Really? Catholic lions, tigers and bears? Oh my! Well, that’s the presumption based on the actions of a very foolish zoo in the Netherlands.
Alert Dutch reader Gert sent me an email with the following content:
According to De Volkskrant, a leading Dutch newspaper, next Wednesday the predators in the Zoo at Nuenen (in the Catholic southern part of The Netherlands) won’t get their meal because of the celebration of Ash-Wednesday. It is a Catholic practice to fast on this day.
According to the Google translation (JAC: I have touched this up a bit):
The predators of Animal Kingdom in Nuenen will get nothing to eat next Wednesday. For that day is Ash Wednesday, and, as the zoo reports, the lions, tigers and wolves will be fasting.
The seals will have better luck than the carnivores. They will be served herring, a Catholic tradition on the day after Carnival. But the lions and other carnivores will get nothing.
According to Animal Kingdom, it is definitely not harmful to inflict a day of fasting on predators, for in the wild these animals do not eat every day. According to the zoo, such variation in feeding time helps the animals remain alert.
Well, I’ll be! What kind of mentality would make somebody inflict religiously-based dietary restrictions on animals? And the Dutch: a supposedly enlightened people!
What’s next: wafers and grape juice for every beast on Sunday?