Life and Death in Northern Europe

marA couple of recent news stories shed a disturbing light on the contemporary northern European mind – or, at least, on one alarmingly common variation on it.

Earlier this month, the Copenhagen Zoo announced plans to “euthanize” a healthy two-year-old giraffe named Marius. The reason: he was superfluous – a “surplus” giraffe – because “his genes were well represented among the captive giraffe population in European zoos.” Animal lovers around the world reacted with outrage, and several zoos, including one in Yorkshire, said they would be delighted to give Marius a home. A billionaire offered half a million euros for Marius, whom he planned to keep in his garden in Beverly Hills. But the offers were rebuffed. On February 9, while eating rye bread, “a favorite snack,” Marius was tranquilized, killed with a shotgun, autopsied, and fed to lions – all in front of zoogoers, including both adults and children.

The man behind this act of extermination was Bengt Holst, the Copenhagen Zoo’s scientific director. In reply to the protests, he stood firm, dismissing the international outcry as “totally out of proportion.” Declared Holst: “A giraffe is not a pet; it’s not like a dog or cat that becomes part of the family.” (Why give it a name, then?) He insisted that the “euthanasia” of Marius was necessary “to ensure a healthy population.” Why couldn’t he just have sent Marius to another zoo? Because, Holst insisted, the likely genetic similarity between Marius and other giraffes on the premises would have raised the possibility of inbreeding. As for Yorkshire, “Marius’ older brother lives there and the park’s space could be better used by a ‘genetically more valuable giraffe.’”

But if they were worried about inbreeding, why not just give Marius contraceptives? Nope: that might have caused renal problems or other side effects. Why not neuter him, then? No, said Holst, “if we just sterilize him, he will take up space” that (again) could be better given to “genetically more valuable giraffes.” Besides, neutering Marius would have lowered his quality of life. “Our most important objective,” said Holst, “is to ensure that the animals have the best life they can for as long as they live, whether that’s 20 years or two years. Breeding and parenting are especially important behaviors for a giraffe’s well-being. We didn’t want to interfere with that.” But what about the billionaire in Beverly Hills? Why not let Marius live with him? Again, no: giraffes, said Holst, are “social animals,” and it’s not fair to them to keep them in isolation. “As long as they are with us,” Holst told a reporter, “we want them to have a good life, with as much natural behavior as possible.” As for the decision to turn Marius’s death, autopsy, and consumption by lions into a spectacle for small children, Holst said it was a good idea “because zoos have an obligation ‘not to make nature into a Disney World.’”

Holst received public backup from Leslie Dickie, executive director of the Amsterdam-based European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, who, noting that much of the outcry over the killing of Marius had come from America, attributed these reactions to “ a misunderstanding about what is ‘normal in Danish culture’” and complained that people who were getting worked up about Marius’s fate had “perhaps lost sight of the bigger picture.” Dickie made the point that “the Copenhagen Zoo wouldn’t send Marius to an institution with ‘lesser standards of welfare’” and that putting Marius into a situation where he wouldn’t be able to breed “would violate the EAZA’s standard of ‘providing a behavioral repertoire as natural as possible’ for animals in captivity.”

Well, well. The first thing that needs to be emphasized here is that Holst and Dickie are not isolated oddballs. Holst’s actions were dictated by an ideology that is widespread, especially in northern Europe, and that does not just apply to zoo animals. What we are dealing with here, to put it briefly, is people who are certain that they are noble and good. They believe in the cycle of life. They believe in quality of life. They just don’t happen to believe in the individual life. In fact, they view the individual life as getting in the way of things they value more – breeding programs, the ecosystem, and so on. They regard people who focus on the individual life as childlike sentimentalists who don’t grasp that every individual life is only part of a larger design, a “bigger picture,” and should be extinguished the moment it becomes burdensome or inconvenient. I don’t think it’s misguided to suggest that there exists a certain continuity between this way of thinking and that which made possible the horrors of the Final Solution. It is a barbaric way of thinking – and yet in the cultural-elite circles in northern Europe it is considered enlightened and humane. It’s “scientific.” It’s unsentimental. It’s free of American – of Disney-ish – sappiness.

To be sure, Holst would probably protest that he does care about the individual life. After all, he killed Marius partly because he didn’t want him to live a less than ideal life. Better to die than experience renal problems or other side effects. Better to die than endure “lesser standards of welfare.” Better to die, you see, than not experience parenthood. Better to die than be without the company of other giraffes. This is the PETA mentality: in the minds of such people, there are any number of good reasons to snuff out a life. For some of us, this looks very much like a love of death. Holst doesn’t want to “interfere” with giraffe “behaviors,” but he has no problem “interfering” with life itself.  Indeed, the fact that he didn’t hesitate to kill Marius in the face of international opposition suggests that he considers himself something of a crusader for his ideology of death (and the fact that another Danish zoo was, until this weekend, reportedly considering the possibility of executing its own baby giraffe, also named Marius, confirms that Holst is, indeed, far from alone). Meanwhile, the condemnation of Holst’s actions by American and Canadian zoo officials – including Jack Hanna of the Columbus Zoo and of Late Show with David Letterman fame, who said he would have paid for Marius with his own money – underscored the gulf between North American and European zookeeping philosophies. 

