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Are animals a priority?

MoFo

TRIBE Member
Thought this was a great read because I had some similar reactions when I saw the photograph of the hot-dog search.
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I think he's a little nutty but yeah, interesting take.

****Keeping animals in their place****

It was the perfect image of an absurd problem: twelve police officers in the close line formation we've become familiar with from searches for lost children on the news and CSI. But they weren't looking for a lost child. They were looking for hot dogs. They were showing themselves to be out there in such force because a dog had died and another 15 had gotten sick, presumably from a hot dog laced with an agricultural insecticide. With the number of officers on the case, I'm sure we'll know soon who decided there were too many dogs in the city and figured they'd do something about it. It was a stupid thing to do. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

We've taken this pet thing way too far. I could run down the numbers, like the fact that in the United States there are about 290 million people and about 377 million pets, and that the number of pet-owning households has grown steadily by more than 10 million in that country in the last 10 years, which translates into US$31 billion in overall pet expenses in 2003, up 5 per cent from the year before. In Ontario, there are 4,000 veterinarians serving about five million cats and dogs. That's one vet for every 1,250 animals, which wouldn't seem all that bad compared to the one doctor for every 550 people, if it weren't for the fact that the vet-to-animal ratio has been increasing over the past decade while the doctor-to-person ratio has been steadily decreasing and that there are now 122 communities in Ontario with a doctor-shortage and about a million Ontarians who don't have a family doctor.

Sure, plenty of money and resources are spent on dogs and cats and fish and hamsters that might be better spent on homeless and hungry people, and it wouldn't hurt to remember that the next time you refuse a quarter to a panhandler on your way to pick up a $50 bag of Iams. But then, the same could be said of how much we spend on chocolate bars, running shoes and hair-care products. The real problem here is the nature and degree of our emotional investment in these creatures.

Pet owners tend to say, if anyone's rude enough to ask, that pets are not child substitutes. I can see how that could be true in theory, but hang out in a dog park, or spend some time with people who first decided to have a dog and then ended up having a child, and you'll probably think otherwise. Though domestic animals do seem to provide comfort and even health benefits to their owners, they have also, as we get farther and farther away from farms and hunting and wilderness and wildlife, been anthropomorphized beyond all recognition.

We figure dogs wag their tails because they're happy to see us, despite the fact that dogs are incapable of happiness and wag their tails in expectation of getting something from us. We like to think cats purr because they're pleased to be with us, though based on the fact that they also purr when terrified in the presence of humans -- say, at the vet -- the more reasonable explanation is that they purr in order to placate us and ensure their own safety, in much the same way that it's been recently proposed that dogs cock their heads to one side not to say, "What's up?" but because, since we think it's cute, over time evolution's selected those with that particular random tick over those whose ticks struck us as less sweet.

The net effect of fooling ourselves in these basic ways has been to project a full complement of thoughts and emotions that are utterly incompatible with the species in question. As a result, we not only treat these animals in ridiculous ways, but ascribe rights to them modelled on our own. So we get pet owners making the case for their dogs' rights to roam unleashed in parks over parents' case for their children's safety, and groups forming to make sure a couple of college kids who killed a cat to make a point about how ludicrously inconsistent our treatment of different classes of animals can be, are found and spend years in prison.

An animal, whether farmed or domestic, is a moral nullity, and the killing of one, under the law as it stands, counts as merely the destruction of property. Which is as it should be. The only thing separating a kitten from a calf is the sentiment we inject into one and the hormones we inject into the other, and it would be absolute lunacy to base our notions of rights and laws on sentiment. If a child loses a teddy bear that's very dear to her, should we declare an amber alert and strike a task force to find it? No.

