Saturday, April 02, 2011

Poor Doggy!

Recently on Facebook, a plea was posted on behalf of an abused dog. This animal was found in a dumpster at the bottom of some building's garbage chute. It was suffering from lack of nourishment and barely alive. The person who had posted this sad story had begun a petition seeking justice for the animal through some action against the abuser, should he be found. Naturally, it was expected that readers sign the petition. The Facebook friend that posted this story was not the originator of the story, but was only passing it along. She says she is an animal activist and expressed her dismay and disgust at the animal's condition, as well as toward the person responsible.

Then things got a little dicey.

I offered my comment that I could not in good conscience sign the petition. Despite the fact that I oppose animal abuse, I do not believe the perpetrators of such behavior should be treated like they beat the crap out of another human being. Indeed, such behavior, as awful as it is for the animal, should provoke some level of concern, if not compassion, for the abuser. Such a person is obviously in need of help. But the person who started the petition wants revenge on behalf of the dog.

To me that's sick. It's just as sick as the person who did the abusing. It's a twisted and corrupted sense of compassion.

It's not an uncommon sentiment...it even showed up in a Lethal Weapon movie (I think the third one). Riggs is confronted with a snarling guard dog and is encouraged to shoot it. He won't, saying in not so many words, "Naw...I love dogs. It's people I hate." Funny stuff (sorta), but in reality a terrible attitude even if only mildly held.

The usual scenario: A burning building. You look up and see two windows and in each is a face hoping for rescue. In the left, a sorrowful and desperate puppy with it's sad, puppy eyes (which it has because it's a freakin' puppy) and in the other, homosexual cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer, who abused animals in his youth before turning to meatier victims. There's only time to save one, by golly! Who do you save? The answer is clear and simple: Dahmer. The poor little puppy dies. To let Dahmer burn is unconscionable. In fact, it's tantamount to murder. Not so if the puppy dies. Not even close.

Later in the conversation, I referred to a public service announcement with Sarah Mc-somebody (I can't remember how to spell her last name) begging for support for abused and neglected cats and dogs. I indicated my belief that the producers go out of their way to insure the animals look as pathetic as possible. I took a little heat for that, too. But in fact, I believe the same is done when seeking donations for ANY cause, even hungry kids. Here's the thing: While there are hungry kids, and abused kids, and aborted kids, I couldn't care less about the plight of animals. I don't think my God would like it.

Animals are great. I love 'em. Have one myself. Have had animals in my house for the last twenty-five years or more. But they're animals. Nothing more. Their deaths were sad due to the impact on my wife and kids. It's easy to get a new one. Do I miss any of 'em? A bit. But no sleep was ever lost. I'm tired right now, in fact.

Animals are a resource. They're like oil, gold, water. They're here for our personal use. They're fun, often a pain, but can be a friend and an emergency meal when things are really bad (except for whippets).

What they aren't is people. They should not be regarded as such. No. They should not be abused for any reason, except for grilling or making coats. But barring that, they should not be tortured for pleasure or if kept for any reason, neglected. Pets do deserve to be taken care of if one chooses to have one. I do not much care for the idea of getting a pet and then giving it away when one gets tired of having one. (Well, except for maybe the first time---but only once. Then, don't ever get another.)

But let's not get carried away. Keep it in perspective. They are, after all, only animals.

17 comments:

Mark said...

Certainly, people who intentionally abuse animals should be punished, but definitely not punished as severely as one should be punished for abusing a human being. That's my opinion. I completely understand your point. many of these so-called animal rights activists are unhinged, to be kind.

Overall, I agree with your theme. Although, you may have gone a bit overboard with some parts of it, ie, the emergency meal thing (Ewwww! Eat my dogs? Nah, don't think so), and the "I couldn't care less about the plight of animals" thing. Those statements were a bit extreme. Of course you care about the plight of animals, Art! You're not a monster!

But I know what you mean, and I concur.

Jim said...

Astonishingly, I'm THIS close to 100% agreement with you on this one. Think I'll concur with Mark's opinion.

Mark said...

""Despite the fact that I oppose animal abuse, I do not believe the perpetrators of such behavior should be treated like they beat the crap out of another human being."" I know they are treated as sinners in God's eyes. He would expect them to be held accountable and punished. "All the animals in the forest are Mine and the cattle on thousands of hills. All the wild birds are Mine and all living things in the fields." Psalm 50:10, 11. Any other view condones evilness and animal abuse.