Reading Holst’s comments, I am reminded of a vet we had years ago here in Norway. My partner made the mistake of asking her about the possibility of having our (indoor) cats declawed. Thoroughly appalled by the question, she favored us with a livid harangue about how savage it was to do such a thing to cats – it was a slap in the face of nature and would cause a major diminishment in their quality of life. Then, a couple of years later, when one of our cats needed to have some teeth pulled, the same vet casually asked if we’d prefer to save the money and have him put to sleep instead. (To these people, there is no logical inconsistency here: exterminating an animal is fine; it’s reducing their quality of life that is an unforgivable offense.) Still later, when the same cat was suffering from a life-threatening disorder, the vet – another one this time – declared that it was his job to be the “voice of the animal,” because the animal “doesn’t have a voice of its own,” and proceeded to inform us that the “voice of the animal” decreed that “the animal” should be put to death. No, our cat was not in pain. But as far as the vet was concerned, the time had come; death was the only item on the menu, and to say no to it, to try to fight it off, indeed to do anything other than hasten it, invite it in, was unseemly, presumptuous, selfish, sentimental; it was to tilt at windmills, to fail to bow to the way of all flesh, to place what we wanted as human beings ahead of what nature was demanding of us.

This philosophy made no sense to me. How could this readiness to throw in the towel, to discard a life, could be called, in any sense, the “voice of the animal”? Don’t most people who are suffering with some deadly disease want to live as long as they possibly can – even if it involves a degree of pain or discomfort? Can a vet be so sure that cats are any different? In any case, isn’t being a doctor supposed to be about being on the side of life? No, not anymore. Now, increasingly, especially in places like Denmark and Norway, the doctor isn’t a soldier in the army of life but a servant of the circle of life whose job it is, when he or she thinks the time has come, to usher Death into the room, take his coat and hat, work by his side, and follow his orders. 

Which brings us to another recent news story from northern Europe. As it happens, there are three jurisdictions in the world that permit euthanasia (as opposed to physician-assisted suicide), and, perhaps not coincidentally, they’re the three Benelux countries – Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. (A fourth may soon join them: Quebec’s assembly will vote on a euthanasia bill modeled on the Benelux laws by the end of this month.) In Luxembourg, euthanasia is available only to those over eighteen; in the Netherlands, it can be performed on persons as young as twelve. Last week the Belgian Senate voted overwhelmingly to join the Netherlands in permitting the euthanasia of children. “We are talking about children that are really at the end of their life. It’s not that they have months or years to go. Their life will end anyway,” said a leading Brussels pediatrician who supported the move. Yes, their life will end anyway. Why fight? Yes, some Belgian pediatricians opposed the measure, as did Brussels’s archbishop, who warned of “a risk of very serious consequences in the long term for society and the meaning we give to life, death and the freedom of human beings.” Well, you can say that again. Manifestly, these euthanasia advocates are motivated by the same attitude toward life and death that propels Bengt Holst.

Two years ago, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten profiled 62-year-old Arne Sveen, who had cancer and had refused medical treatment because he felt it was wrong to “spend enormous sums prolonging fatally ill people’s lives by a few months.” Aftenposten gave every indication of celebrating his decision: Sveen, one gathered, was a model citizen whom everyone else in Norway would do well to emulate. The article quoted a doctor who had evidently moved beyond old-fashioned medical ethics. “What is death, really?” she said. “A natural end to life or an evil that should be fought?” She plainly believed it to be the former. “Is it worth expending energy, effort, and money,” she asked, “on treatment that will never cure, [but that will] just put off death for a brief period?” In Norway, the article informed us, the death panels – for, yes, that’s what they are – will generally approve treatments costing up to somewhere in the range of $65,000 to $115,000 if they’re expected to give patients another “good” year. Of course, health-care officials would prefer that everyone started thinking like Arne Sveen: live a healthy, robust life while you can, but once you threaten to become a burden on society, be prepared to check out. The message is clear: fighting for your life isn’t heroic – it’s indecent and selfish. Norway has more important things to do with your tax money (such as enrich African dictators and terrorist-linked Muslim groups) than to prolong your life.

All of which leads me to a letter that arrived the other day in our household. It concerned my partner’s grandmother, whom neither of us ever knew; she died in 1966 and is buried in a cemetery in a small village near the northernmost tip of Norway. The letter was from the local parish council of the Church of Norway that is responsible for that cemetery. It announced, in the taut, formal – indeed, dehumanized – prose that is typical of business correspondence in northern Europe, that unless we deposited 500 kroner (slightly under $100) into the parish council’s bank account by February 15, the tombstone and plantings would be removed. Delicately omitted from the letter was the fact that the remains themselves would also be removed, or perhaps buried deeper in the ground in a small container, so as to free up the grave for re-use. This, as you may or may not know, is standard practice throughout much of Western Europe – and while it’s not a new practice but an old one (dating back to medieval times), it says something about attitudes toward life and death in this supposedly super-civilized corner of the world, I think, that it remains the norm.

Yes, I understand the issue of lack of space, but there’s nowhere on earth where this is less of a problem than at the northernmost tip of Norway, so this isn’t about that. What it’s about, it seems to me, is what the Danish slaughter of Marius the giraffe, the Belgian eagerness to institute childhood euthanasia, and the Norwegian enthusiasm for cancer patients who refuse to burden the system are also about: namely, a well-nigh fetishistic preoccupation with the quality of life and the cycle of life that coexists, perversely, with a chillingly insufficient sense of the value – the preciousness – of the individual life (and, as a corollary, of the sacredness of the remains of the dead). Whatever name you want to give to this unsettling mentality, there is unquestionably more and more of it going around, with northern Europe quite clearly in the vanguard – although, as is the case with so much else that afflicts Europe these days, America is hardly immune to its ravages.

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  • SoCalMike

    This poisonous European mindset is alive and well in the USA in our universities, news rooms, among journalists and “humanities” professors, and anywhere the Left wing mindset controls. They even defined carbon dioxide as pollution, the very stuff human’s exhale so by definition in their twisted world we breathing humans are pollution hurting and harming “Earth Mother Goddess Gaia,” one of their precious false gods they never hesitate to cram down our throats.
    And they wonder why I spit on them outside of the supermarkets when they promote their cr-p.

