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About Roberto Pavanello. Roberto Pavanello. Sono nato a Milano, ma vivo in provincia di Varese. Parini" di Milano. Ho coltivato questa passione anche in seguito, dedicandomi per anni al teatro-ragazzi, collaborando con la cattedra di "Storia d Sono nato a Milano, ma vivo in provincia di Varese.
Fedele di Milano. Sono insegnante di Italiano alla Scuola Secondaria di I grado e da molti anni lavoro anche nell'ambito della editoria scolastica, sia come autore di testi per le medie e le superiori che come consulente editoriale. Dal mi occupo in particolare di "animazione della lettura". In tale ambito tengo laboratori nelle scuole, animazioni per ragazzi e adulti presso biblioteche e amministrazioni comunali, corsi di aggiornamento agli insegnanti. Nel ho esordito come autore per ragazzi. Croce sull'Arno" con il libro "Draculicchio e la scuola dei vampiri" Ed.
Nel ho vinto il "Premio Verghereto ragazzi leggono" con il libro "Guarda che chiamo l'uomo nero" ed. Numerosi miei racconti sono apparsi su giornali e riviste per bambini e per adulti. Dal ho dato inizio alla fortunata serie comic-horror del pipistrello "Bat Pat", le cui avventure sono ormai tradotte in numerosi paesi europei ed extraeuropei. Nel , invece, ho invaso le librerie con i folletti della serie "Flambus Green", dedicata all'ecologia e ai problemi dell'ambiente. Other books in the series. Bat Pat 1 - 10 of 36 books.
Books by Roberto Pavanello. Trivia About El fantasma del D Whether we change our lives or do nothing, we have responded. To do nothing is to do something. Perhaps our children, at least, have not taken a side in our war, only the spoils. My family lived in Berlin in the spring of , and we spent several afternoons at the aquarium.
We stared into the tanks — or tanks just like the tanks — that Kafka had stared into. I was particularly taken by the sight of sea horses — those strange, chessman-like creatures that are a favorite of the popular animal imaginaire. Sea horses come not only in the chessman variety, but also in soda straw and plantlike shapes, and range in size from one to eleven inches. I am clearly not the only one fascinated by the perpetually startling appearance of these fish. We desire to look at them so much that millions die in the aquarium and souvenir trade.
And it is just this odd aesthetic bias that makes me spend time on them here, while I pass over so many other animals — animals closer to our realm of concern. Sea horses are the extreme of the extreme. Sea horses, more than most animals, inspire wonder — they draw our attention to the astonishing similarities and discontinuities between each kind of creature and every other. They can change color to blend in with their surroundings, and beat their dorsal fins nearly as fast as a hummingbird beats its wings. Because they have no teeth or stomach, food moves through them almost instantly, requiring them to eat constantly.
Hence such adaptations as eyes that move independently, which allow them to search for prey without turning their heads. Not terribly good swimmers, they can die of exhaustion when caught in even small currents, so they prefer to anchor themselves to sea grasses or coral, or to each other — they like to swim in pairs, linked by their prehensile tails. Sea horses have complicated routines for courtship, and tend to mate under full moons, making musical sounds while doing so. They live in long-term monogamous partnerships.
What is perhaps most unusual, though, is that it is the male sea horse that carries the young for up to six weeks. The image of males giving birth is perpetually mind-blowing: a turbid liquid bursts forth from the brood pouch, and like magic, minuscule but fully formed sea horses appear out of the cloud. My son was not impressed. He should have loved the aquarium, but was terrified and spent our time there pleading to go home.
Perhaps he encountered something in what were, for me, the mute faces of sea animals. More likely he was afraid of the wet dimness, or the throat clearing of the whirring pumps, or the crowds. I figured if we went enough times, and stayed long enough, he would realize — eureka! It never happened. As a writer aware of that Kafka story, I came to feel a certain kind of shame at the aquarium. It belonged to a writer who, when held up to his hero, was grossly, shamefully inadequate. And as a Jew in Berlin, I felt other shades of shame. And there was the shame that came with being a tourist, and with being an American as photos of Abu Ghraib proliferated.
The shame of indiscriminate killing for no nutritional necessity or political cause or irrational hatred or intractable human conflict. I felt shame for living in a nation of unprecedented prosperity — a nation that spends a smaller percentage of income on food than any other civilization has in human history — but in the name of affordability treats the animals it eats with cruelty so extreme it would be illegal if inflicted on a dog.
