by Cris Ritchie
Not many of us (and I would like to think I could say “none of us”) would condone animal abuse. Most of us either have or have had a treasured best friend, probably one with fur and four legs. We wouldn’t dream of beating our little Rovers so there’s slim chances we’d be okay with anyone else treating our pets, or any other animal, cruelly.
Unfortunately for the good name of humanity and the animals who became victims, not everyone sees animal cruelty with the same disdain. Humans have the ability to be distinctively controlling of the fates of animals: we’re smarter, we rationalize, and we have the big tools. And sometimes, we’re much bigger.
Take for instance a story out of Arizona where a veterinarian apparently took it upon himself to viciously beat a very light, very tiny chihuahua.
It has been my assumption that veterinarians got into their profession because they like animals and they like caring for them, not causing them to need care. The vet beat the dog so badly that its eye popped out and had to be surgically repaired. And the apparent reason seems to be because the dog wasn’t cooperating with his attempts to spay it. And I’m sure a dog that could fit into his hand was so hard to control that it needed to be hit repeatedly on its head with his fist.
That kind of cruelty and disdain for life— any life— is just a bit much for me to stomach. The animal on the receiving end of those blows is living, breathing, and very aware of pain and fear— not a punching bag. It seems even worse when the owners of that little dog trusted their vet and thought they were doing a good deed for their pet, not sending it in to an abuser.
Animal cruelty usually stays along those lines: some one feels the need to hurt someone or at least something. And animals are less likely to fight back and much less likely to go rat you out once you’re done. But sometimes, you find strange stories. Really strange stories.
Some man in England wanted to take a stand against animal cruelty. So what did he do? He engaged in animal cruelty. The man believed that a member of England’s Royal Family beat a fox to death. So to retaliate— or send a message— he ate a cooked corgi dog, a favorite at Buckingham Palace.
He claimed the dog died at a breeding facility and was not killed so that he could make a fool of himself on a London street. Regardless of how the dog died, I fail to see how painting a picture of cruelty toward one animal can serve as a protest against another instance of animal cruelty.
It seems more likely to me that this guy wanted some attention. How in the world he thought up eating a dog on camera is beyond me. Apparently he says he wanted to draw more attention to the alleged acts of the fox-beating royal family. But that line only gets about two seconds worth of space and air when the dog-eating fiasco comes up.
All he seems to have really accomplished is draw attention to his own oddness and his own act of animal cruelty— not any one else’s.
As someone who comes amazingly close to treating her own dog as a child, rather than a cherished pet, I get sick to my stomach when I think about the way some animals get treated. There are so many animals in need of homes with food, water, warmth and general care. It appalls me that people can add to their suffering. Animal abuse gets too close to child abuse for my stomach. In both cases, power is being grossly abused.
Pets or not, animals are almost always going to lose when they come up against humans. So we have the advantage, why do people have to abuse it?
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