    • DownTurn

      > by definition in their twisted world we breathing humans are pollution

      Norway’s new allegedly “right” goverment is already making laws in that direction. They recently introduced a “meatless monday” in military cantines.

      The primary reason stated was “environment protection” by reducing the number of animals breathing and flatulating. That flatulation is a matter of most grave concern for envirofascists isnt anything new, but they have first time now explicitely included breathing as something that has to be prevented to “save the planet”.

      Give them a few years and they’ll rediscover the phrase “Unwertes Leben” again.

    • THOUGHTCRIMINAL2014

      I would argue that a good deal of this poison is flowing from the non-Europeans who have flooded into Europe and America. There isn’t the same revering and appreciation of life in these cultures. Muslims see other people as vermin and animals as nothing more than objects to be tortured.

      In South Asian cultures there is no reverence for the dead either. I remember reading about the British Cemeteries in North Africa and Burma that are routinely vandalized. The local are just biding their time until the leases on the cemeteries expire so they can defile the graves of the dead and dispose of their remains.

      In seeing the living and dead in such a cruel lens, the next horrific chapter in world history is set to be written shortly.

    • kasandra

      It’s not just alive in universities, news rooms, etc. My 95 year old mother had a stroke in early December, collapsed and fractured her skull. At one point her feeding tube clogged and had to be replaced and they had difficulty putting in a new feeding tube. The gastro-intestinal doctor’s suggestion was to just not replace the feeding tube and, as he put it, “let the universe do its work.” Charming.

      • Mo86

        Disgraceful! Is her condition any better?

      • LibertarianToo

        In every “acute care” hospital in the US, this is becoming the rule rather than the exception. When my mother required a ventilator to breathe, her doctor didn’t let a day go by without trying to persuade my family to “let her go.” Doctors in American hospitals routinely increase morphine doses -with the family’s permission – until the patient has a fatal heart attack. In one of my several arguments with my mother’s doctor, he told me that he was looking forward to the day when the decision would not be up to the family. And this pre-dates Obamacare.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      SoCalMike AKBAR!

  • truebearing

    Surely the zoo keepers in Denmark and the health care officials in Norway wouldn’t mind if a group of people with a different view of the cycle of life euthanized them…so they wouldn’t suffer from such sick thinking.

    • goob

      When Bengt Holst’s becomes a superfluous human most likely he would not object to being “tranquilized, killed with a shotgun, autopised (butchered) and fed to the lions-all in front of zoogoers, including both adults and children.” After being fed his favorite snack, of course.

  • herb benty

    Evolutionists: “death is a good thing” God: “the last enemy to be defeated is death”, and who could forget, Islamists: “we love death more than you love life”

    • Mo86

      Excellent comparison!

      • herb benty

        Ya I calmed down a bit after reading that article. This leftist, socialist, atheistic mindset is crazy. What we had in America and Canada was far better than this totalitarian, Orwellian crud. Take care.

      • herb benty

        Ya I calmed down a bit after reading that article. This leftist, socialist, atheistic mindset is crazy. What we had in America and Canada was far better than this totalitarian, Orwellian crud. Take care.

    • ebonystone

      It looks like we’re starting to take lessons from the Moslems.

      • herb benty

        Just read about all the terror training camps scattered around the USA. And soon those “lessons” will be forced. Either we fight, or me and my family are heading to the Rockies. At some point we’ll have to make that decision. Muslims are moving here in droves.

  • Erik

    Thanks for an interesting article, Bruce. As an American living in Sweden with a Swedish wife, I too made the mistake once of suggesting our indoor cat be declawed. By the reaction I got from her family, I may just as well have suggested we roast the cat for dinner. They were horrified that I would suggest such a cruel and unnatural thing. But they have no problem with keeping the cat indoors for it’s entire natural life or with sterilizing it or likely with euthanizing it when it gets old. It’s incredible what kind of mental gymnastics people will perform in order to defend their feelings of moral superiority. I’ve enjoyed reading your reflections on life in Norway and in Europe over the years. You’ve got a gift for articulating the cultural oddities that sometimes make me feel like I’m in the twilight zone.

    • Western Canadian

      You would find the same attitude re declawing among virtually all cat lovers in North America, vets as well. If you knew cats, you would NOT have the opinions you do.

      • Tiberius

        Thus inform what declawing does to the cat?

        • Western Canadian

          There is more than one procedure to declaw a cat, the intended result is the same in all cases: the cat no longer has the use of it’s claws. A previously used method would leave the cat in pain for months, or permanently.
          If you declaw a cat, and it is outside of a safe home, it will be must more at risk of being killed by a predator: climbing ability very much reduced, and ability to defend itself, reduced to the point that declawed cats, if outside a safe home, are very often killed.
          Triming the nails, or trimming with rubber/plastic caps over the reduced nails, takes care of the problem, though it has to be kept up, the nails will grow back. And again, stricty outdoor cats have a life-span of a few years, indoor/outdoor 6-9 years, indoor, 15-25 years.

          • Tiberius

            The reason I asked is that declawing is something people opt but the ones I have seen are pretty much indoor cats. The owners of these cats do take real good care in keeping them from the outside and having to face the dangers outdoor. I agree some people should not be pet owners but I have seen people take care of their pets as if they were their own children. If one is against declawing because of the “it goes against its nature” then one can say that about neutering and spaying since this is also a human invention.

      • Erik

        According to the American Veterinary Medical Association: “There is no scientific evidence
        that declawing leads to behavioral abnormalities when the behavior of
        declawed cats is compared with that of cats in control groups. ” (Source: https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/030415c.aspx)

        Furthermore: “Scientific data do indicate that
        cats that have destructive clawing behavior are more likely to be
        euthanatized, or more readily relinquished, released, or abandoned,
        thereby contributing to the homeless cat population. Where scratching
        behavior is an issue as to whether or not a particular cat can remain as
        an acceptable household pet in a particular home, surgical onychectomy
        may be considered.”

