Friday, June 24, 2005

Mutual Aid Redux

The story came off the news wires. It revealed that three lions saved a young girl who had been abducted and raped. The wilderness officials claimed that the bloodied young girl may have been mistaken for a mewling cub. But what they can't explain is why the lions did not react to the human blood, which they would smell, and know she was not a cub. Nor could they explain why the lions waited until her family came, again knowing them by the scent, protecting her then leaving her when her family arrived.

As anarchists would say this is another example of Kropotkins Mutual Aid also known as interspecies solidarity.

It is another blow to the theory of 'dumb animals', which has justified human enslavement of animals as chattel property under christianity and other patriarchical religions that define human beings as owners of the earth.

Ethiopia is the homeland of Rasstafarianism, Ancient Orthodox Chrisitanity, Judaism and Islam. And these religioons still treats animals, women and children as chattel property.


The Associated Press

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - A 12-year-old girl who was abducted and beaten by men trying to force her into a marriage was found being guarded by three lions who apparently had chased off her captors, a policeman said Tuesday.

The girl, missing for a week, was taken by seven men who wanted to force her to marry one of them, said Sgt. Wondimu Wedajo, speaking by telephone from the provincial capital of Bita Genet, about 350 miles southwest of Addis Ababa.

She was beaten repeatedly before she was found June 9 by police and relatives on the outskirts of Bita Genet, Wondimu said. She had been guarded by the lions for about half a day, he said.

"They stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest," Wondimu said.

"If the lions had not come to her rescue, then it could have been much worse. Often these young girls are raped and severely beaten to force them to accept the marriage," he said.

Tilahun Kassa, a local government official who corroborated Wondimu's version of the events, said one of the men had wanted to marry the girl against her wishes.

"Everyone thinks this is some kind of miracle, because normally the lions would attack people," Wondimu said.

Stuart Williams, a wildlife expert with the rural development ministry, said the girl may have survived because she was crying from the trauma of her attack.

"A young girl whimpering could be mistaken for the mewing sound from a lion cub, which in turn could explain why they didn't eat her," Williams said.

Ethiopia's lions, famous for their large black manes, are the country's national symbol and adorn statues and the local currency. Despite a recent crackdown, Hunters also kill the animals for their skins, which can fetch $1,000. Williams estimates that only 1,000 Ethiopian lions remain in the wild.

The girl, the youngest of four siblings, was "shocked and terrified" after her abduction and had to be treated for the cuts from her beatings, Wondimu said.

He said police had caught four of the abductors and three were still at large.

Kidnapping young girls has long been part of the marriage custom in Ethiopia. The United Nations estimates that more than 70 percent of marriages in Ethiopia are by abduction, practiced in rural areas where most of the country's 71 million people live.


Larry Gambone said...

It really says something about authoritarian religions when lions are more humane than humans!

Comandante Gringo said...

Fascinating. Rare -- but not completely surprising. However it's a stretch to draw something particulary 'anarchist' about it.

However, I think it points in the direction of humanity having a completely different conscious relationship with all other higher species, come communist kultur. Like actually being able to make *deals* with big predator families: you stay in your valley and don't eat people -- even if they stray in -- and we don't come in and hunt _you_ down...)

I've always thought that being a wildlife specialist would be just about the most super job in the communist future.

eugene plawiuk said...

comandante gringo check the link in the title of the article which will lead you back to my original article on mutual aid with extended quotes from Kropotkin.
Yes it is anarchist in that it shows that mutual aid is about interspecies solidarity, an injury to one is an injury to all.....that being said I will do some more blogging on species chauvinism that humans have as they take over wilderness....your point is well made and well taken. Thanks