I realize Jesus said no one can predict the official end of days, but this week’s news of protesters a rage over the shooting of a gorilla to protect a 3- year-old boy might officially signal his near return.
What else can explain people losing their minds over the death of an ape, instead of a collective sigh of relief that a toddler wasn’t murdered by a 450-pound mammal in front of his parents and a few dozen field trippers? 2 Timothy describes end time people as “unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous and reckless.” In other words, they might not only grieve and hold a candlelight vigil for a caged primate, they might even criticize the family for not keeping their son on a leash. One angered animal nut went so far as to say the life of an animal is synonymous to a child’s. I think I hear an earthquake.
This is not a manifesto against animals. God made them. They are beautiful, regal creatures who should never be abused or needlessly harmed, except of course to be eaten-ideally after raised humanely. I personally enjoy my turkey burgers even more knowing they enjoyed free range goodness before biting the bullet.
However, when people begin blanketing social media with the angriest of emojis after Cecil the lion gets shot, or a zoo animal gets taken down to save a human, we have a societal problem. In the hour it takes to write this, approximately 6,278 babies were aborted and sent to an early grave. Who’s holding their vigils? It’s hard for me to understand pouring emotion, time, energy or money into the plight of any animal or environmental cause, when 600,000 to 800,000 humans are being sold into sex trafficking each year, and Christians are literally being beheaded for their beliefs.
I love the Earth and all its furry creatures. Palm trees specifically, are a thing of magic, and the ocean makes my soul sing. God made plants and animals and called them good, and I believe pets are His way of making sure no one’s alone in this world. Touching stuff. But when I attempt giving away my cat on Craigslist after he consistently confuses my carpet for a 1,000 square foot litter box, and receive near threatening emails warning that my “free to good home” post elicits the attention of abusers, it disgusts me.
The energy. The urgency. The passion, time and money people have for plights like proper pet re-homing, or their carbon footprint, is sickening when so many humans are suffering right in each of our backyards. I guarantee groups dedicated to helping hungry, abused or troubled people exist within a 10 mile radius of any home. People with eternally-bound souls are suffering. After every mouth is fed and child is cared for I’d love for not one cat to be abandoned, and not a single can falls into the non-recyclable bin. But until then let’s prioritize.
I can’t imagine Jesus coming to Earth and giving a rat’s bohunkus about the gradual increase of our atmospheric pressure, or our individual fossil fuel consumption. Or a dead gorilla. Even Biblical references to nature, like the Matt. 10:31 sparrows are analogies for God’s love for humans. When Jesus said if you love me, feed my sheep, he wasn’t talking about the Awassi fait-tailed sheep down by the village- he was talking about people.
I’m sorry for Harambe, the gorilla. But I’m even sorrier his death has stirred the hearts of thousands, when somewhere a child literally living in a dump in Korah, Ethiopia searches for a moldy banana peel. End times, I tell you. Buying a water purifier as we speak.