News from the Natural World: The Natural History Museum is to be renamed the “Great Cathedral of Dead Animals”.
Following a much-criticized debate, one of Londons most visited tourist attractions is the be renamed. The decision follows a large scale internal campaign by a group of employees. They wanted to call the museum an appropriate name that reflects the reality of the items contained within. This group of employees had access to the lower halls and basements which are shielded from public view. They stated that are hundreds of thousands of dead animals kept in jars, cabinets as well as drawers. They said what the public sees is just the tip of the iceberg. It is one of the largest collections of dead animals the world has ever seen.
“In order to study the natural world, do we have to kill it?”
Many amongst the campaign group questioned whether the practice of killing animals and preserving them for viewing actually helped. Naturalists of the past “collected” huge amounts of wild and rare animals, selling them to zoological collectors and museums. One exhibit in the Natural History Museum features over 650 dead rare butterflies. The campaign group further stressed that these vast collections only normalized the view that animals didn’t belong in the natural world. It made people think that they were merely objects of value solely by definition of humans.
Natural History Museum renamed “Great Cathedral of Dead Animals”
However, the campaign also had its critics. Some said the Natural History Museum had done a huge amount to educate people to the wonder of nature. But there is hypocrisy in shouting about the majesty of nature whilst hanging Blue Whales from the ceiling. Why can’t we even look after our own native animals? Ultimately, the Hedgehog, the Scottish Wildcat, the Bumblebee and many more are in rapid decline. They are all clinging to existence as thousands of visitors stream into the Natural History Museum every day. Furthermore, should children not be learning about the animals in their local wood? Is it more important that they can identify the call of a Nightingale in their nearby forest? Or that they search for newts in a local pond? No, they can’t because the UK has seen a complete and utter degradation of its natural flora and fauna.
The campaign group moved to enshrine the new name as well as change it by law. In the end many other institutions joined the movement. London Zoo is to be renamed “Lots of Animals Trapped in Cages” as well as the London Aquarium which will be renamed “Have You Seen the Size of the Ocean!? These Tanks are TINY!”.
Will the Natural History Museums’ new name “The Great Cathedral of Dead Animals” mean a drop in visitor numbers?
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