        No invasive procedure should ever be a casual decision, but I can’t see how this is any worse than sterilization, which is done routinely and without much thought. A good question to ask yourself is “would I rather wake up without fingertips, or without testicles?” In some cases, the procedure may even preserve the animal’s life, which gets us back to the point of the article.

        • Western Canadian

          If you don’t count little things like biting more as a problem, yes, they are right. Stupid people should not own cats, dogs, etc. in the first place. Behaviours can be modified, with very high success rates, even in cats.
          Spaying and neutering cuts the number of strays, abused and abandent animals, destroyed litters, agressive behaviour, and increases life span. As does a proper indoor environment, with access to an enclosed run. I have been in animal rescue for a long time now, so don’t try to flimflam me via google.
          As for fingertips or testicles, since you are still typing, we can guess which you chose.

      • Mo86

        Good grief, what’s the big deal, if it’s an indoor cat?

        Now, anything to say on the article?

    • Sintram

      I’m a native swede, and I think Sweden has turned into something of feminist, multiculturalist, “antiracist”, lefty madhouse.

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

    The attitude may be appropriate towards animals but not humans. It’s the treatment of a human in such a manner that’s appalling.

    An individual can decide for himself (if we are allowed to keep our income) how much to allocate to prolonging life. It should give us alarm when the state decides for us whether or not our life is still worth living. They don’t seem to get that difference.

    • THOUGHTCRIMINAL2014

      Serial killers often start by harming and killing animals before making the jump to killing people.
      There is a correlation.

      • 1Indioviejo1

        Perhaps that’s why Scandinavians abhor the death penalty. Birds of a feather…

      • fiddler

        Yep, that was the confession of Ted Bundy before he was executed.

    • Atikva

      No, it is absolutely NOT appropriate toward animals either, especially wild animals who have lost their freedom, their natural environment and spent their entire life behind bars. It is sad enough to see these wonderful gifts of the Creator languish in zoos. Who do they think they are these people who hide behind “science” to play God? They are just walking in the steps of old barbaric cults and totalitarian ideologies, period. They are spreading barbarism over the world and they have got to be stopped.

      • Bev Stayart

        The evil “doctors” who killed Marius were shown, cloaked in white, standing all around Marius as he lay dead. They seemed happy that he lay at their feet, as they imagined themselves the “gods who deemed him unfit to live.” This attitude is evil personified and all the people who were involved in killing Marius should be fired from their jobs and prosecuted for animal cruelty. But this will not happen in Denmark, a culture as cold and clinical as the so-called scientists who robbed Marius of his life.

        • OldNHMan

          Then what do we do when these same “gods” start deciding who among us are “life unworthy of life”? It’s already started in the Benelux countries. It’s a slippery slope, one humanity has gone down before…and that didn’t end well.

        • laura r

          it was almost a satanic sacrifice. very creepy, not for the civilized world.

      • 1Indioviejo1

        War is the answer. The Scandinavians are Muslim lovers who hate humanity but they disguise it well. When Islam takes power in Europe, if we are still a free nation, we will have to go to war to prevent their nukes being used against us.

        • Drakken

          The Scandinavian leftist are about to run into the Islamic mind set. It is about to get really bloody.

  • JVictor

    Kids in America can’t even watch Wile E. Coyote get owned by his contraptions to capture the Roadrunner much less watch a healthy young giraffe get blown away in front of them. The kids are also taught that “a rat is a pig is a boy” and that every life is valuable–except for the ones that are aborted because a fully developed human being is much more valuable than a mass of “unviable tissue.” Protest to save a whale or a baby seal and you’re a hero; protest to save a human life and you’re an anti-intellectual and barbaric religious zealot. This is an interesting phenomenon that seems to be leading in the same direction on different sides of the pond: human superiority gets to decide who or what lives and dies based upon what a handful of intellectual elites deem as a good life. The end result? The devaluation of all life. How much longer will it take for Soylent Green to become a reality?

  • Demetrius Minneapolis

    So that’s how the roll in Denmark? Scratch off another country from my Euro trip plans. I’m not that into beer anyway.

  • Jord Falls
    • figment

      EXACTLY!

  • http://joeclark.org/weblogs/ Joe Clark

    This is the PETA mentality: in the minds of such people, there are any number of good reasons to snuff out a life.

    Apart from the fact that doesn’t make any sense as an English-language sentence, PETA opposed the Danes’ treatment of Marius and nonviolently protested outside the zoo. Consider your ass fact-checked.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Has PETA demonstrated outside of the Danish embassy/consulate/mission?

      If not, why not?

  • nancinger

    Kinda reminds me of the thousands of abortions committed in the U.S. every year.

    • fiddler

      Of course that kind of talk elicits the “war on women” mantra. Enter Sandra Fluke.

    • laura r

      why does everything on conservative forums always go back to abortion?? you all have abortion-itis. cant anyone write an artical about an UNrelated subject w/out your agenda? off topic as usual.

      • Western Canadian

        It is part of the same life denying mind-set, which you seem to share.

      • Tiberius

        No different in the leftist sites when people start saying there should be limits in government assistance and immediately “reproductive rights” get thrown in the mix. Seems you do not notice that half.

      • Lorilu

        Because abortion is the great moral evil of our time. This article discusses the value of one individual animal’s life, and the attitude of the people in that country. There was a world-wide outcry against the killing of this inconvenient (for the zoo) giraffe. Why not a world-wide outcry against the killing of the inconvenient (for the parents) child?

    • herb benty

      A mental picture: a scale is set up, a board balanced on a point. on one end is killing an innocent human baby, on the other end is…choice. Which is weightier?