And nothing inspires as much shame as being a parent. Children confront us with our paradoxes and hypocrisies, and we are exposed. You need to find an answer for every why — Why do we do this? So you say, simply, because. And whether or not your face reddens, you blush.
The shame of parenthood — which is a good shame — is that we want our children to be more whole than we are, to have satisfactory answers. My son not only inspired me to reconsider what kind of eating animal I would be, but shamed me into reconsideration. Her paws are paddling in the air, so she is probably dreaming about running: Chasing a squirrel? Playing with another dog in the park? She always falls back asleep; he never does. Between us is. Before visiting any farms, I spent more than a year wading through literature about eating animals: histories of agriculture, industry and United States Department of Agriculture USDA materials, activist pamphlets, relevant philosophical works, and the numerous existing books about food that touch on the subject of meat.
I frequently found myself confused. Sometimes my disorientation was the result of the slipperiness of terms like suffering, joy, and cruelty. Sometimes it seemed to be a deliberate effect. Language is never fully trustworthy, but when it comes to eating animals, words are as often used to misdirect and camouflage as they are to communicate. Some words, like veal, help us forget what we are actually talking about. Some, like free-range, can mislead those whose consciences seek clarification.
Some, like happy, mean the opposite of what they would seem. And some, like natural, mean next to nothing. It happens, though, that not all cultures even have the category animal or any equivalent word in their vocabulary — the Bible, for example, lacks any word that parallels the English animal. Even by the dictionary definition, humans both are and are not animals.
In the first sense, humans are members of the animal kingdom. But more often, we casually use the word animal to signify all creatures — from orangutan to dog to shrimp — except humans. Within a culture, even within a family, people have their own understandings of what an animal is. Within each of us there are probably several different understandings. What is an animal? Anthropologist Tim Ingold posed the question to a diverse group of scholars from the disciplines of social and cultural anthropology, archaeology, biology, psychology, philosophy, and semiotics. It proved impossible for them to reach a consensus on the meaning of the word.
The conviction that humans are the pinnacle of evolution, the appropriate yardstick by which to measure the lives of other animals, and the rightful owners of everything that lives. The urge to project human experience onto the other animals, as when my son asks if George will be lonely. Anthropomorphism is a risk we must run, because we must refer to our own human experience in order to formulate questions about animal experience. What is that embarrassing problem? Is it anthropodenial not to? The typical cage for egg-laying hens allows each sixty-seven square inches of floor space — somewhere between the size of this page and a sheet of printer paper.
Step your mind into a crowded elevator, an elevator so crowded you cannot turn around without bumping into and aggravating your neighbor. The elevator is so crowded you are often held aloft. This is a kind of blessing, as the slanted floor is made of wire, which cuts into your feet. After some time, those in the elevator will lose their ability to work in the interest of the group. Some will become violent; others will go mad. A few, deprived of food and hope, will become cannibalistic. There is no respite, no relief. No elevator repairman is coming. Not all chickens have to endure battery cages.
In this way only, it could be said that broilers — chickens that become meat as opposed to layers, chickens that lay eggs — are lucky: they tend to get close to a single square foot of space. You probably thought that chickens were chickens. But for the past half century, there have actually been two kinds of chickens — broilers and layers — each with distinct genetics.
Their egg output has more than doubled since the s. Broilers make flesh. In the same period, they have been engineered to grow more than twice as large in less than half the time. Chickens once had a life expectancy of fifteen to twenty years, but the modern broiler is typically killed at around six weeks. Their daily growth rate has increased roughly percent. They serve no function. Which is why all male layers — half of all the layer chickens born in the United States, more than million chicks a year — are destroyed.
Most male layers are destroyed by being sucked through a series of pipes onto an electrified plate. Some are tossed into large plastic containers. The weak are trampled to the bottom, where they suffocate slowly. The strong suffocate slowly at the top. Others are sent fully conscious through macerators picture a wood chipper filled with chicks.
Modern fishing tends to involve much technology and few fishers. This combination leads to massive catches with massive amounts of bycatch. Take shrimp, for example. The average shrimp-trawling operation throws 80 to 90 percent of the sea animals it captures overboard, dead or dying, as bycatch. Endangered species amount to much of this bycatch. Shrimp account for only 2 percent of global seafood by weight, but shrimp trawling accounts for 33 percent of global bycatch. We tend not to think about this because we tend not to know about it.
