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Human Zoos in the Age of Trump

Human Zoos in the Age of Trump

Ariel Dorfman

When Donald Trump recently accused “illegal immigrants” of wanting to “pour into and infest our country,” there was an immediate outcry. After all, that verb, infest, had been used by the Nazis as a way of dehumanizing Jews and communists as rats, vermin, or insects that needed to be eradicated.

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The hateful, vicious ideology of speciesism against innocent and suffering fellow Earthlings fuels the politics of racism.

Human beings perpetually wage violent war on nonhuman animals. As Gary Yourofsky explains it: “The hate that humans hold toward animals is matchless. It is impossible to overcome with compromise, or with only entreaty. It is so vicious, aseptic and bitter that a thousand peaceful Gods and Goddesses couldn’t eradicate it.”

Devaluing animals other than humans in the first place has always been used to validate violence and destruction against them–as if ONLY minorities experience being victims. Why? So that we can differentiate who counts from those who don’t count. And nonhuman animals NEVER count for anything! As per animal-rights activist Gary Yourofsky: “The problem is that humans have victimized animals to such a degree that they are not even considered victims. They are not even considered at all. They are nothing. They don’t count; they don’t matter; they’re commodities like TV sets and cell phones. We have actually turned animals into inanimate objects - sandwiches and shoes.” All the hatred, contempt, violence, and destruction nonhuman animals experience at the merciless hand of humanity each and every day has been normalized to such a degree that people that it for granted: “It’s normal. It’s natural. It’s necessary. It’s progress.”

“What do they know-all these scholars, all these philosophers, all the leaders of the world - about such as you? They have convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor of all the species, is the crown of creation. All other creatures were created merely to provide him with food, pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer

“Animals don’t behave like men,’ he said. ‘If they have to fight, they fight; and if they have to kill they kill. But they don’t sit down and set their wits to work to devise ways of spoiling other creatures’ lives and hurting them. They have dignity and animality.” ― Richard Adams, Watership Down

Animals other than humans have dignity and inherent value.

Here’s what’s wrong with fashionable liberalism in the United Sates: ostentatious concern for every conceivable oppressed (human) minority on the planet combined with a hypocritical and near-total disinterest in the sentient beings who collectively constitute the most abused group of all. Rest in Peace, Koko. Rest in Peace, Harambe. Rest in Peace, Cecil. Rest in Peace, Marius. You were decent citizens of a Peaceable Kingdom. Can’t say the same for a lot of undeserving humans.


“Animals other than humans have dignity and inherent value.”

Humans have institutions behind which hide the predatory extractavists that start working on conditioning of dehumanization by registering EACH BIRTH (yes, your birth certificate has your name in caps) and why is that? To prevent your escape from a cradle to grave Legal institution through which all other institutions have access to whatever value is imposed by whatever the system whims to suck therefrom.

… or am I wrong?

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“…Roving Bands of Wild Criminals…”

Sounds like the Trump Administration and what they’ve done to ICE, and the Border Patrol.


And what was done to create Homeland Security.

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I find zoos disgusting, as well as some so-called wildlife preserves. So for me, to call those confinement areas zoos is not to call the people animals, but just a way to explain the revolting way the children are being treated. However, the annihilation of animals in general, as you say, at the expense of human expansion is very, very sad.

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Thank you Helen.

Add the DHS to my list.

That concluding paragraph is very likely to be moot, as the same pathologies that led to those horrors are intent on ensuring there’s no one left to be appalled by the inhumanity of our present day.

If I could give you 100 likes, I would. And I would add something about the trees that have stood for millennia and were never endangered by the non-human animal are now dying off in record numbers because of humans - (the “civilized” branch of that species in particular)