One of the tweets in Bethany Mandel’s spot-on tweetstorm earlier in the week included a line about zoos that really triggered some folks, with the Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri writing a snarky column where animals expressed their displeasure with Bethany’s views. Here’s the opener:

THE ZOO — Zoo animals banded together to push back against the demands of people who wanted to be out visiting them and other temporarily shuttered attractions right away, even if it meant being called “Grandma killer” and bearing responsibility for an unnecessary rise in fatalities.

“The hell?” said one puffin. “Let actual living people die, so that you can see me? I’m just some bird. You can get better visuals of me on the Internet. Yeesh. I am not worth it.”

“Have you visited a zoo before?” a rhinoceros added. “I will stand in the corner of my enclosure in such a way that I am not visible at all, except for my hindquarters. I will do nothing of interest except possibly defecate indifferently in front of your 6-year-old.”

“I will not be visible either,” a tamarin that was supposed to be rare and interesting added. “I will be very clearly labeled, but you won’t be able to see me at all, because I will be behind some foliage, where I will remain for the entire duration of your visit.”

And as you might imagine, Bethany wasn’t very happy with this, especially since she’s written for the Post before and the least they could’ve done is give her a column to defend herself. But nope. Instead we got the zoo BS:

But even worse for the Washington Post is that Petri’s column — and every other critic — missed *why* she added zoo in her tweetstorm in the first place. In summary, “it’s the workers, stupid”:

Instead of fake interviewing animals, maybe interview the people out of a job?

This is a nice anecdote:

For Bethany, a homeschool mom, losing the zoo also means losing a valuable resource and people she knows personally. How would Petri feel if a teacher she knows lost her job? That’s what’s going on here:

These are awesome people who are out of a job:

It was always about the people, not herself:

And she pointed out that the National Zoo is in a different position than other zoos/museums/etc. around the country:

Bethany laid out very real concerns, and got mocked over it:

Do better, Washington Post.


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