We are a learn by experience society. If I learn that abusing an animal will result in consequences I should choose not to engage in such behavior. We all have a moral compass whether we choose to use it or not is another question altogether. I agree that due to mental illness or socioeconomic reasons people do not respect life the same as others or according to God's word. You have indicated "your God" in your text - I am curious what conversation you would have with your God based upon your expressed viewpoint? Do you think He is disappointed that you would support the abuse of one of His creatures that he created for us to hold dominion over??

I don't think the motive is revenge in the petition - that is your word - I believe it is justice and doing what is morally correct.

""It's a twisted and corrupted sense of compassion."" Again you want to make everything about yours or others feelings - It's justice Art - not some touchy feely thing. The woman neglected the dog to the point of near death. She had options and choices and exercised none of them - BY CHOICE. There are consequences for actions in a morally responsible society. I live in one - do you?

""I couldn't care less about the plight of animals. I don't think my God would like it."" This is the ending statement of two paragraphs that really says it all. In the beginning you say you are against animal abuse - here you are saying you could care less and YOUR God supports you in this view!! If you are not shocked - re read it til you are.

And finally we get to it ""But let's not get carried away. Keep it in perspective. They are, after all, only animals."" My sense of your compassion or understanding of animals (or assets according to you) is nil - nada - you do not get it, never have and never will.

Thanks for posting to remind me that there are people out here who have lost their moral compass and preach loud and wide so all can see.

Marshall Art said...

Mark number 2 (as I believe there are two Marks posting comments here),

You use Psalm 50 incorrectly if you are using it to justify treating animal abuse as equal to abusing people. Frankly, it doesn't do anything to support an anti-animal abuse position at all. There is no Biblical support for holding abusers of animals accountable, except where the owner of the animal is someone else who loses the benefit of having the animal. An example would be the killing of someone's cow. The owner would need to be compensated or failing that, killer of the animal would be otherwise punished, not for the sake of the animal, but for the burden the loss of the animal places on the person who owned it.

I have no issue with God being the ultimate owner of everything, including people. I believe there is no justification for the notion that He holds animals in anything like the same regard He does for people. You are welcome to try to provide some. Psalm 50 doesn't do it.

"If I learn that abusing an animal will result in consequences I should choose not to engage in such behavior."

I don't know why you would need to feel or experience any consequences to prevent your abusing an animal. But if by this you mean that abuse of animals indicates potential abuse of people by the abuser, then I am glad he abused the animals if it shows the potential exists. It can then be addressed without people suffering. It is a more obvious sign of potential trouble and existing mental abnormalities than other, more subtle signs that might more easily be missed.

"I am curious what conversation you would have with your God based upon your expressed viewpoint? Do you think He is disappointed that you would support the abuse of one of His creatures that he created for us to hold dominion over??"

There is nothing in anything I've said that suggests I support abuse of animals. What the hell are YOU reading? All I've said is that while kids are being abused, I'm not greatly moved by calls for donations to care for abused animals. Any inferences by you should fall along the lines of redirecting concerned toward people.

"I don't think the motive is revenge in the petition - that is your word - I believe it is justice and doing what is morally correct."

Re-read the original story. The concern is to see that the abuser gets what's coming to him, whatever that might be. Justice? I don't think so. Justice is for people.

Marshall Art said...

continuing...

"The woman neglected the dog to the point of near death. She had options and choices and exercised none of them - BY CHOICE. There are consequences for actions in a morally responsible society. I live in one - do you?"

First, I don't know anything about who the perpetrator might be or the circumstances. I agree that better choices were available, unless the perp is mentally disabled. But I don't believe a morally responsible society calls for "justice" for animals, particularly when there needs to be far more concern for abused kids, spouses and other people. Justice is for people. Those that think animals have rights comparable to people or to the extent that "justice" robs people of their rights, have a twisted sense of morality.

"In the beginning you say you are against animal abuse - here you are saying you could care less and YOUR God supports you in this view!!"

Here I said I couldn't care less while people suffer. Do you not see the distinction? It is true I am against animal abuse. At the same time, it is true that it holds no importance to me compared to the abuse of people and especially while kids are being abused every day, the plight of animals simply doesn't measure up on the concern-o-meter.

"My sense of your compassion or understanding of animals (or assets according to you) is nil - nada - you do not get it, never have and never will."

My sense is logical, rational and proper in relation to the importance and value and worth of people. Yours is twisted and you do not get it. Hopefully some day you will.

"Thanks for posting to remind me that there are people out here who have lost their moral compass..."

That's exactly what my post is about. You have served that purpose well by showing up to illustrate the point for me. Thanks. I will continue to speak out in favor of correcting those faulty compasses so that someday their needles might point in the proper direction. All at no charge.

Mark said...