What if there were labeling on our food letting us know how many animals were killed to bring our desired animal to our plate? Or take tuna. Imagine being served a plate of sushi. But this plate also holds all of the animals that were killed for your serving of sushi. The plate might have to be five feet across. Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, a. All CAFOs harm animals in ways that would be illegal according to even relatively weak animal welfare legislation.
Common Farming Exemptions make legal any method of raising farmed animals so long as it is commonly practiced within the industry. In other words, farmers — corporations is the right word — have the power to define cruelty. If the industry adopts a practice — hacking off unwanted appendages with no painkillers, for example, but you can let your imagination run with this — it automatically becomes legal.
CFEs are enacted state by state and range from the disturbing to the absurd. Take Nevada. Certain states exempt specific practices, rather than all customary farming practices. One night, when my son was four weeks old, he developed a slight fever. By the next morning he was having trouble breathing. On the second, third, fourth, and fifth days, our friends Sam and Eleanor brought us food.
Lots of food, far more than we could eat: lentil salad, chocolate truffles, roasted vegetables, nuts and berries, mushroom risotto, potato pancakes, green beans, nachos, wild rice, oatmeal, dried mango, pasta primavera, chili — all of it comfort food. We could have eaten in the cafeteria or ordered in.
And they could have expressed their love with visits and kind words.
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But they brought all of that food, and it was a small, good thing that we needed. That, more than any other reason — and there are many other reasons — is why this book is dedicated to them. On the sixth day, my wife and I were able, for the first time since arriving, to leave the hospital together. It was snowing. The snowflakes were surreally large, distinct and durable: like the ones children cut out of white paper. We glided like sleepwalkers down Second Avenue, no destination in mind, and ended up in a Polish diner.
Massive glass windows faced the street, and the snowflakes clung for several seconds before descending. It was the best meal of my life. Not only the willful causing of unnecessary suffering, but the indifference to it. I heard this again and again from ranchers, who tried to persuade me that they were protecting their animals from what lay outside the enclosures. Nature is no picnic, true. Picnics are rarely picnics. And neither are the animals in nature that kill and occasionally even torture one another.
Cruelty depends on an understanding of cruelty, and the ability to choose against it. Or to choose to ignore it. On a recent weekend visit, I was sent down to retrieve a bottle of Coke and discovered the sacks lining the wall, like sandbags on the banks of a rising river. Why would a ninety-year-old woman need so much flour? She opened a cabinet and took down a thick stack of coupons, each of which offered a free sack of flour for every bag purchased.
I tried to imagine how my grandmother, who has never driven a car in her life, managed to schlep all of those sacks from the supermarket to her house. Someone drove her, as always, but did she load down any one car with all sixty, or did she make multiple trips? Knowing my grandmother, she probably calculated how many sacks she could get in one car without overly inconveniencing the driver. She then contacted the necessary number of friends and made that many trips to the supermarket, likely in one day. Was this what she meant by ingenuity, all those times she told me that it was her luck and ingenuity that got her through the Holocaust?
I remember a sale of some pelleted bran cereal, for which the coupon limited three boxes per customer. After buying three boxes herself, my grandmother sent my brother and me to buy three boxes each while she waited at the door. What must I have looked like to the cashier? A five-year-old boy using a coupon to buy multiple boxes of a foodstuff that not even a genuinely starving person would willfully eat?
Bat Pat 8. El fantasma del Doctor Tufo
We went back an hour later and did it again. The flour demanded answers. For what population was she planning on baking all of these cookies? Where was she hiding the 1, cartons of eggs? And most obviously: How did she get all of those sacks into the basement? One bag at a time. My grandmother has trouble making it from the car to the front door one step at a time. Her breathing is slow and labored, and on a recent visit to the doctor, it was discovered that she shares a heart rate with the great blue whale. Her perpetual wish is to live to the next bar mitzvah, but I expect her to live another decade, at least.
And she must know that. Sharing food generates good feeling and creates social bonds. But how much does it stink? Imagine an acquaintance invites you to dinner. But I only eat meat that is produced by family farmers. This effort might be well-placed, but it is certainly more invasive than asking for vegetarian food which these days requires no explanation.
The entire food industry restaurants, airline and college food services, catering at weddings is set up to accommodate vegetarians. There is no such infrastructure for the selective omnivore. And what about being at the host end of a gathering? Selective omnivores also eat vegetarian fare, but the reverse is obviously not true. What choice promotes greater table fellowship? There is also the possibility that a conversation about what we believe would generate more fellowship — even when we believe different things — than any food being served.
