This latest gem comes from German animal-rights campaigner Frank Albrecht, who sparked a global controversy yesterday when he told a mass-circulation German newspaper that it was "inhumane" for the Berlin Zoo to raise an orphaned polar bear. Instead, he demanded that the cute bear cub be killed immediately:
The zoo must kill the bear … Hand-rearing a polar bear is not appropriate and is a serious violation of animal rights.
The bear Albrecht is referring to — an adorable ball of fur affectionately known as "Cuddly Knut" (click here for some vanity shots) — was taken in by a zookeeper in December after it was abandoned by its mother. The bear cub has since risen to national prominence (it’s not hard to see why), and is expected to make its first "public appearance" later this week.But for Albrecht — who subscribes to a philosophy that puts chickens and cows on the same moral footing as people — bottle-feeding, cuddling, and playtime are basically forms of torture. And Berlin Zoo veterinarians, he says, should let nature take its course.It’s important to note that the animal-rights/animal-killing hypocrisy isn’t confined to one loose-lipped lunatic in Germany. The most prominent animal-rights group in the world — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) — runs a massive euthanasia program to "save" shelter pets from the horrors of adoption. And in 2003, PETA argued in court that African elephants were better off dead than imported by American zoos.