I apologize, Art. I read you couldn't care less about the plight of animals, but somehow I missed the first part of the statement where you compared the plight of human beings to animals.

Jim agreeing with us---I don't know. Perhaps we need to re-think our positions on this matter. If he agrees, we must be wrong.

j/k, Jim.

Marty said...

Marshall, you really are a confrontational kind of guy. Are you like that in real life or just on these here internets?

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

The internet is where we can discuss the pros and cons of personal opinions. In real life, I let the situation dictate whether or not I might "confront" a goofy perspective. It's not always appropriate or profitable (like if your boss says something stupid).

But it seems normal and natural to expect an explanation for another's opinion that seems less than ideal, especially to have them fill in the holes if they can. If they can't, then they likely do themselves a disservice clinging to that opinion. Doesn't seem right to me to allow that to go on with no action at all on my part. It's akin to watching someone approach an open manhole without warning them of it.

In the case of this thread, I have a real hard time with concern for animals that seems to overshadow concern for people. I see that as a real problem in our society, especially considering the good that can be done for suffering people if those who solicit attention and funds for animals instead do so for abused kids, for example. Is there room for both? No. That's a sorry question. It assumes equality that doesn't exist. People are far more important than any animal.

Now, that's my underlying position. In the case of my friend, who published the original story on facebook, she had, as I recall from years ago, said that she sought to volunteer her help for kids, but found it far too heartbreaking for her to bear. I can understand that. But she still wanted to serve and turned to animals. So be it.

But to suggest that the abuser of animals needs to be "brought to justice"? That's goofy. If the abused animal belongs to someone else, that someone else is entitled to the justice of having had his animal abused. But if the abused animal is owned by the abuser, I don't see penalities applied to the abuser as appropriate aside from perhaps removing the animal. What the guy needs is counseling, not jail time.

Marty said...

"But it seems normal and natural to expect an explanation for another's opinion that seems less than ideal,"

Ideal to whom? You? Your friend didn't owe you an explanation and it's arrogant of you to think her opinion needed to be explained.

I don't know how the abuser in this case could be found so why even bother with it in the first place. But I can certainly understand your friend's frustration. I found a cat once in a dumpster in the same condition. Just take the animal home and nourish it back to health. Then keep it for a pet or find it a good home. One can always post a picture on facebook for help in finding a home.

I don't see any reason for you to stick your nose in make a bigger deal of it than it is and perhaps cause friction between you and your friend.

You just like to show people up and you seek avenues to do it.

Marshall Art said...

Well, Marty. How Christian of you to see things in the worst possible way.

I didn't seek out this situation. It was presented to me on FB. I was invited to sign the petition. I declined the invitation and thought it was a good idea to explain why. If she had handed me the petition in person, I think it's very likely she would ask why I didn't want to sign it if I refused then, don't you think?

If people are going to post their beliefs in a public forum of any kind, be it FB or a blog or whatever, and those beliefs are suspect, I find it amazing that others wouldn't find an opposing belief to be akin to "sticking one's nose" into a private affair.

I choose not to let public expressions of improper perspectives exist without a counterpoint. Believing an animal's abuser needs to be "brought to justice" is an improper perspective crying out for correction. THAT is the belief to which I was responding. I sought no explanatin for anything from my friend whatsoever. From where you inferred that, I have no idea.

As to ideal, ideal to me. Why it isn't ideal to everyone can be explained by those who find disagreement in the ideal I promote. But what is ideal to me is based on what is ideal for all.

This is the second time someone has tried to express the notion that I strain a relationship I have with someone. Apparently your relationships aren't too solid if expressing an opposing thought puts them at risk. How sad for you. You need to find better friends.

Mark said...

Sorry, Art, but I have to respectfully disagree with you on one point.

Of course, some one who abuses an animal should be "brought to justice". That means punishment. Don't you agree that one who abuses an animal should be punished?

Not to the extent of someone who abuses a human being, of course, but one can't just ignore it when an animal is being abused.

Marshall Art said...

Mark,

The question is whether or not punishment is the proper direction to take. Obviously there's an issue with the abuser that should be addressed in some manner. Why so callous? Why so cruel? A cruel demeanor is not illegal. Cruel behavior is if directed towards people, but towards animals alone? That's merely a major red flag in my opinion.

Neither God, nor the Constitution, provides for the "rights" of animals, regardless of what any Obama cabinet member might say. If something should be done, it should be in the area of mental health, not criminal codes, unless the animal being abused belongs to someone else. Then it's like property damage.

And that's an important distinction. I get that because animals live, breath, move about by their own volition, attach themselves to their owners as they might the leader of a pack, provide joy and happiness in otherwise empty lives (as well as in any life), that some people will begin to regard them as more than merely animals. I don't really have a problem with that. I do it myself.

