Dead Gorillas, Scared Toddlers, and Other Things I Care About

I’m mostly making this blog post because it was going to be a Facebook status and then I realized I had a lot more to say than I originally thought, so I believe a blog post may be the better format for sharing my thoughts.

As I’m sure most of you have read on the internet lately, there was recently an accident at the Cincinnati Zoo involving a toddler which resulted in the death of a gorilla. I don’t have much of an opinion on this incident because I haven’t watched the video(s) due to the fact that I hate watching animals die or toddlers be put in danger. I’ve read a few articles about it, though, and the entire situation makes me sad. It makes me sad that the toddler was in danger and it makes me sad that the gorilla had to die. I don’t know if the right decision was made in this case, and I don’t think it really matters at this point. It happened and it’s sad and I do care about it. I care about the poor gorilla that had to die and I care about the poor child and child’s parents and various other witnesses who had to experience such a scary situation.

In the time since this incident, I have seen many posts of two types:

  1. People either defending the zoo for shooting the gorilla or outraged about the death of the gorilla.
  2. People posting about all the other tragic things that have happened during the time the media has covered the story about the gorilla, explaining that we should not care about the gorilla and instead care about [insert other tragic issue]. Example: “During the time you have been freaking out about the dead gorilla x amount of babies have been aborted and you don’t care!”

The second type of post is the post which has gotten me extremely frustrated lately. It is the same type of post I saw when the story about a lion being shot hit the internet a few months ago. I am frustrated by these posts because they assume I am unable to care about multiple issues at the same time.

I am a human being with the capability to simultaneously care about a dead gorilla and starving children or veterans experiencing homelessness or any other number of issues. I care about a lot of things in this world. I care about the gorilla that died. I care about the the child and the parents who had this scary thing happen to them. I care about the babies who have been aborted and I care about the mothers who had to make that impossible decision. I care about the suicide rate among our youth and I care about my mom who is about to have heart surgery.

Just because I am posting about something I care about which has happened recently and been big in the news does not mean I do not care about all the other things happening in this world. And maybe all the posts about all the other things I should be caring about are simply pointing out the lack of media coverage on those issues, and I understand the frustration that comes with that. I understand wanting more media coverage for different types of things, but the media, in part, exists to inform of us of current events – and it just so happens that the gorilla incident was a current event. Were there other current events that could or should have been covered as well? I’m sure there were. But making a blanketed post exclaiming all the things I/we/whoever the post is aimed at should be caring about instead of the gorilla isn’t really doing much to change the things the media is covering. It’s only making me, and perhaps others, frustrated at the fact that it is assumed we are unable to care about more than one thing at a time. I assure you, I can, and do, care about multiple things at once.

Also, I would like to point out that this is actually the first post I made about the gorilla incident. đŸ˜‰