What is the difference between killing animals for fun and killing them because they taste good?

-->

I don’t know who added the words to the photo, but it was taken in Vietnam in 2011 by Graham Lavery who left the pleading kitten to die. Among the reasons he gave was that the rights of animals should be left to human preference and convenience. Specifically: “Does rescuing it jive with the ethics and practices of the local people (it is their country after all)?”

Lavery’s explanation put me in mind of Michael Vick, a football player who got in trouble for dogfighting, also in 2011. Before realizing that his career would be over if he didn’t apologize, Vick said: “Yeah, fine, I killed the dogs. I hung them. I slammed them. I killed all of them. I lost fucking millions, all over some fucking dogs.” (He also killed dogs and other animals by drowning, hanging, electrocution, and bludgeoning with shovels.)

What most caught my attention about the Vick case wasn’t just his insatiable sadism, but that his defenders were fellow blacks who argued that his behavior should be excused, if not respected, on the grounds of cultural diversity: 

Jamie Foxx: “It’s a cultural thing... Mike probably just didn’t read his handbook on what not to do as a black star. I know that cruelty to animals is bad, but sometimes people shoot people and kill people and don’t get time.”  

Whoopi Goldberg: “He's from the South, from the Deep South ... This is part of his cultural upbringing…” (Vick isn’t from the Deep South but from coastal Virginia. I spent 36 years in the Deep South, and I was friends with many blacks, yet I never even heard of anyone holding a dog fight.)

Spike Lee: The boycott of Michael Vick’s clothing line is “…yet another example of white racism in the United States, where black people aren't allowed to get ahead.”

Steeler’s coach Michael Tomlin: “Yeah, those things that he has gone through are tough. Picking a dog up over your head and slamming it to the ground repeatedly until it takes its last breath can really take a lot out of a man.”

Others argued that once Vick apologized, the public should forgive him, but how can the human public forgive someone for crimes against the nonhuman public? A black boxer said, “it’s not like Vick killed humans” (maybe the boxer didn’t know that the abuse of black people was once justified on the basis of their “subhuman” status).

How is it that these black celebrities are blind to the fact that pathological sadism expands to include all species, including their own? Likewise, how is it that people like Graham Lavery can fail to see that the callous denial of rights to other animals is one with the callous denial of rights to humans, apathy and cruelty not being limited to only some species. 

The defenders of Lavery and Vick agree that the rights of animals should be relegated to human preference, and nearly all of the human race agrees with them. Sure, few of us torture animals for entertainment, but neither do we want to know how the animals we eat were raised and slaughtered, nor do we care to reflect upon the fact that we don’t need to eat them at all. Why is it wrong to kill animals for fun, but okay to raise them in misery in dark warehouses and then slaughter them like so many Jews in a Nazi camp simply because we like the way they taste? In considering the rights of other animals, why is it that the key consideration is that they belong to other species rather than that they share our species’ capacity to experience loneliness, sadness, terror and pain? How can we regard ourselves as either fair or compassionate if we willingly support unnecessary misery? Yet, we not only do this, we dismiss vegans and even partial vegetarians as self-righteous prigs. 

Our denial of rights to animals is one of the reasons that I hold myself and my species in contempt. I have never once gone to bed at night knowing that I spent my day doing all the good that I might have done. My friend, Jodi, is probably the only person I have ever known who even might make such a claim: http://catwomanflix.blogspot.com/, and she is consequently impoverished and despised. The only good that people receive praise for is the good they do for humans, and even these people are often hated because they shine a light upon the mean, petty, and inconsequential lives of their fellows. 

Before the concept of sin started to go out of vogue, Episcopalians used to recite the following in preparation for communion:

“We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders.”

Like I, Peggy is an atheist, but we differ in that guilt has no place in her life. She labels herself a responsible hedonist, which means that she finds meaning in pleasure tempered by integrity. I’m struck by what I regard as the shallowness of hedonism, my own meaning being to think, observe, search, and examine. Peggy might well ask what good this has done me, and I have no answer except to say that we are as we are—which is probably how we have always been—and that we could not have been otherwise.


