Since it's "not safe" and since it "might look bad" and "what would the people who hate us and want us dead think?", I think I'm supposed to feel bad about something that I enjoy. I enjoyed watching those lions torment that man. He enjoyed it. I used to enjoy it when my dogs did it. I wish I were him.
It's a moral, that I think must be disposed of, that if it smacks the slightest bit of unsafeness or of disreputability it must not be practiced. This is even when I agree that the youngsters must be kept under control. I can tell you for certain that my German Shepherds didn't learn that kind of self-control from me but they were quite good with strangers and quite mannerly.
Collectively we worry ourselves to death and then worry that if we don't worry enough someone's going to think something's wrong with us and that will be the end of the world. Kind of silly to think that when the bastards are already going full-tilt at us with what little they have, and like the parasites they are they have to co-opt energy and resources that do not belong to them. And then we have trouble seeing why we should not close off our sources of power and connections with the rest of humanity.
The parasites are a small force that continually has to do its worst to try to erode away at a thing that is larger, better, far more beautiful, far more life-giving, than they can ever hope to be. The exotic animal trade, as is all animal-based agriculture, is a lot more important to humanity than we usually think.
I don't know. You can call me whatever but what I see in the two cubs playing with their human is one of the great manifestations of life. All things considered it is just about intense enough to help a human remain human. We have a divine spark that requires something intense to keep it at its optimum brightness. The light is what the public wants from keepers of exotic animals, something to nourish their souls. "Safety" does nothing for them. It's less than nothing. It's the promise to subtract something from their lives. When do we start celebrating life? You know, it's not celebrating life to sit in front of a machine punching a touch screen hoping that it will reward me with some spare change.
My blog: www.animalculture.org