This does not imply grave illness any more than a fallen person does. Some downed animals are seriously ill or injured, but often enough they require little more than water and rest to be spared a slow, painful death. When it comes to animal welfare, the absolute bare minimum, the least we could conceivably give, would seem to be euthanizing downed animals.
But that costs money, and downers have no use and so earn no regard or mercy. Farm Sanctuary is not a farm. Nothing is grown or raised there. Founded in , by Gene Baur and his then-wife, Lorri Houston, it was created as a place for rescued farmed animals to live out their unnatural lives. Natural lives would be an awkward expression to use in reference to animals designed to be slaughtered in their adolescence. Farmed pigs, for example, are usually slaughtered at about pounds. Let these genetic mutants live on, as they do at Farm Sanctuary, and they can exceed pounds.
Farm Sanctuary has become one of the most important animal protection, education, and lobbying organizations in America. But none of that is why I chose to begin there. I simply wanted to interact with farmed animals. In my thirty years of life, the only pigs, cows, and chickens I had touched were dead and cut up.
As we walked the pasture, Baur explained that Farm Sanctuary was less his dream or big idea than it was the product of a fortuitous event. I approached, and one of the sheep moved her head. I realized she was still alive, left there to suffer. So I put her in the back of my van. But after a bit of prodding, she just stood right up. We took her to our house in Wilmington, and then, when we got the farm, we took her here. She lived ten years. Good years. I mention this story not to promote additional farm sanctuaries. They do plenty of good, but that good is educational offering exposure to people like me and not practical in the sense of actually rescuing and caring for a significant number of animals.
Baur would be the first to acknowledge this. I mention the story to illustrate just how close to health downed animals can be. Any individual that close needs either to be saved or mercifully killed. Concern for the preservation and restoration of natural resources and the ecological systems that sustain human life. There are grander definitions I could get more excited about, but this is in fact what is usually meant by the term, at least for the moment. Some environmentalists include animals as resources. What is meant by animals here is usually endangered or hunted species, rather than those most populous on earth, which are most in need of preservation and restoration.
A University of Chicago study recently found that our food choices contribute at least as much as our transportation choices to global warming. More recent and authoritative studies by the United Nations and the Pew Commission show conclusively that globally, farmed animals contribute more to climate change than transport. According to the UN, the livestock sector is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, around 40 percent more than the entire transport sector — cars, trucks, planes, trains, and ships — combined.
Animal agriculture is responsible for 37 percent of anthropogenic methane, which offers twenty-three times the global warming potential GWP of CO2, as well as 65 percent of anthropogenic nitrous oxide, which provides a staggering times the GWP of CO2. The most current data even quantifies the role of diet: omnivores contribute seven times the volume of greenhouse gases that vegans do. Most simply put, someone who regularly eats factory-farmed animal products cannot call himself an environmentalist without divorcing that word from its meaning.
This term is sure to fall out of use in the next generation or so, either because there will be no more factory farms, or because there will be no more family farms to compare them to. A family farm is typically defined as a farm where a family owns the animals, manages the operations, and contributes labor on a day-to-day basis. Two generations ago, virtually all farms were family farms. By necessity, both factory and family farmers are concerned with the ratio of edible animal flesh, eggs, or milk produced per unit of food a farmed animal is fed. For example:.
And then they put them on a very low-protein diet, almost a starvation diet. That will last about two or three weeks. She immediately starts laying. They have it down to such a science that they can stop it, start it, and everything. Spring is coming. And by controlling the light, the feed, and when they eat, the industry can force the birds to lay eggs year-round. Turkey hens now lay eggs a year and chickens lay over These practices are a big part of why poultry meat is so cheap today, but the birds suffer for it.
While most people know the vague outlines of the cruelty of factory farms — the cages are small, the slaughter is violent — certain widely practiced techniques have eluded the public consciousness. I had never heard about food and light deprivation. Thank goodness for free-range. Applied to meat, eggs, dairy, and every now and then even fish tuna on the range? Imagine a shed containing thirty thousand chickens, with a small door at one end that opens to a five-by-five dirt patch — and the door is closed all but occasionally.
