Animal lovers and ethologists in New Zealand were dealt a blow yesterday by the news that four baboons at Wellington Zoo had to be put down, on account of that their social structure had collapsed. This social collapse had led to increased interpersonal aggression, and it was decided that it would be cruel to allow it to continue. As this essay will examine, the baboons were not the only group of primates in Wellington whose social structure has broken down.
Not all animals take well to captivity, and so the type of fighting that the Wellington baboons fell into is far from unique. It’s common for zoo animals to feel depression, anxiety and elevated levels of aggression. The reason why is described in the linked article, by the CEO of animal rights group SAFE, Debra Ashton:
“Social structures suffer in enclosed environments and could be attributed to fighting and anxiety for animals. When these social systems break down and there is fighting, vulnerable animals are not in a position to be able to escape as they would in the wild.”
People find this easy to accept in the case of baboons, but all of these facts are equally true of the human species. Individual human animals can fail to adapt to captivity in much the same way that the baboons in the story above did. Our society is equally as much a closed, prison-like space with no opportunity of escape – in fact, we arguably have even less opportunity to escape, with the advent of our 24/7 social media culture.
Nowhere is this more true than Parliament.
It’s clear from what happened between Jami-Lee Ross and the rest of the National Party, in particular Simon Bridges and Sarah Dowie, that the social structure there has broken down, leading to elevated levels of interpersonal aggression. These people are supposed to be colleagues, and yet they psychologically abuse each other to the point of openly wishing that the other would commit suicide. They are causing each other horrific amounts of harm, and it might be humane to intervene.
The problem is that many Parliamentarians have become demented. It’s apparent from observing individuals like Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins that all the humanity has long since been lost from these people. They are twisted creatures of hate, willing to cause any amount of suffering to their own people if it furthers their ambitions. Any amount of suffering caused is acceptable if it makes you wealthier, or increases your standing in the eyes of the United Nations.
All of this raises a question: would it be more humane of us to accept that the social environment of Parliament has disintegrated, that this is causing great pain, and to euthanise all our MPs to prevent further suffering to them?
We don’t have to do it in a bloody manner. It can be done dispassionately and without prejudice. We just have to line our MPs up and march them into a veterinary office, where they are held down and given a lethal injection, one by one, and the bodies disposed of. We could even model our approach on that taken towards the four baboons at Wellington Zoo.
Once the humane thing has been done, Parliament would be empty. The New Zealand people would then be free to fill it with individuals who represented them, and who could co-operate in order to solve the challenges facing us as a people. Euthanising all of our current MPs would allow us to dissolve the rotten culture of abuse and hatred that defines our current Parliamentary system, and to replace it with something that worked for the people it’s supposed to represent.
Some might say that this proposal sounds cruel. The reality is that it would be cruel to continue to allow our Parliamentarians to suffer inside a completely failed social system. The individuals inside the Beehive are in deep emotional pain, and nothing will be able to prevent this, apart from starting again. This is apparent from the months off work that Jami-Lee Ross had taken in order to deal with the stress-related damage of the constant abuse he received from the others.
Therefore, euthanising them all is the most humane option.
One popular proposal is for the New Zealand people to come together and to agree on a list of inalienable rights that any future Parliament would be forced to accept, else run the risk of being euthanised again. This would start with the creation of a mission statement, which would declare that the objective of the New Zealand Parliament was to eliminate the suffering of the New Zealand people.
This means that the euthanisation of Parliament would not have to lead to chaos and disarray. If the correct approach was taken, and sufficient preparations made beforehand, it could lead to a drastic decrease in suffering among the New Zealand people.
If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.