  • Hassan

    Why not write about the healthy, cute animal that died so that you could eat dinner today. Bruce Bawer? Do you think lions eat salads?

    The value of life in a population is connected to how often they experience death. Maybe the US terror-bombing of Europe during the Second World War caused a collective trauma that they still haven’t fully recovered from. Yes, I know it has been many decades, but Jews have not recovered from Auschwitz either.

    • logdon

      Absolute gibberish.

      As for your comment on Auschwitz, unless I’m mistaken,your very own name indicates your leanings.

      By the way have the Arabs living within the 1967 borders (I hesitate to call them Palestinians because they are an invented race) forgotten the Nakba?

      It’s all they can whine about, for gods sake.

      • Hassan

        Let’s see what we have here: No debate at all, just a “you do it too” – comment. Typical American redneck sans education.

        • UCSPanther

          You Jihadis and the Ku Klux Klan need to get a room. You have so much in common.

          • Hassan

            I thought the Ku-Klux Klan for the most part consisted of racist, white anglo-saxon protestants such as yourself.

          • UCSPanther

            Don’t talk to me about racism or imperialism, pal.

            You Jihadis have a lot of imperialism and mistreatment of others to own up to before you even have a foot to stand on.

          • Western Canadian

            The bloody kkk was not in any way Christian… They were more like pale skinned muslims.

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          Wah! The Americans did X.

          Typical SOCIALIST neo-commie sans education.

          • Hassan

            You reap what you sow.

          • Drakken

            Yes, you and your Islamic ilk are about to find that out, the hard way.

          • SCREW SOCIALISM

            Islamofascism reaps what it sows.

            See Syria.

        • logdon

          For a start I’m British and am educated.

          Typical Muslim with, quite literally as have most, no education.

          Judging by the statistics, it’s amazing you can read and write at all.

          • Hassan

            You should ask for a refund.

          • logdon

            And you should ask for a refund from Allah.

            Not quite going the way he predicted is it?

          • Hassan

            It’s going exactly the way we want in your native Britain, thank you very much.

          • logdon

            Now there’s an admission. I’ll keep this page in the file.

            However, I will add, not for long mate.

            Things are changing and you obviously know nothing of the British character.

          • Drakken

            You might want to get that sword off the mantle and get some practice in Don. ;) Poor haji, he just doesn’t know what is going to happen to him and his inbred ilk.

          • logdon

            As more of us become educated, and as Muslims who believe unquestioningly in authority and are institutionalised from birth by Islam, believe that political correctness is their saviour, so the balance tips.

            Like that other one, global warming, we have been lied to on a monumental scale about Islam but the genie’s bottle of the internet is well and truly open and people are at last becoming aware of the massive deceit woven around this cult.

            Trouble’s a brewin’.

            Our police have just ordered a batch of armoured water cannon vehicles designed expressly to quell street unrest.

            Now why would they do that is the next question?

            Civil unrest will come from the young, lawless and disaffected whose welfare money is being either curtailed or slashed to the bone and the parasite Muslims who will no doubt link to that under a joint pity party banner.

            Police will have no option but to use all reasonable force in preventing anarchy and when a few Muslim skulls are crushed then will come the ‘community leader’ whining, probably using our dhimmi BBC as their choice of medium.

            The masses, already aggrieved will be outraged as the BBC predictably sides with the Muslims and our faith in the institutions will be further eroded.

            We are policed by consent of the public. It is a passive arrangement built up over years and the quid pro quo is you support us and we’ll support you.

            When that fails is when the flash point comes and public perception of our political establishment, already at a low ebb will reduce and reduce until there’s nothing left.

            It’s here already propelled by various factors ranging from our MP expenses scandal, the appalling response to the recent flooding and the massive curtailment of free speech via hate speech law. And it’s building.

            This will not go away.

          • Drakken

            You and the rest of you goddamn ragheads are about to push the Brits and Europeans for that matter a little too far, if you thought the Serbs were vicious, you haven’t seen anything yet, but trust me haji, you soon will.

        • Drakken

          You ragheads don’t debate, you blow sh*t up to get your way, so your going to have to pardon me as I don’t give a rat’s azz about your opinion. Your in the west, you do things our way, or fu** off back to the sand pit you crawled out of.

    • James Foard

      “Why not write about the healthy, cute animal that died so that you
      could eat dinner today. Bruce Bawer? Do you think lions eat salads?”
      Cows don’t read Thackeray, go to the beach, shop for clothes, wonder about life on other worlds or have birthday parties.
      A good day for a cow is eating it’s fill of grass. However, animals
      raised for food should be treated humanly and killed with the least
      suffering allowable.
      “The value of life in a population is connected to how often they experience death”.
      That sounds bizarre. All life is precious, human life more so because we are made in the image of God. There is a certain amount of suffering in this imperfect world. The rabbis say we are here to help repair the world. Part of that repairing is on an emotional and spiritual level. It involves freeing ourselves from self centeredness and developing a heart of compassion and empathy towards all other sentient life.
      An animal raised as a pet, or in a zoo has a different status from a stockyard animal. These helpless, vulnerable creatures have learned to trust us, to bond with us, and through us in a way, they have sensed God’s love and care. To betray that trust is a grave sin, it is a sin against the heart, and even the heart of a dumb beast can feel pain.

      • Hassan

        “Cows don’t read Thackeray, go to the beach, shop for clothes, wonder about life on other worlds or have birthday parties.
        A good day for a cow is eating it’s fill of grass.”

        Yes, I am sure that giraffe would have invented a cure for cancer. Those dumb cows, on the other hand… Wake up from Disneyland.

        • Western Canadian

          Except for the part about eating grass, they sound rather like muslims…..

