Tuesday, July 20, 2010

When Donkeys Fly and Kids Cry

See article from yahoo.ca:

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian beachgoers got a shock when they saw a donkey soaring in the blue skies over the balmy beaches on the Sea of Azov in southern Russia last week, police said on Tuesday.

Attached to a parachute, the animal screamed in fear as it circled over heads of holidaymakers sunbathing on a beach in the Cossack village of Golubitskaya in the Krasnodar region.

A regional police spokeswoman said the donkey ended up in the skies as a result of an impromptu advertising campaign by several Russian entrepreneurs to attract beachgoers to their private beach.

Instead, they attracted the attention of regional police who learned of the flying donkey earlier this week and launched a probe.

"The donkey screamed and children cried," regional police spokeswoman Larisa Tuchkova told AFP. "No-one had the brains to call police."

Instead, she said, people reached for their cameras and bombarded a local newspaper with phone calls.

"It was put up so high into the sky that the children on the beach cried and asked their parents: "Why did they tie a doggy to a parachute?" the newspaper, Taman, said late last week.

"The donkey landed in an atrocious manner: it was dragged several metres along the water, after which the animal was pulled out half-alive onto the shore."

The incident is stunning even for a country where animal cruelty is widespread and came as a shock to the locals, said Taman newspaper's editor, Elena Iovleva.

"This has never happened before," she told AFP.

The footage of the parachuting donkey was aired on national television Tuesday.

End of Article

I think that there are some important lessons that we can pull from this. First, that entrepreuners in Russia should lay off the vodka before deciding on great new advertising campaigns. That Please Enjoy Responsibly tag isn't just there for pregnant ladies, guys.

Second, that someone has to think of the children. Really, the poor children cried when they saw the donkey flying so high. And that's a bad thing. Especially when you're on vacation. You work all year as a parent to get a couple of lousy weeks off and then you go to all the trouble to take them to this lovely beach where you've fed them, lathered them in sunscreen and took them to the bathroom a hundred times, and just when you're starting to relax, some drunken group of billionnaires with a private beach decide to launch a donkey in the air for free publicity and your stupid kids are crying and your vacation is ruined.

Third, that even a country known for animal cruelty can go too far. This is Russia, after all, the land of the bears dressed as ballerinas riding on unicycles. Perhaps this would have been less shocking if the donkey was dressed in a tutu.

It's incredible that we find it acceptable to abuse animals for our amusement or for self-promotion. In the past, we used to use various groups of people for that very same purpose. The bleeding heart PETA squad is probably appropriately outraged and ready to vigorously defend the rights of donkeys in Russia on behalf of this poor victim.

This senseless act did make for a great story, though. It really shows that despite all of the progress that we've made as a society, we're still the same brutes underneath, using and abusing as we please, often for no other reason than we can. It's a way of showing how dominant we are and how nature is there at our disposal. How animals not only have to die for our nourishment, warmth and protection, but also for our callous need to be entertained and pandered to.

Besides from being an idiot idea, this little prank was unnecessarily cruel, and not the kind of cruel that you get labeled when you dress up your chihuahua in a pink mini sombrero. This animal was half alive when they recovered it and for what? Did the billionnaires get a good laugh? Did it make everyone want to visit the private beach that a flying donkey so well represents and embodies?

It's amazing that it took this stunt to show what kind of asses humans can be.

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