What’s For Dinner, Deer?

Just to review a few facts: I am a vegetarian. I do research and go out of my way to be sure I don’t use any toiletries or cosmetics made by companies that test on animals. I do wear leather shoes. Really cute ones, and yes, I know that makes me a slight hypocrite. But c’mon now, cute shoes? Oh! And boots.

Another fact is that I do not visit animals in captivity. No zoos, no Sea World. Mostly. On my first trip to Hawaii I went on an excursion and swam with the dolphins in the ocean. No, they don’t let you ride them or pet them, but it was definitely a more authentic experience. We even had a Marine Biologist on board (a real one)! As I was proudly telling her I really wanted to ride a dolphin but wouldn’t help perpetuate their captivity she educated me on how well cared for the animals are and that really, on balance, dolphins actually do enjoy human interaction. So when we went back to Hawaii two years ago we went right on over to Sea Life Park or whatever to ride a dolphin. For its own benefit, mind you.

The dolphin line was really long, but no one was in line for the sea lion, so, we compromised, because we’re not really wait-in-the-hot-sun-for-hours-to-ride-a-dolphin types. Anyway, it was very cool, and a great photo op with, inexplicably, a fake mountain scene in the background. You can’t ride a sea lion, but it will kiss you if you bribe it with a ton of smelly fish.

Nice fish breath!

Nice fish breath!

We still don’t typically go to zoos because it makes me sad to see the animals all contained. I always picture them plotting their escape. What I have never pictured is animals trying to sneak in to the zoo.

But you learn something new every day. Here is the actual headline from Saturday’s Washington Post:


“A white-tailed deer did not survive an encounter with two cheetahs after apparently jumping into their enclosure…”

The article goes on to say: “The zoo said the cheetahs appeared unharmed.”

Wow. So there’s that. And apparently, this is not an isolated incident. “In November 2009, a deer, apparently from the adjacent Rock Creek Park, jumped a zoo wall and was killed by two lions.”

The reader is left to presume that the lions were unharmed.

If they gave Darwin awards out to animals, these two deer would certainly be in the running.  So note to deer: if you insist on breaking into a zoo, might I suggest checking out the otters? Maybe some nice birds? There are lots of good options; let’s just agree that predatory carnivores are probably a poor choice.

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16 Responses to What’s For Dinner, Deer?

  1. Lisa says:

    Btw, when i was growing up and my dad would shoot a deer, he would be very proud. The roots of my “almost vegetarianism” begin here. I would Not eat meat for about 6 months and then i would say, “surely the venison is all gone by now.”

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      It’s hard for me to imagine your dad hunting, but at least it was for a good reason, to feed his family. When I was a kid as far as I knew meat came from the supermarket. I had no idea…

  2. The Regular Guy NYC says:

    We did the Stingray thing too. It was so cool and a terrific experience. Love the picture with the sea lion!

    Happy New Year!

  3. Pam Waits says:

    I’ll sleep better knowing the predatory carnivores were unharmed by Bambi’s cousins. Regarding your close encounters – they sound fantastic and the photographic evidence supports my conclusion. Years ago we were in the ocean with stingrays at Stingray City in the Caymans. They too were swayed by smelly fish. One of the best experiences of my life.

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      Stingrays are very cool! I’m still determined to ride a dolphin one of these days, but swimming right above a pod of them in the ocean was an amazing experience

  4. katecrimmins says:

    Probably responded to a singles ad: Wanted yummy deer for lonely carnivores. Must love walks in the park and dinners out.

  5. mimijk says:

    I’m thinking that there are probably deer with lower I.Q.s than their brethren. Darwin’s theory in practice? As for that picture – that kiss is clearly a ‘seal of approval’. Sorry – I couldn’t resist.

  6. Betsey says:

    That photo of you with the sea lion is SO cute! I don’t think he was in it just for the fish, Jill. I think he was really sweet on you. Look how he closed his eyes!

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      I’m glad you noticed that. I thought we had something kind of special too. I think of him fondly whenever I eat a tuna sandwich.

  7. Myrna Rubenstein says:

    Deer should also avoid Central PA, where hunters are more numerous than cheetahs and lions.

  8. Lisa says:

    I am sure the deer regretted it.

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