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Hassandnazi,

      You left out the SOCIALIST terror bombing of Europe – your National SOCIALIST bombing of Europe.

      You truly are an ignorant sack of SOCIALIST SHlTler.

      • Hassan

        In terms of tons of bombs dropped and the number of dead civilians, the US terror-bombing of German workers, women and children dwarfed everything the Luftwaffe had done.

        If you weren’t such hypocrites and racists, you would call it a crime against humanity. (Imagine someone flattening New York and murdering hundreds of thousands of civilians).

        • Wolfthatknowsall

          People commit crimes against humanity when they lose. Had the Axis won the Second World War, I’m certain that Truman, Churchill, and Stalin would have seen a scaffold.

          I’ve read many of your comments, Hassan, and have a sense of what you believe in and hope for. In my opinion, there’s one thing that you’ve learned from history. You don’t want to be on the side that loses.

          However, you should also be aware of another fact …

          No matter what opinion you and hieronymous have of the education or intelligence of the conservatives at this website, we understand the consequences of losing, also. That’s why … when the histories are written … it will record that we have won.

          • Hassan

            I basically agree with your view of history, and I sense you are more wise and educated than most other people here.

            But know that time is on our side. Our numbers grow from day to day in the entire Western world. Even wild animals know that they must reproduce, but in all your wealth and “brilliance”, you somehow missed that simple and most basic of instincts.

            Your populations are old and dying, ours are young and vibrant. At some point in the future we will be a majority. It is just a matter of time.

            If you don’t want to be on the losing side, you may have to consider changing sides.

          • NAHALKIDES

            You should not assume that we will allow you to reach majority status, or that you would be equal to us in military prowess even if you could equal our numbers. Your co-religionists were stopped in the past, and you will be stopped again.

          • Western Canadian

            Your population is inbred and sick, as well as the most ignorant in all of human history, as well as the most vicious in all of human history. The inability to grow and think, dooms islam and muslims to living in hovels, which is all you will have left, when you have no others to steal from. Cut off oil money to the islamonostra, and it will die.

          • Drakken

            You haven’t awoken the European DNA strand of conquer and kill yet, but that day is coming, and when it does, it will be a little bit like deer hunting, if it is brown, it is down, with no bag limit.

          • Wolfthatknowsall

            Faithless is the man who changes sides, because he fears losing.

            Islam is … besides communism … the greatest “wrong” ever foisted upon the human race. There is a growing sense of this, in the Western world. When the “dam” of understanding breaks, destruction will pour out over the entire Muslim world.

            Remember, for your own benefit, that it was the West that colonized the world, and Western population were tiny, in comparison to those they colonized. It was the West destroyed countless cities in Japan and Germany, in World War II. It was the West that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the first operational atomic bombs. Often, I think it must be in our DNA.

            You should also remember that “young and vibrant” populations can be wiped off the face of the earth by the push of a button.

            Perhaps, if you wish to change sides, we could introduce you to Jesus. After all, in the end, you must surely lose.

          • SCREW SOCIALISM

            You left out the greatest wrong of SOCIALISM.

            national SOCIALISM and Soviet SOCIALISM.

            The decline and fall of Eurabia is an experiment whose outcome can already be seen.

          • SCREW SOCIALISM

            Hassandnazi, your populations are old and killing your young. See Syria to see modern Islam at work.

            130,000+ dead – Arabs killing Arabs.

            The day is coming when blowback is going to wipe mecca off the map and end the hajj for thousands of years.

        • logdon

          Hassan your ignorance betrays you.

          Germany asked for the bombing and got it. And don’t forget that it was Hitler who declared war on America.

          As for terror nothing will outdo the Armenian Genocide and Holocaust, no doubt which you, in the fastness of your fellow homicidal co-religionists, would applaud.

          • SCREW SOCIALISM

            Hassandnazis Imam SHlTler declared War on the US four days after Imperial Japan bombed Pearl Harbor – Dec 11, 1941.

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          YOUR fellow national SOCIALISTS murdered millions of people, innocents, women, children – much more than the Allies.

          Seems like you are upset that your side LOST WW2.

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          Hassandnazi,

          “(Imagine someone flattening New York and murdering hundreds of thousands of civilians).”

          The al qada, taliban, muslim brotherhood playbook again?

          Do you really think that 1.5 billion savages can defeat 6 billion Infidels?

    • NAHALKIDES

      And right on cue, here comes Hassan, FPM’s resident troll, with his customary non-sequitur and/or apologia for barbarism. Zoo animals are not raised for human consumption, Hassan, and you’ve got some nerve bringing up Auschwitz (a second non-sequitur, by the way) when your co-religionists including the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem were firmly on Hitler’s side.

      • Hassan

        “Zoo animals are not raised for human consumption, Hassan,”

        Lions ate a giraffe. What could be more natural?

        If it was up to me, children would see slaughter houses and how sausages are made.

        • logdon

          Especially the slow excruciating halal ones?

          What was it the Palestinians are always raving about, we love death as you love life?

    • Habbgun

      Oh Hassan…..you are such a perfect specimen. Historical fact that the Mufti of Jerusalem and his followers accepted the Germans as a master race just so they could war on their neighbors the Jews. That is why the Palestinian cause is so popular with the Left. You guys know your place. Anything European you go all squirmy….like a little girl peeing on her seat at a Beatles concert. Pretty sad if you ask me. This idea of an ignorant America is bizarre…After all America was colonized by Europeans. Europeans that knew the best thing about Europe was leaving it. You on the other hand pay lip service to Allah but give a tongue bath to Marx.

      • Hassan

        “After all America was colonized by Europeans.”

        Yes, but not by the cream of the crop. The first settlers were more or less chased out of Europe.

