crossposted at Ruminants
This was an well written column on life and death for Northern Europeans as it regards Marius the giraffe. (ht Maggie’s Farm) After discussing all the reasons why Marius couldn’t have any other alternative than death the author comes to this:
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.
Leading them to a culture of euthanasia for children etc.
This somewhat relates to the post the other day about carriage horses too. DeBlasio, et al, have determined that these carriage horses are not living an ideal horse life (seriously, how many horses do?) and so have decided they should all be fired from their jobs and……..hm, what do people do with horses that are not useful? Yes, they euthanize. Apparently tis better to be dead than startled by a bicyclist in Progressive terms.
In poetic terms (for Marius), tis better to be dead than not bred.
What’s interesting to me, is that these Northern Europeans are also some of the most atheistic people in the world. Once dead, you’re dead in their mind. It’s not even like you get to go to a better place.
What is this about? Per the author:
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.
What that doesn’t get into however is that “quality of life” bit. A quality of life does not mean no suffering or struggle. It doesn’t mean getting everything you want or even what you need. Life is different for each of us. My difficulties with zoos is that they make all the choices for the animals and discard those that don’t fit into their utopian scene. Humans pay to “watch” and “learn”. I call it bull because the whole thing is orquestrated at the expense of the individuals involved.
Death will come to each of us. And death is not horrible, but neither is life. Most of us – including Marius – prefer to live. We’ll adjust to our circumstances and do our best to make them work for us. Marius was a slave to the system and apparently so are the sick in Northern Europe as they live under the pressure of eh – go ahead and die since you’ll be a burden to the rest of us.
We’re heading down that path here too as universal health care becomes the reality. Your sickness will be paid for with my money. How long until I resent that? Apparently in less than a lifetime based on real world examples.