But are the values of people like Lavery or Vick also unalterable? If they are, then there is no turning away from evil. When I examine my own life, it would appear that what I am is a necessary progression from what I was, but if this is true of everyone, the Vicks of the world will always get-off on torturing animals (and people too when they can get away with it), and the Laverys will always relegate the treatment of animals to local preference rather than fairness and compassion (the result of this attitude in my own country is factory farming, as well as the annual suffering and death of millions of unwanted dogs and cats even while breeders crank out expensive and genetically inferior pedigrees). 

What bothers me most about such people is that I’m a member of the same species. When I reflect upon the Christian concept of original sin, I conclude that it is real, and that it consists of being born into a species that is so deeply flawed that there is no limit to the suffering that we willingly impose for reasons of greed and pleasure, even to the point of driving species after species into extinction, and ultimately making the earth unlivable. Such are my people, and such am I. If there is any good that comes from my reflections, it is the humility of knowing that truly evil people aren’t separated from me by kind but by degree.

56 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Another dark post. Which resonates strongly.
There are so many answers to why we continue to kill, and enslave and I don't think they reflect well on our species at all.
Selfishness and greed of course.
Ignorance.
Denial.
Arrogance - in thinking our species is somehow superior, and that no other species feels emotion. Or pain.
I agree with you about Strayer too. She does such good work. And is reviled much more often than she is thanked.

Strayer said...

There is very little real kindness or mercy in this world. Many people won't go out of their way to hurt an animal but then won't go out of their way to help one either. Lots of humans turn vegetarian once they learn the truth of factory farming. I see kindness in the treatment of animals, by humans, as an essential value to a better world. More than that, how can one turn a blind eye. When I see photos of people gathered around a Thanksgiving table with turkey carcass, I just see a bunch of well dressed blood thirsty drooling snarling beasts waiting to tear into dead flesh. Nothing more. Except they often join hands and pray first, which makes the scene even more unreal in my mind. I suppose if we are nothing more than animals, we can't expect that we as animals would treat other animals well. Its a dilemma in my mind, because I'm not religious. Why do I care? Does one have to be "spiritual", possess more than an animal nature, to care for the less fortunate including those of other species? Or is compassion a sign of mental illness, instead of being the selfish survivalist, protecting and feeding oneself before all else? I don't know.

Casa Mariposa said...

Because I refuse to be a vegetarian and won't condone factory farming, I buy all my meat locally from farms where the animals are humanely raised and slaughtered. They are allowed to lead lives of dignity. Even a short life can be a good one. My 4 dogs lead lives of utter bliss. :o)

Kerry said...

Excellent post. Our fellow-species deserve better.

rhymeswithplague said...

This post is disturbing on so many levels. Thank you.

Myrna R. said...

I so much appreciate what you've written here. I like what you say about original sin, which I have never been able to understand fully. I've been vegetarian for many years, yet have not jumped that line to become vegan, which would more honestly express my attitude towards factory farming and cruelty to animals. So, I continue to be part of the problem, a hypocrite, which may be worse than not caring at all. What a complicated species we are.

Charles Gramlich said...

There is never any excuse for cruelty. Killing for food, or killing to protect oneself. These are things that humans do, and they have been necessary for survival, certainly in the past. But killing with cruelty. This has never been necessary. This is a choice.

Snowbrush said...

“Another dark post. Which resonates strongly.”

I found the photo on someone else’s blog and right away starting searching for the story behind it. When I read the photographer’s reasons for not helping the kitten, I immediately made the association with those who defended Michael Vick, so I started writing. I can never write about such things without being made to look at my own failures. For example, it would be hypocritical to attack the photographer’s callousness while forgetting my own callousness.

“Does one have to be "spiritual", possess more than an animal nature, to care for the less fortunate including those of other species? Or is compassion a sign of mental illness, instead of being the selfish survivalist, protecting and feeding oneself before all else?”

