not most) of the people who condemn gorilla-shooting or elephant-eating have little or no problem with the poisoning of rats, the squashing of spiders, the beheading of chickens or the impaling of fish.

Only the pro-life position makes sense

More importantly, it is also of course discriminatory against human beings. Imagine if a young boy climbed into a house and the owner started dragging the child violently from one end of the house to the other. Again, many or most of the people who lament the killing of Harambe would have little or no problem with the use of lethal force against the owner.

We pro-lifers rightly despair at the way unborn children are thrown on the scrap-heap by the millions every year at the same time as environmental activists worry about protecting butterfly habitats. But there is a saying "If life sends you lemons, make lemonade". Let us be point out proudly that only the pro-life position makes sense, and ridicule the sentimentality which makes a monkey out of ethics.

Add your comment
  • Simon Nicholls said:

    03/06/2016 20:53

    I think all life is precious and should be respected..and I am unsure of the wisdom of attempting to draw analogies between abortion and the unfortunate killing of a captive gorilla.

  • Peter Lucas said:

    03/06/2016 23:50

    Personally I lament the loss of all innocent life, both human and animal.

  • Rhobet Williams said:

    05/06/2016 16:20

    The next time you sit down to your Sunday lunch think about the vegetarian alternative on offer to you not with anger but with a sentimental smile.

Share this article