And neither should we spend so much time and effort prosecuting a man who drags his dog behind his truck, or pet breeders who keep their stock in suboptimal conditions. They're animals. They're not in danger of extinction -- in fact, they present a significant challenge to the environment with the amount of resources we spend on them. They can matter to us personally, but they cannot matter to us societally. The way we live depends on killing cows and pigs and rats by the milllions. No one, with the possible exception of the 4 per cent of the population who are strict vegetarians, is suggesting that we live otherwise, or even that we could. So how about we just snap out of it and recognize the fact that there is no difference between a cat and a rat, and behave accordingly. BERT ARCHER

*******

I totally agree with the bolded paragraph but the continuation of that where he says we shouldn't prosecute people who drag their dogs behind their truck or shady pet breeders is just absolutely absurd.
 
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PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Did you know that it is a graver offense to threaten someone's pet than it is to actually harm the pet?
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Originally posted by PosTMOd
Did you know that it is a graver offense to threaten someone's pet than it is to actually harm the pet?

First person to tell me the logic behind this gets a cookie.
 
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Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
I was thinking this last week but didnt' bring it up for fear of the Tribe Animal Lovers Association. ;)
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
As for the other animals besides Homo sapiens treated differently, I think it helps to realize that it is an arbitrary line that people draw.

That is to say, why do people care about fuzzy animals, and not about animals with exoskeletons?
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
I'm not saying that I am totally in the right because I totally eat meat but I don't endorse fur or the killing of cute kittens..

But yeah, that's why it's so interesting to me. I mean, I have problems killing spiders but I have problems with hurling dogs..

But I don't have problems with killing shrimp.. but I have problems with killing crabs..

Fucked up ethics we have to realign or something.
 
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jus me

TRIBE Member
I was thinking...

Could it be that these events are receiving such great attention because it's occuring in a middle-upper class neighbourhood?

Don't get me wrong, I love animals (despite my allergy to them). But seeing a story per news broadcast, everyday showing the amount of effort and concern by the police made a question mark pop up in my head (where they could putting manpower on more pressing needs).

And I know there's the possibility of that poison lingering around until springtime when more children will be playing there.

I still can't imagine why someone(s) would deliberately put poison (if that's the case) to randomly harm people and animals. What's with this human need to constantly destroy things? It frustrates me so.
 

Funzo

TRIBE Member
Why is that moron comparing Doctors to Vets.?? It's not hard to notice that Vets. are privatized and not covered under our free healthcare. Didn't bother to look at why there is a shortage of doctors either.


What a dumbass, I hope the writer eats a poisoned hotdog.

And whatever it's not like those cops were going to be doing anything worthwhile anyways, might as well get em outside for some excercise.
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Funzo
Why is that moron comparing Doctors to Vets.?? It's not hard to notice that Vets. are privatized and not covered under our free healthcare. Didn't bother to look at why there is a shortage of doctors either.


What a dumbass, I hope the writer eats a poisoned hotdog.

And whatever it's not like those cops were going to be doing anything worthwhile anyways, might as well get em outside for some excercise.

I think he's trolling. Like most writers do.
 
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MoFo

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Funzo


And whatever it's not like those cops were going to be doing anything worthwhile anyways, might as well get em outside for some excercise.
Well, if you were paid shit money to work long, draining hours, then yeah, I'd be a little unenthused too.

Fantino and his upper rubes are gettin' all the goods while the frontline staff can barely stay awake to get to your place before you scream "bloody murder."

Wow, I need sleep.
 
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LeoGirl

TRIBE Member
gunna hunt him down ming? ;)

I was going to respond when I first read it but stopped myself cuz it's obviously a case of someone (the writer) trying to stir the pot.

Animals are incapable of "feeling" my ass :rolleyes:

that is all...


must.resist.need.to.debate.ignorance.
 

diablo

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by MoFo
I totally agree with the bolded paragraph but the continuation of that where he says we shouldn't prosecute people who drag their dogs behind their truck or shady pet breeders is just absolutely absurd.
 

jungleboy

TRIBE Promoter
...I thought it was a good article in that it will really get some people going...I was reading it on the subway and was like 'whoa'...he takes it a bit far but I think that is in order to make his point...
 

mingster

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by jungleboy
...I thought it was a good article in that it will really get some people going...I was reading it on the subway and was like 'whoa'...he takes it a bit far but I think that is in order to make his point...

what paper was it in?
 
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