The Copenhagen Zoo notoriously killed one of their giraffes, Marius, and the press coverage was considerable. But what Dalrymple really finds interesting is not the articles themselves, but the reader comments:
It is when you look at the commentary on reports of the case of Marius that you realize self-expression is not an unequivocally good thing. I am unsure whether the ease nowadays of expressing oneself in public, thanks to the Internet, has called forth an immense quantity of bile or whether the bile preexisted the Internet and was only awaiting the Internet to be publicly expressed, but I suspect that bile rises to meet the space which will accommodate it. Certainly the blogosphere gives the impression that the world is filled with bitter, angry, resentful people who spit venom at the slightest pretext and think that abuse is an argument—indeed, the only argument.