Animals suffer under food nationalism

The more than 6,000 animals in Russia’s largest zoo have been caught up in the worst fight between Russia and the West since the Cold War. A wide-ranging ban on Western food announced this week by the Kremlin has forced a sudden diet change for creatures that eat newly forbidden fruit.

The sanctions against meat, fish, fruits and vegetables from the United States, the European Union and other Western countries were intended to strike a counterblow to nations that have hit Russia over its role in Ukraine’s roiling insurgency. But the measures will also have an impact on stomachs at the zoo.

The sea lions crack open Norwegian shellfish. The cranes peck at Latvian herring. The orangutans snack on Dutch bell peppers. Now the venerable Moscow Zoo needs to find politically acceptable substitutes to satisfy finicky animal palates.

“They don’t like Russian food,” zoo spokeswoman Anna Kachurovskaya said. “They’re extremely attached to what they like, so it’s a hard question for us.

The penguins still live in a Cobdenite world:

The penguins eat fish from Argentina — whose food sales to Russia have not been blocked and are politically in the clear.

But the Ramsey rules are relevant for some of the primates:

Orangutans, gorillas and monkeys are particularly finicky eaters at the zoo, but Kachurovskaya said they would eventually adapt.

“In the wild, they eat what they have, not what they want,” she said.

The story is here.

Comments

It's a jungle out there...

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A transparent attempt to get the Western coochie-coo tendency on their side. Aw, didums, are the poor animals starving then?

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In Putin Russia, the Bear don't feed youz!

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Noam Chomsky's Culture of Fear was right.........on Russia ;)

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“In the wild [and in authoritarian nations], they eat what they have, not what they want [just like the humans]."

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If the West doesn't like Putin's actions it might be OK to pull the foie gras or the haggis off of his dining room table but how does making life a little more miserable for the ordinary Russkies or their zoo animals force the little martial arts expert to change his tune?

Yeah, I know it's a Russian response to a Western embargo on other stuff.

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Meanwhile, in the west, the only thing animals lack is their freedom, so you know, everything's great

Let's go to SeaWorld, where the orcas develop psychosis while eating whatever they want!

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Not working so well in North Korea, either.

OTOH Putin is apparently very popular. It's becoming clearer how many the problems in poorer democracies are caused by voter preferences. Unfortunately that's very hard to change, especially when those voters prefer the stifling of the very free expression and free inquiry that might change their minds.

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Actually animals do better under autarky, since under autarky human population levels are limited by local food production. Without autarky, human population levels go above levels of sustainable local food production, and animal habitats are destroyed as a result.

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I think that Russia does not consider the opportunity cost of their new sanction. The opportunity cost is that if the sanction was not passed, the animal in the zoo would have food to eat. Russia would get tariff on the fruits and foods that are on the sanction. In general, Russia makes its population cannot consume beyond its domestic production possibility frontier of fruits and foods.

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