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Defending the unborn in a giraffe-loving culture

Everybody loves April the giraffe, and now that world-wide, virtual group hug is being shown as well for April’s baby calf who finally came into the world just a few days ago.  The number of people watching online as the beautiful creature give birth is astounding; the event was the second most live-viewed channel in YouTube history.  YouTube says that April’s livestream garnered more than 232 million live views and 7.6 billion minutes of live watch time since February.  

April and her calf weren’t just breaking YouTube records.  The internet and many print media outlets had been exploding with news about the dazzling duo for weeks.  A quick search on Google for “April the giraffe” turns up over 15 million results from which to choose.  Beyond Kim Kardashian, who gets that kind of staggering exposure? Toy makers, retail outlets, and theme parks around the country are, of course, also jumping on the April-and-baby-calf band wagon. How to explain the interest? 

Granted, it’s not every day that we are able to have such a close and intimate view of wildlife.  It’s fascinating, unique to most of us, and reminds us of the beauty of nature. Most people I know are animal lovers, myself included.  But I wonder how many of us have stopped to reflect upon what the respect, fascination, awe, and non-stop worldwide news coverage of April’s delivery says about our priorities?  Think about the amount attention lavished on this pregnancy and birth in the animal kingdom compared to the lack of respect, attention, and even mere acknowledgement often evident when it comes to the miracle of human life in the womb.  

I spent some time going through quite a few of the “April the giraffe” links that popped up from my internet search and noticed something interesting about the public discourse that takes place when it comes to animal life versus human life.  In addition to the continued cries for abortion on demand, which have been growing lately because of efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, comes an increase in the efforts to deny what happens in the womb of a pregnant woman.  Giddy, breathless news reports, tweets, and Facebook posts included references to April’s “baby”, such as this reference from the Washington Post: “April the giraffe finally had her baby.  It’s a boy.”

Read more at Catholic World Report.

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