I question that you really believe the latter because you also write: “I see kindness in the treatment of animals, by humans, as an essential value to a better world.” There have studies about whether selfishness is preferable (the prisoners’ dilemma being an example). People like Trump have gotten rich by shafting people, so it would appear that their way is better, at least in terms of the fulfillment of their own needs and comfort. Yet, in terms of alleviating misery and doing the most good for the most creatures, your way is better. We’re a social species, which means that our survival depends upon thinking of one another, so, as you suggest, I believe that your way is in the direction of continued evolution.

Snowbrush said...

“I buy all my meat locally from farms where the animals are humanely raised and slaughtered.”

But why eat them at all? I’m not IN THE LEAST saying that vegans are self-righteous, but I think it could be true for ME that using eggs, dairy products, and fish, makes me more like you than like them and therefore less able to condemn you. When I became a vegetarian in Mississippi in the early 1980s, I was the only vegetarian I had ever known. A few years later, I got the flu and was very sick for a couple of months during which I craved fish. So, I went back to eating fish, felt much better, and still eat fish. I didn’t even know back then that nearly all of the male calves that are born to milk cows are killed, and I had the idea that if I bought humanely-raised eggs, that I was free from guilt on that score, not realizing that it would take incredible amounts of land for all chickens to be free-ranging. Now, I know that my diet isn’t ethical, but I like it—especially for baking—and it would create awkwardness with Peggy if I were to turn vegan. Of course, I also have cats, and cats are carnivores.

“They are allowed to lead lives of dignity. Even a short life can be a good one.”

If someone were to say to you that they were going to do everything they could to insure that you had the best life possible, but that they were planning to cut your throat on your 25th birthday, would you think they were treating you fairly? The only difference I can see in this and the way “humanely-raised” animals are treated is that cows, pigs, and chickens, don’t know what’s coming, so they don’t live in fear. Even so, does this justify killing them, and if having one’s throat cut or one’s neck broken doesn’t qualify as a humane death for people, why should it be considered humane for other animals? I will grant you that if you truly believe in your heart that you’re behaving ethically toward animals, you’re doing better than I, because while I might cause less unnecessary death, I still cause unnecessary death, and I don’t feel so good about it as you, yet I don’t change. Not that it matters much, but I grew up cutting chicken’s throats for Sunday dinner. I was also a hunter; I killed dogs for a humane society (this was in a rural area, and I had no way to do it other than to shoot them); and I accidentally killed an old and sick person once. So, I’m hardly a stranger to killing, but I live with remorse for such killing as I did, and I never lose sight of the fact that to pay others to kill is no better than doing it oneself. This means that simply by virtue of paying taxes, we all have blood on our hands, blood from war, blood from agricultural subsidies, and blood from vivisection. If anyone on earth leads a completely ethical life, I suppose it would be members of the Jain religion.

“Excellent post. Our fellow-species deserve better.”

Kerry, I’m so glad you came by.

“This post is disturbing on so many levels. Thank you.”

Why thank you.

More to come…

Snowbrush said...

“I like what you say about original sin, which I have never been able to understand fully.”

How odd that those ancient Jews sought God’s forgiveness by “blood offerings.” You’ll recall, perhaps, that the hunter, Abel, found favor with God through such an offering while the grain offering of his brother, the farmer Cain, was rejected, and that Cain was so hurt by God’s behavior that he murdered Abel. Then, there was the Jewish military leader who made a burnt offering of his daughter, and the incident in which God commanded Lot to sacrifice his son. How is it that service to God so often means killing? Here in Eugene, there is a farm to which Moslems go to kill animals as a sacrifice to God, and this makes me wonder if it’s even possible for a Moslem to be a vegetarian, or if such a person would be regarded as a modern day Cain by his fellows.

“But killing with cruelty. This has never been necessary. This is a choice.”

I remember that the 9/11 hijackers were instructed to “kill your animals” humanely, this in reference to the flight crews whose throats they cut with box openers. Now, it seems that many Moslems make a point of killing inhumanely in order to silence the opposition—for example, by burning their victims in cages. I saw a program on Frontline recently in which Moslems were pitted against Moslems, and both of the opposing sides would yell, “God is great,” before firing their artillery. I then wondered how much of the increasing secularization of the Western world is due to people’s disgust with Islam (along with the pedophilia and cover-ups among Catholic clergy, and the denial of individual rights in America’s Bible Belt and among conservative politicians). In so many ways, it seems that religion, instead of being a solution to a problem IS the problem. This must be a source of great suffering among religious people who only seek to live with kindness.