        • Habbgun

          Nah….that’s the Left’s viewpoint. Every European observer from the colonial period remarked about the high level of the colonial citizenry. You don’t get to be number one in a short period of time by being stupid. You do get to spend thousands of years in poverty while blaming everyone else by being stupid…….by the way I noticed you didn’t deny your Euro betters. A loyal slave. Not too many of those anymore…..

    • Drakken

      I know where there are a few lions I would enjoy feeding you too. The problem with that is, they kill you too quick, perhaps some hyenas would do the trick, they at least eat you while your still alive. See? I am an animal lover you know.

  • fiddler

    What is next, abolish the Hippocratic Oath? Perhaps some of these people hope for an increase in natural disasters to assuage their corporate guilt. This reminds me of the episode from Star Trek the Next Generation where a renowned scientist is being hailed by his home planet to end his life, because it’s his “time”. Dianna Troi’s mom falls in love with him and lobbies for his life — to no avail. This is a fable about a society’s corporate mindset of death — an important episode.

    • Habbgun

      Actually there are two European movie thrillers http://www.rockportfilm.com/2013/12/anatomy-german-medical-horror-film-from.html – Anatomy and its sequel that was about a German-European group/cult that supposedly started in medieval times and disavowed the Hippocratic Oath as anti-progress. It perfectly summed up the mindset. Quicker research and it allowed for there to be a wealthy elite that cherrypicked followers based on loyalty and talent. Part of the advantage to this is our betters get to publicly come out as a group and tell us how things are going to be. You can be sure the more vocal the protest got the more happily arrogant the vets got. It’s what makes these people tick.

      • Tiberius

        I read the link and that movie does seem to represent the thinking of the medical elites and their government overlords who want to decide who lives and who dies. There is a movie that Javier Bardem did several years ago, called the Sea Inside.http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369702/
        From what I remember the movie made Javier Bardem’s character as noble and the people wanting to help him die as heroic. The pro-life people were shown to be backwards or religious simpletons.

  • wileyvet

    Don’t you see how sophisticated these people are? Again elitist thinking always knows what is best for us. As Mr. Bawer pointed out, this is exactly the type of thought that begat the Holocaust. It started out with euthanizing handicapped children, and the mentally ill etc. Twelve years later millions of people were dead because a society found them inconvenient to their new world order. I don’t doubt that they will also begin a boutique eugenics program for the truly privileged in order for them to breed more perfect elitists. This zoologist would make Dr. Josef Mengele proud.

  • NAHALKIDES

    Chilling. Certainly the incipient tyrannies of Europe place insufficient value on the individual human life; I wonder if there also isn’t something more sinister, and not just a love of death – perhaps a love of the power to decide life or death, of the authority to turn “thumbs down” on some unfortunate beast (for these people surely have no more regard for a human being than they do for Marius the giraffe) like a Roman emperor in the Colosseum.

  • thomask

    “I don’t think it’s misguided to suggest that there exists a certain continuity between this way of thinking and that which made possible the horrors of the Final Solution.”

    Well, you are wrong. It is a completely idiotic thing to suggest, and if you want the broader public to take this magazine seriously, you should stop writing nonsense like that.
    Fwiw, I do have a lot of respect for your writing, otherwhise.
    This giraffe-incident seems to bring out the worst in people on both sides of the debate.

    • Western Canadian

      Not at all idiotic. The author gives reasons why, you give none why-not.

      • thomask

        He doesn’t give any reasons. He just states, as his gut feeling,
        that the killing of a giraffe can be compared to the Holocaust.
        And if he has reasons to give for that comparison, I’m not sure, I want to hear them.

  • Bob Sten

    Europeans are not the enemy. Liberalism is, and will always be the enemy.

    It destroys societies…

    • Ray Burke

      Liberalism: The Great Satin !!!

      • Bob Sten

        ray,

        Yes, western liberalism is rotten to the core. Full of contradictions and hypocrisy.

        It will destroy the west. Mark my words.

  • Ganesha_akbar

    Anyone else read this thread and picture John Belushi shouting, “Food Fight!”

  • Mo86

    “Marius was tranquilized, killed with a shotgun, autopsied, and fed to lions – all in front of zoogoers, including both adults and children.”

    I am not one of those radical animal activists, but that’s horrific! If they chose to do it, that’s one thing. But why make it a public spectacle? Disgusting!

    I have to blame the parents as well. What sort of parent would take their child to see that?

    • figment

      Animals are private property. When an animal who’s entire care becomes a burden, be it a dairy cow or horse, or giraffe or zebra, the owner has to make the decision to cull animal, based on economics. Large animals are not cheap to keep to become pasture ornaments.Most animals who’s entire being is based on their burden of work (like carriage horses and draft animals) become behavior problems when removed from their ‘employment’.

      That being said, the reason the zoo did this PUBLICLY is to remove the stigma attached to euthanization for the animal’s own good. The argument that it would suffer by continued living or it’s genetics are inferior are for the public’s conditioning that the elites know what’s best. And children see worse in an R-rated horror movie. (something I can’t even watch and I butcher animals) or when a dog is run over in the road.

      “We know better than you lowly peasants, what’s good for you.”

      Socialized medicine isn’t killing the useless eaters fast enough, so they want to remove the moral barrier to reduce population.

      “first they came for the giraffes, and I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t a giraffe. ”

      Zoos (as well as farms and other animal keeping enterprises) make decisions of life or death and act on them privately every day. A zoo making this decision PUBLICLY (knowing that thousands of bleeding hearts will start screaming about the injustice of killing a cute animal) was a calculated decision to condition the populace for their fate.

      >>What sort of parent would take their children to see that?

      A lion in the wild does not stun the giraffe first, to render it unconcious before eating it. The lionesses start eating the giraffe before it is even dead.
      What would be cruel is to have the lions run the giraffe (raised in captivity not knowing fear from predation) down and kill it in front of spectators. This is life, and death.

