Zoo Sign Inadvertently Reveals Much
About Our Relationships With Animals
August 6, 2001
Have you ever seen one of
these self-consciously amusing signs posted where there are animals on
PLEASE DO NOT
Abuse, aggravate, agitate, alarm, anger, annoy, badger, beset, bother,
bullyrag, disquiet, distress, disturb, exasperate, fluster, frighten,
frustrate, goad, harass, harm, harry, hassle, heckle, hound, hurt,
intimidate, irritate, jeer, maltreat, molest, nettle, persecute, perturb,
pester, plague, provoke, rattle, ruffle, scare, shock, tantalize, tease,
torment, torture, tousle, upset, vex or worry
While the sign is probably
meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, I took a moment and thought about each
admonition. Even without having been a pet owner, I can readily
imagine the applicability of each of those verbs to a non-human creature; in
other words, animals can experience all of these emotions.
Go back and read the sign
again. Isn't what I just wrote true?
How can some people maintain
that animals are some sort of automatons, which we should feel free to
imprison, experiment on or kill for food as we see fit?