Friday, August 20, 2010

Just an animal?!?

I've always been pretty much a 'live and let live' person.  I don't care what race or religion someone one is, republican, democrat, even where they sit on different sides of controversial issues (except for the kill vs. no kill issue of course).  I'm happy to agree to disagree and can understand different points of view even when I don't agree with them.

But who are these, "it's just an animal" people?  I just can't get my head around the idea that animals are nothing more than just a piece of property, to be discarded if they will cost to much to repair.

I've heard people criticize animal lovers who equate their companion pets to being just like a child to them.  Being someone who ascribes to that same feeling, this is an area where I just can't understand the opposing point of view.

Our pets are living creatures, with feelings, personalities, quirks, needs, hopes, emotions.  How can you treat a life as if it's an appliance that if it's too expensive to fix, you just toss it out and get another one?  Especially a life that has given you unconditional love, one that is happiest itself when it has pleased you.

I try to understand by thinking of some analogies.  I wouldn't spend thousands of dollars to save a goldfish.  It is a life too.  Do some people just have a wider continum of that belief?  Are there those on the opposite spectrum who would criticize me for not being willing to do what it takes to save a goldfish?  Would I criticize someone who did spend a fortune to save a goldfish?  I would not, but if it were mine, I think I would say "it's just a goldfish".

At what point do they become our "babies" and why for some people, no animal ever would?

As I discussed this with a fellow mom of furry folks, I hypothesized that maybe it was because we grew up with animals and maybe if you didn't that's where it comes from.  She pointed out that her husband grew up without any pets at all, but before they were married he loaned her the money she needed to try to save her dog who had cancer.  And how he was the one who became neurotic when one of their furry family members recently got a cut on his paw.

Whatever the reason, I just can't comprehend it.  I would never move somewhere that I couldn't take my pets, just like I'd never move to an adult community where I couldn't take my child.  I would never leave my dog in a hot car, just like I'd never leave my child in one.  I would never choose not to provide my pet with the vet care he needed, just like I'd never not provide my child with the medical care he needed.

And I'd never believe that an option for solving the problem of homeless people would be to reduce the population by "humanely" killing older or ailing people, just like I don't believe it should even be an option for homeless animals.

I'm resigned to being intolerant of this particular belief.

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