Very often, the eggs of factory-farmed chickens — chickens packed against one another in vast barren barns — are labeled free-range. More bullshit. Pathogen-infested, feces-splattered chicken can technically be fresh, cage-free, and free-range, and sold in the supermarket legally the shit does need to be rinsed off first. My father, who did just about all of the cooking in our house, raised us on exotics. We ate tofu before tofu was tofu. He simply liked eating something that no one else ate. A few of his substitutions seemed to be nothing less than flipped middle fingers at nature itself.
You might assume that someone with a dozen varieties of imitation animal products was a vegan, but that would not only be incorrect — my father eats meat all the time — it would miss the point entirely. My father has always cooked against the grain. His cuisine is as existential as it is gastronomic. We never questioned it, and might even have liked it — even if we never wanted to have friends come over for dinner. We might even have thought of him as a Great Chef.
It was story: ours was the dad who liked to take safe chances, who encouraged us to try the new thing because it was new, who liked it when people laughed at his mad-scientist cooking, because the laughter was more valuable than the taste of food could ever be. One thing that never followed dinner was dessert. I lived with my parents for eighteen years and cannot remember a single family meal that included something sweet. Savory foods were clearly superior, so why waste stomach real estate?
The amazing thing is that we believed him. My tastes — not only my ideas about foods, but my preconscious cravings — were formed around his lessons. To this day, I get less excited about dessert than anyone I know, and would always choose a slice of black bread over one of yellow cake.
- \ | Awards | LibraryThing;
- Bat Pat 8. El fantasma del Doctor Tufo on Apple Books.
- Horton Hears a Who.
- Arbeitszufriedenheit in der Zeitarbeit: Eine pädagogische Analyse (German Edition);
- Daniel and the Coming King.
Although my taste for meat has almost entirely gone away — I often find the sight of red meat repulsive — the smell of a summer barbecue still makes my mouth water. What will it do to my son? Or will he crave it even more? The justifications for eating animals and for not eating them are often identical: we are not them.
Most of us are familiar with the remarkable navigational abilities of migrating birds, which are able to find their way to specific nesting grounds across continents. Pigeons follow highways and take particular exits, likely following many of the same landmarks as the humans driving below. Intelligence used to be narrowly defined as intellectual ability book smarts ; we now consider multiple intelligences, such as visual-spatial, interpersonal, emotional, and musical. A cheetah is not intelligent because it can run fast. But its uncanny ability to map space — to find the hypotenuse, to anticipate and counter the movements of prey — is a kind of mental work that matters.
Generations of farmers have known that clever pigs will learn to undo the latches of their pens. Scientists have documented a pig language of sorts, and pigs will come when called to humans or one another , will play with toys and have favorites , and have been observed coming to the aid of other pigs in distress. Stanley Curtis, an animal scientist friendly to the industry, empirically evaluated the cognitive abilities of pigs by training them to play a video game with a joystick modified for snouts.
They not only learned the games, but did so as fast as chimpanzees, demonstrating a surprising capacity for abstract representation. And the legend of pigs undoing latches continues. Are they? In , only 70 peer-reviewed papers had reported on fish learning — a decade later there were such papers today it tops Our knowledge of no other animal has been so quickly and dramatically revised.
Fish build complex nests, form monogamous relationships, hunt cooperatively with other species, and use tools. They recognize one another as individuals and keep track of who is to be trusted and who is not. They have significant long-term memories, are skilled in passing knowledge to one another through social networks, and can also pass on information generationally. And chickens? There has been a revolution in scientific understanding here as well.
Lesley Rogers, a prominent animal physiologist, discovered the lateralization of avian brains — the separation of the brain into left and right hemispheres with different specialties — at a time when this was believed to be a unique property of the human brain. Scientists now agree that lateralization is present throughout the animal kingdom. They also deceive one another and can delay satisfaction for larger rewards. The image of hard-nosed physiologists standing over diagrams of brains and arguing for a renaming has a larger resonance.
Think of the beginning of the story of the beginning of everything: Adam without Eve and without divine guidance names the animals. Continuing his work, we call stupid people bird-brained, cowardly people chickens, fools turkeys. Are these the best names we have to offer? Formerly signifying Kentucky Fried Chicken, now signifying nothing, KFC is arguably the company that has increased the sum total of suffering in the world more than any other in history. KFC buys nearly a billion chickens a year — if you packed those chickens body to body, they would blanket Manhattan from river to river and spill from the windows of the higher floors of office buildings — so its practices have profound ripple effects throughout all sectors of the poultry industry.
