On May 28 of this year, there was an incident at the Cincinnati Zoo involving a gorilla named Harambe. A little boy found himself in the gorilla enclosure, and Harambe was seen grabbing him and dragging him from the water. Following zoo protocol, one of the zookeepers shot Harambe in order to save the boy.
Almost four months later, this is still a hot topic of discussion. For some reason, people seem to think that there is a debate between the value of the life of a child and the life of a gorilla. People of the internet are up in arms about the choice of the zookeeper, and they refuse to let it go.
In the last few days, I have seen mentions of Harambe on every social media site I use, including a GroupMe I am a part of, which has been named "RIP Harambe".
I am here to say what I hope most of the world is thinking:
It is just a gorilla.
Unless you live in Cincinatti, and probably even if you do, you did not know who Harambe was before this happened. You did not go visit him every day to see how he was doing. You didn't save up your extra bananas to feed him in your spare time. So why are you so mad about his death? Was his death undeserved? Possibly. But if you had seen a 6 foot man with a gun in his hand try to pick up a little boy off the ground, would you be mad at the police officer who shot him? No. You would say that the officer was simply trying to make the best choice in a hard situation.
If that is not enough to convince you to let it go, let's talk about all of the things happening in this world that are more important than the death of a gorilla. For your convenience, I made a list:
- Racial injustice/white privilege
- Gun violence
- Sex trafficking
- Global warming
- World hunger
- Child brides
- Gender Inequlity
"But it's just a joke! We're being funny!" you say. Well, I'm here to say it's not funny.
Here's the deal: I am NOT saying that this isn't important at all. Animals are important. God made them for a reason, and they are a beautiful part of creation that needs to be protected. Harambe was a part of a Species Survival Plan. It is incredibly sad that he had to die. What I am saying is that if we took the energy and power that we have put into carrying on the Harambe ordeal and put it into the fight against world hunger, we could save thousands of lives. Harambe is already dead. If another gorilla gets into the same situation, the zoo keeper is going to shoot him. It is protocol. Human lives and safety are always going to be more important.
So, stop talking about Harambe and put your effort into a movement that actually needs your help.