    • Drucilla

      What sort? Danish, of course.

  • Phil McMorrow

    Public executions of criminals are banned, at least in civilized society. This killing of an animal in front of a crowd is barbaric. Why not just put him in the cage with the lions and watch the beasts tear the Giraffe apart? No class whatsoever.

  • Truth

    Bengt Holst needs to be euthanized. We don’t need his evil and cruel genes in the world.

  • ebonystone

    I wonder if the “Aftenposten” would have been so approving of Arne Sveen if he had cited religious reasons for refusing treatment, saying perhaps: “My life Is in the hands of God. I will live or die as He wills.”
    Or what would the paper have to say about a couple who refused treatment for a sick child on religious grounds?
    Maybe Denmark, and all the other Western countries should stop sending food and medical aid to the Third World. It’s nothing more than “treatment that will never cure, [but that will] just put off death for a brief period.”

  • cbn2

    Bengt Holst, the director of Copenhagen Zoo who ordered Marius’ death, is also the director of EAZA’s EEP breeding policy for all 347 affiliated zoos. (You can see the proof of this by looking at the official EAZA site, under the Organisational Structure link.) Approximately 1735 large animals are killed every year at these zoos by EAZA’s own estimation, due to these policies. Marius was the first to get international media attention. However, even after the global outrage to his bogus “science”, Bengt Holst still controls the policies.

  • Little_Cossack

    USA has ushered in this very same brand of Euro-socialism with the passing of Obamacare at any cost. For example, the GOP knew at every step of the way Obama was lying when he said, “You can keep your plan, you can keep your doctor.” Rather than shouting from the rooftop with the loudest voice, the GOP can only be described as complicit with Obama’s fraud. It’s nothing new. Where Medicare is concerned, the misinformation & disinformation from the horse’s mouth continues to involve collusion in reducing funding, benefits & quality of care to include unaccountable death panels.

    Euro-socialism metastasizing in USA must stop. To that end, maximum support for Eurosceptic parties in Europe against the European Union is needed. Otherwise, the genetic mutation combining Nationalist (Hitler) + Marxist (Stalin) socialism will in short order effect irretrievably the USA unique balance between modified democracy & capitalism. Left-protofascist orientation cited in this article is a bad dream USA must wake up from. Do we need to be attacked again, like 9-11, to wake the nation up from all the brainwashing propaganda? Something needs to happen where all the stores are again sold out of Old Glory flags.

    The heathens protecting us from terrorism are at the same time taking our rights away. Life, liberty & pursuit of happiness could very well become no more than a distant pipe dream. Revisionism & dumbed down education system only add to the concern. Let’s get behind Eurosceptics. In doing so, Obama’s agenda will be even further illuminated & the push-back will be aided.

  • Vivek

    Don’t understand what’s there to get so worked up about? Animals are meant for man, man is not meant for animals.

    • Karl Levonworth

      Exactly!

    • Mo86

      This is true. At the same time, there is no reason to abuse them in this way. And why make it a public spectacle, even open to children? What kind of a parent thinks bringing their kid to see this is a fun family outing?

      • Vivek

        Serves to reinforce the inferior position of animals in a society that seems to be increasingly losing the plot on animal rights. Already far too much of money, resources, time etc are being spent on animal welfare, especially in the west. These should be diverted for the use of people, who have a greater right on them than the four legged, winged, furred whatever.

  • Rebecca

    I thought that the “scientific” problem of inbreeding had been proven to be much over rated, and that certain populations might be experiencing poor development due to weakening from poor nutrition, or to other causes. Having the wrong DNA is now an excuse for euthanasia. I remember being told it would never happen again—because we know too much to let it happen….

  • Mo86

    This was indeed a chilling article.

    And America’s going down that same road. The story of Jahi McMath is proof of that. The mantra of “Brain dead! Brain dead!” were shrieked on every story. Nearly every single comment on the stories that I personally saw on her were demanding her death or calling her a corpse or worse. It was sickening.

  • Phil

    Bruce, thanks for this article along with the many others that you publish here. I always make a point of reading your work.

    I found the picture of the beautiful dead animal and the white-clad scientist in front of the zoo-going audience oddly disturbing, and have spent some time mulling it over. I think Holst’s argument is weakest at the beginning, where he says that “a giraffe is not a pet; it’s not like a dog or cat that becomes part of the family.”

    In college many years ago I had a summer job at the Bronx Zoo, and my favorite spot there was the lion house at feeding time in the afternoon, when Fred Martini, the keeper, in addition to feeding the big cats, stroked and petted them and generally “loved them up.” I would imagine that many of the larger animals at all zoos are somebody’s pet, and this applies not only to the gentle animals but also–as in Mr. Martini’s example–the not-so-gentle ones.

    Somewhere in the zoo in Copenhagen there is an assistant keeper who had a relationship with Marius and was appalled by this needless taking of life, but this person has not come forward and has not been sought out by the media.

    I’m quite sure that kids at the zoo, when they see a keeper in a cage or in a pen in close proximity to an exotic animal, wish they could have that job. So Holst–the biggest keeper of all–invites a group of kids to watch him kill a healthy young giraffe.

    We can’t see inside a man’s heart but we can discern his strategy. I think Holst killed the giraffe because he could. He could get away with it. Some animals were off limits to him, even though the reasons he gave for killing Marius–his genes being well represented in the population, etc.–could be applied to any creature. Imagine if he had shot a wolf, or an orangutan–or an elephant! Had Holst killed a young elephant, I think he would have been relieved of his duties shortly after the “demo.” But he could kill a giraffe now and give the world time to get used to the idea. The apes and elephants (and who knows what or who else) would come later.