Tom Sightings said...

Snowbrush, a thoughtful post ... but don't blame me! Unfortunately, we were made, like all other carnivores and omnivores, to kill other animals for food ... and warmth and shelter. I agree with Charles Gramlich. Killing with cruelty is terrible. But there's a big difference between Michael Vick and your average guy who eats a steak ... or at least, I think so.

rhymeswithplague said...

Not Lot. Abraham.

Pat Hatt said...

It's a human trait that seems to be ingrained into most of the species. The need to justify. My actions aren't bad because...then you get others jumping on the bandwagon because they have to stick with those of their own color, faith, whatever. Or they are just as brain dead as the idiot that is trying to justify their actions. Animals are so much better than humans in most cases.

Snowbrush said...

“But there's a big difference between Michael Vick and your average guy who eats a steak ... or at least, I think so.”

I agree. Sadism is a mental illness, and eating steak is a societal norm. What I had reference to was that both require unnecessary suffering and death. Whereas Vick enjoyed causing pain, most steak-eaters don’t know and don’t want to know of the pain they cause.

Once a behavior is considered normal, it is by definition societally approved and people are discouraged from even thinking about it much less challenging it. For instance, I entered my teenage years in Mississippi just about the time that the movement for integration was nearing its height, and most white Southerners were outraged by the implication that they treated blacks unfairly. Pretty much any outrageous behavior can be publicly accepted until a big enough minority questions it. I think that, in this country, we’re on the road to doing that with religion, and we’ve already made great strides in regard to race and sexual orientation. As to whether we’ll ever do it with eating meat, I have no idea. I don’t even know if vegetarianism is on the increase or the wane. I just know that I grew eating pork and chicken (we almost never had steak—just meatloaf), and I don’t miss them. If were hungry enough, I might eat my cats, but meat isn’t something that I desire anymore than I desire white bread, which is something else that I ate everyday for my first two or three decades. Tastes really can change.

“Not Lot. Abraham.”

I had a sinking feeling that I was wrong, yet I knew you would be so generous and loving as to correct me, and I was also hoping you would tell me who it was who sacrificed his daughter. I knew I could look it up easily enough, but I like being corrected by you because it makes me feel closer to you. The truth is that correcting someone implies trust, and I’m ever desirous of building trust between you and me.

Snowbrush said...

“you get others jumping on the bandwagon because they have to stick with those of their own color”

Yes, we’re nothing if not imitative because that’s the price we pay for being a social species. Sports is a good illustration of this because teem allegiance is so intense yet so laughable—at least to me. Some fellow up the road in Portland was beaten so bad recently that he suffered permanent brain damage, the reason for his beating being that he went into a bar wearing a jacket that had the other team’s logo on it. Assaults and even riots happen often enough that I can but reflect that if people are willing to seriously harm others over something like sports, then it’s a small wonder that they’re willing to do much worse for things that actually matter.

“Animals are so much better than humans in most cases.”

They certainly do less harm. There’s nothing so hypocritical than for humans to talk about the cruelty of bears and sharks when the only goal these animals have is to keep food in their bellies, and the only tools they have to do with it are teeth and fangs… One thing I’m glad of is that I don’t see women wearing furs anymore. Maybe some still do, but I don’t see them now, whereas I used to see them all the time with carcasses draped over their shoulders like so many cartoon cave people.

I often wonder about the ethics of animals. Clearly, both dogs and cats are sometimes willing to put their lives at risk to save someone else or, on the other hand, to abandon their loved ones in time of apparent danger. It’s also obvious to me that they share most if not all of my emotions, but do these things imply that they make conscious decisions regarding right and wrong?