At a slaughterhouse in West Virginia that supplies KFC, workers were documented tearing the heads off live birds, spitting tobacco into their eyes, spray-painting their faces, and violently stomping on them. These acts were witnessed dozens of times. As a consequence, it is our goal to only deal with suppliers who promise to maintain our high standards and share our commitment to animal welfare. KFC does deal with suppliers that promise to ensure welfare. What we are not told is that these are typically announced audits.
They never asked any advice, and then they touted to the press that they had this animal-welfare advisory committee. I felt like I was being used. It was always going to be happening later. They just put off actually creating standards. How were these five board members replaced? As I was taught them, in Hebrew school and at home, the Jewish dietary laws were devised as a compromise: if humans absolutely must eat animals, we should do so humanely, with respect for the other creatures in the world and with humility.
To my relief, much of the Jewish community spoke out against the Iowa plant. We have no reason to believe that the kind of cruelty that was documented at Agriprocessors has been eliminated from the kosher industry. Has the very concept of kosher meat become a contradiction in terms? What does organic signify? Not nothing, but a whole lot less than we give it credit for. Organic foods in general are almost certainly safer and often have a smaller ecological footprint and better health value.
They are not, though, necessarily more humane. It also may signal better welfare for pigs, but that is less certain. You can call your turkey organic and torture it daily. Pronounced like the Middle Eastern bread, and among the farmers I met, significantly better known. The largest animal rights organization in the world, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has more than two million members.
The folks at PETA will do almost anything legal to advance their campaigns, no matter how bad they look which is impressive and no matter who is insulted which is not so impressive.
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Whatever one thinks of them, no organization strikes fear in the factory farm industry and its allies more than PETA. They are effective. When PETA targeted fast-food companies, the most famous and powerful welfare scientist in the country, Temple Grandin who has designed more than half the cattle slaughter facilities in the nation , said she saw more improvement in welfare in one year than she had seen in her entire thirty-year career previously.
PETA is sometimes accused of using cynical strategies for attention getting, which has some truth to it. What would that even mean? Voting cows? A surprise to many, PETA is pro-euthanasia: if the choice, for example, is between a dog living its life in a kennel or being euthanized, PETA not only opts for the latter, but advocates for it.
They do oppose killing, but they oppose suffering more. They want a revolution. Does anyone oppose better-regulated slaughter and less-cramped living and transport conditions? Slaughter and butchery. The most macho, veal-crate-defending, branding-loving cattle rancher will agree with the vegan activist when it comes to killing humanely. Is this all that can be agreed on? Another thing most people agree on is that the environment matters. And that they will be important to your children and grandchildren. Even those who continue to deny that the environment is in peril would agree that it would be bad if it were.
In the United States, farmed animals represent more than 99 percent of all animals with whom humans directly interact. Just as nothing we do has the direct potential to cause nearly as much animal suffering as eating meat, no daily choice that we make has a greater impact on the environment. Our situation is an odd one. Virtually all of us agree that it matters how we treat animals and the environment, and yet few of us give much thought to our most important relationship to animals and the environment.
The valuing of emotions over reality. Sentimentality is widely considered out of touch, weak. Very often, those who express concern about or even an interest in the conditions in which farmed animals are raised are disregarded as sentimentalists. Is caring to know about the treatment of farmed animals a confrontation with the facts about the animals and ourselves or an avoidance of them?
Is arguing that a sentiment of compassion should be given greater value than a cheaper burger or having a burger at all an expression of emotion and impulse or an engagement with reality and our moral intuitions? Two friends are ordering lunch. Who is the sentimentalist? The Berlin zoo Zoologischer Garten Berlin houses the largest number of species of any zoo in the world, around 1, Allied air raids in destroyed nearly all of the infrastructure, and only ninety-one animals survived. Today there are about fifteen thousand animals. But most people pay attention to only one of them.
Knut, the first polar bear born to the zoo in thirty years, entered the world on December 5, He was rejected by his mother, the twenty-year-old Tosca, a retired German circus bear, and his twin brother died four days later. Little Knut spent his first forty-four days in an incubator. Knut weighed 1. If all goes well, he will one day be about two hundred times that size.
To say that Berlin loved Knut would be a tragic understatement. Mayor Klaus Wowereit checked the news every morning for fresh pictures of Knut. He had his own podcast and webcam. He even replaced the topless model in a number of daily newspapers.