But there's a line we shouldn't cross. Seeking "justice" for animals goes beyond that line. We should be seeking help for the abuser who is obviously is in need of some. Such action should be coming first from those close to the abuser. If my kid was found to be abusing the neighbor's cat, I would seek to correct her behavior and my concern would be for her psychological state. Not so much for the cat, though I would hope that the cat survives.

The worst the law should do to animal abusers is insist on counseling, and at the abuser's expense. A "serial" abuser is a good candidate for being committed. Such might have helped Dahmer.

Marty said...

"Well, Marty. How Christian of you to see things in the worst possible way."

Just calling it the way I see it. My christianity, or lack thereof, has nothing to do with it.

"I was invited to sign the petition."

So? I get lots of invitations on facebook. If I'm not interested I ignore it, unless it is for something where they need an actual head count.

"I choose not to let public expressions of improper perspectives exist without a counterpoint. "

There was nothing improper about it. You just didn't agree. But, then, you can't agree to disagree can you. For you, it's the coward's way out. And God knows you ain't no yellow belly.

"Then things got a little dicey."

Thanks to you no doubt.

"I sought no explanatin for anything from my friend whatsoever. From where you inferred that, I have no idea."

Right here:

"But it seems normal and natural to expect an explanation for another's opinion that seems less than ideal,"

"As to ideal, ideal to me...But what is ideal to me is based on what is ideal for all."

No. It's based on what YOU have determined to be ideal.

"Apparently your relationships aren't too solid if expressing an opposing thought puts them at risk"

Now that's hilarious.

It's not the opposing thoughts. It's the way you invalidate thoughts different from yours. Do it enough and see if your relationships stay intact.

Marshall Art said...

"Just calling it the way I see it. My christianity, or lack thereof, has nothing to do with it."

Are you consciously selective as to when you'll act in a Christian manner, or merely human like me? Of course one's Christianity should have something to do with how we act.

"So? I get lots of invitations on facebook. If I'm not interested I ignore it..."

Well, goody for you, Marty. But I was interested, so I explained why I declined. Don't like it? Tough.

"There was nothing improper about it."

Obviously the point of this thread is that I strongly disagree. It was indeed improper to call for "justice" for an animal.

"But, then, you can't agree to disagree can you. For you, it's the coward's way out."

No, I can't. The concept is stupid and, as you noted, cowardly. That's not to say I can do anything about it beyond voicing my perspective and hoping that it persuades. But agree to disagree? What a foolish suggestion!

"And God knows you ain't no yellow belly."

I have my moments.

""But it seems normal and natural to expect an explanation for another's opinion that seems less than ideal,""

Marty, please. This was a general statement regarding public discussions on the internet and blogs. I never suggested that I would demand anything from anyone in every situation. But you seem to have decided to assume the worst and to take an attack attitude. If you really intend this, then be prepared. In any case, I wasn't looking for any explanation from my friend, but only commenting on the reason for the petition someone else created. If my friend wished to differ with my reasons for not signing the petition, she would have done so. As it was, she reacted to other related statements of mine. I don't think she's so wimpy as to have ended our friendship over this. My friends are made of sterner stuff.

Marshall Art said...

"
"As to ideal, ideal to me...But what is ideal to me is based on what is ideal for all."

No. It's based on what YOU have determined to be ideal."


Will you now engage in childish behavior? "no it's not" "yes it is" "not it's not"

What is ideal exists whether I do or not. I align my beliefs with what is ideal, not choose ideal according to my preferences. What I prefer is based on self-evident truths, as well as what Scripture tells me. My ideals are based on the ideals expressed there, as well as on observable facts regarding human nature.

"It's not the opposing thoughts. It's the way you invalidate thoughts different from yours."

Any opposing thought seeks to invalidate the other. It's unavoidable. One must triumph over the other in terms of truth and/or accuracy. If I seem to be actively "invalidating" another opinion, it's due to what is called "debate", wherein each of two sides give reasons in support of their own opinion as well as reasons why the other's opinion is inferior. Thus, each side invalidiates, or seeks to invalidate, the opinion of the other by merely presenting their own positions.

Except where they agree to disagree, which means neither has the spine to support their opinion, or their opinions are unsupportable. Deal with it or bail.

Marty said...

"One must triumph over"

Why do you feel that need?

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

"Why do you feel that need?"

I wasn't expressing any need of mine. I was describing reality. Two opinions cannot stand together as equal unless they are the same opinion expressed in two different ways. That's simply the way it is.