I don’t know how respectable it is even today for scientists to acknowledge emotions in other animals. I know that people like Jane Goodall were pioneers in that, but I don’t know how far science has come. I can’t imagine anything more ridiculous than to deny that animals have feelings that are much like our own when they demonstrate the fact all day everyday. It seems to me that if I were to deny the presence of emotion in my cats, I might as well deny the same in my wife and everyone else I know, yet scientists have a long history of denying that other species have feelings. It’s enough to make my head swim.

Sparkling Red said...

At this point I am almost vegetarian. When I prepare food for myself, I don't use meat, including chicken. I eat dairy products, and eggs from free-run hens. I used to eat a lot of fish, but I've even cut back in that department. I do eat meat when I'm a guest in someone's home, and very occasionally at restaurants (maybe once per month). The more time I spend thinking about it, the more I agree with vegetarianism.

robin andrea said...

I have often thought if people had to personally kill an animal for food, or watch animals be slaughtered, fewer people would eat dead animals. I gave up meat in 1970, but reintroduced chicken in the 1980s for more protein. My rationale was that I thought I could kill a chicken myself if I had to. My step-daughters are literally butchers. They slaughter pigs, cows, goats, and chickens and have absolutely no qualms about it. I inadvertently saw a turkey being killed for Thanksgiving dinner while I was out for a walk in our rural neighborhood last year. That bird was hung upside before the blade struck, and it looked at me with a look I will never forget. Some people believe utterly in human dominion. Others are moved by empathy. I choose empathy over dominion.

Killing animals for the pleasure of cruelty is an entirely different thing. That's just plain ol' sick.

rhymeswithplague said...

Abraham didn't sacrifice his daughter. Scripture doesn't say he had a daughter -- he had two sons, Ishmael by Hagar and Isaac by Sarah. He didn't sacrifice his son either, although he was willing to slay Isaac because God had told him to, but after Abraham and Isaac made a three-day journey to Mount Moriah God supplied a substitute in the form of a ram caught in a thicket.

Lot was the nephew of Abraham. I think your mix-up re son/daughter was due to the fact that Lot, who lived in Sodom, offered his daughters to the Sodomites instead when they came to his door wanting him to give them the angels who had come to talk to Lot.


Snowbrush said...

“Abraham didn't sacrifice his daughter. Scripture doesn't say he had a daughter…I think your mix-up…”

Either you don’t know the story of Jephthah (which I consider unthinkable), or I didn’t make myself clear. The following is from Judges 11, beginning with verse 30: And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.”

Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into his hands. He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.

When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.”

“My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me just as you promised, now that the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites. But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”

“You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never marry. After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.

Snowbrush said...

“When I prepare food for myself, I don't use meat, including chicken.”

For years after Peggy and I were married, we ate a lot of Hamburger Helper and sometimes fried up a can of Spam. I was also fond of ham, pork-chops, bacon, and fried chicken. For at least a decade after giving up meat, I missed bacon terribly, but the desire is now gone, and I am so struck by the hygienic uncleanliness of preparing meat for cooking that I even feel slightly uneasy about eating anyplace where meat is EVER prepared.

I went through a similar withdrawal in regard to white bread made into toast, but for decades, we have never bought anything but 100% whole grain. I bake a lot, and I do use about a quarter of unbleached flour in my recipes because, otherwise, my biscuits are in the direction of rocks that fall apart when cut, and my loaf breads are crumbly.

I bake with a lot of different grains, especially when I’m making crackers. A single recipe might contain wheat, buckwheat, flax, spelt, barley, and even coarsely-ground corn (polenta, it’s called). I’m lucky to live in a part of the country in which it is even possible to buy a multitude of grains.

“reintroduced chicken in the 1980s for more protein.”

Factory-raised chickens are truly foul (unintentional pun that might be funny if I were talking about something else) in terms of what they eat and the humongous number of bacteria they contain. As I wrote further up the chain, I do eat fish, but only canned sardines and other environmentally friendly cold water fish (salmon, rockfish, and cod) that were caught in the wild. Last week, I tried a new brand of sardines that made a point of environmental friendliness. Well, that’s good, but the sardines had been skinned and packed in olive oil. Sardines skinned! Why on earth would anyone think to skin the paper thin skins from sardines? Besides, I like skins. If I’m eating with people who remove their skins, I ask for them. If they should consider me odd for asking for their skins, I would consider them just as odd for considering me odd. One simply doesn’t stand on ceremony where skins are involved because skins are bread crusts. My sister used to cut the crust from her bread, and that right there was reason enough for me to think she was crazy.

robin andrea said...

