I finished Tiger King. It was as awful and disturbing as had been hyped. I’m one of those hippy lovey animal types. I don’t get caging an animal and I haven’t liked Zoos since the Audubon Zoo (in New Orleans where I grew up) was called jail for animals back in the day. It’s been revamped and is very beautiful now but I still don’t like the idea.
I hate big game hunting. I get that these are elderly or sick animals being culled, but let them die naturally, with dignity, not with some third rate red neck and his monosyllabic dimbo riding the animal’s dead body astride. I’m not against hunting. My family is filled with hunters (shotguns and crossbows), but when they are finished with their kill they have used every part of the animal from meat to hide.
Tiger King was an empty void-like sort of ending, a cast of unsavory characters. A man, who had caged, exploited and abused animals through all of his adult life, un-ironically belaboring how awful it was to be caged in jail. The powerless workers who truly loved those animals and did their best to care for them. The seedy snakes that somehow avoided consequence. The easy target woman who at the very least seemed to be trying to help the animals even if also exploiting them and behaving really strangely in the process. The animals, so heartbreaking, the animals used and disposed of without care or consequence other than by those who had no power to change anything at all.
It was a show of glitter and jazz hands that when you looked back at the hour you had just spent you felt a little disgusted by the entertainment you took from the train wreck. We want what we want, people, and often we want it without regard to its rightness. Tiger King was the ultimate lesson in all of that. It was a selfish retrospect, a cluster of terrible humans, who were expert at manipulating and exploiting weaker animals, cats and humans alike.
I don’t feel better for having watched that show other than at least my eyes are lifted to the seedy worms that crawl under that particular rock of society. I was proud of my child who has loved lions since they could say the word who was horrified that my SO and I watched the show. That child is the future of what will be good in the world.
I welcome the time they take over and lead us in new directions.