Bestiary in the military - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Bestiary in the military

Josie Appleton
What next, a tomb of the unknown pigeon?
From sniffer dogs to glow-worms: why society is celebrating the ‘sacrifices’ of animals in war.

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There has been no memorial to British soldiers who died in Iraq. There has been no major museum exhibition dealing with the wars of the Blair era. Yet memorials to animals in war are proliferating like wildfire.

The Imperial War Museum in London is hosting a new exhibition on animals in war, detailing the feats and sufferings of cavalry horses, carrier pigeons and sniffer dogs. In 2004, a major memorial was unveiled on Park Lane in London dedicated to all the animals that died alongside British troops, including horses, dogs, dolphins, elephants and glow-worms (apparently troops used them as reading lights).

Animal memorials started springing up in the 1990s. A 1997 memorial in Virginia marked animals killed in the American Civil War; the fiftieth anniversary of the American victory in the Pacific island of Guam was marked with a war dog memorial. Australia has two war dog memorials, and the Australian prime minister backed plans for a high-profile animal memorial. New Jersey recently agreed to place a war dog memorial alongside its Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Some have called this a ‘Disneyfication of war’, a way of celebrating war while glossing over human suffering. They cite the fact that the Park Lane memorial was funded by some Tory Party donors, the kinds of people who might otherwise have put their cash into the next Nelson’s column (1). But this isn’t half the story. The Imperial War Museum is, if anything, anti-war, and seeks to emphasise the suffering and pointlessness of conflict. (In spite of the name, this museum has long been a draw for anti-imperialist curators.)

Both sides are using animals to make their case. The glory and pity of war alike are seen through animal eyes. It’s apparently only through the experiences of dogs, horses and pigeons that people can explore the heroics and costs of battle.

This is unusual. If animals were paid any attention in the past it was as symbols of human virtues. Troops had mascots – such as the Irish Guards’ Irish wolfhound – rather as knights of old had symbols of heraldry. Animals occasionally featured on war memorials as allegories of bravery, resilience or freedom.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 01:23 PM
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Sex with animals is wrong even during wartime.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ThrillKill
Sex with animals is wrong even during wartime.

your right even if it's a Kamil!
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