"Factory-raised chickens are truly foul (unintentional pun that might be funny if I were talking about something else) in terms of what they eat and the humongous number of bacteria they contain." I eat locally raised, free-range, organic chicken. I'm hoping that spares me the more foul aspect of their lives. Roger and I eat a lot of tofu, tempeh, and beans for protein. We add lots and lots of vegetables at every meal. Humans have turned out to be quite an interesting species, unable to know fully what they are really eating anymore. I call us the most successful failed species on earth.

E. Rosewater said...

i agree, we are a primitive species.

i wonder what vick's defenders thought about his actions when they weren't on their "professional auto-pilot" did they carefully choose their words and calculate what sentiment would be best for business? i don't think whoopi would be quite so forgiving if vick slammed her dog against the wall.

rhymeswithplague said...

You are right about Jephthah, but I was referring to your statement about "the incident in which God commanded Lot to sacrifice his son," which was not correct. Abraham, Lot's uncle, was the one God commanded to kill his son and then provided a ram instead, so the son was spared. Lot offered his daughters to the men of Sodom, not his sons. Jephthah kept his rather ill-advised vow to God to offer as a burnt sacrifice the first thing that came out of the door of his house if the Ammonites were defeated in battle, but it is never indicated that God commanded him to do that.

Snowbrush said...

“Roger and I eat a lot of tofu, tempeh, and beans for protein.”

Here’s an interesting article on soy products: http://www.pcrm.org/health/cancer-resources/ask/ask-the-expert-soy. I went looking for it because I had heard that they are problem for men, and you guys eat a whole lot of soy. Anyway, this article denies that. Between us, Peggy and I put away about a quart of soy milk a day and occasionally eat tofu, but we make no specific effort to insure that we get enough protein. I would eat fish a lot more, but she doesn’t like it, yet if we’re low on protein, it doesn’t show-up in lab tests anyway.

“i don't think whoopi would be quite so forgiving if vick slammed her dog against the wall.”

When someone consistently says such stupid things as Whoppi, I think it likely it’s probably intended to boost her notoriety and hence her popularity. I never assume that anything a commercial news anchor, talk show host, or celebrity says, can be taken at face value. As I see it, the goals are nearly always fame, money, and manipulation.

“I was referring to your statement about "the incident in which God commanded Lot to sacrifice his son," which was not correct. Abraham, Lot's uncle, was the one God commanded to kill his son”

I know. You corrected me, and I thanked you.

“Lot offered his daughters to the men of Sodom”

Is it not apparent that the “holy men of God” in the Bible weren’t usually nice people? Abraham and Jephthah would easily be declared insane, and what can one say about Lot giving his daughters up to be raped and murdered by a mob in order to save male angels from the same fate? All of these stories are obvious fabrications by a primitive people, yet are those who take them as God’s literal truth today (which I don’t think you do) any less primitive despite the fact that they talk on cellphones and drive cars? There is a vast difference between declaring the Bible to be the “Word of God” and claiming that it “contains the word of God.” Of course, if the latter is true, how is one supposed to sort it out?

“Jephthah kept his rather ill-advised vow to God to offer as a burnt sacrifice the first thing that came out of the door of his house if the Ammonites were defeated in battle, but it is never indicated that God commanded him to do that.”

This is true, but given the atrocities that God did command, his unforgiving nature, and the severity of his punishments, can you seriously doubt but what God would have punished Jephthah severely had he not killed his daughter? It is often the case in the Bible that to obey God is to be on the side of evil. One can claim that God’s ways aren’t our ways, and that we should obey him no matter what, but would you really approve of people today using that rationale if it led them to behave as they did then? It seems to me that, aside from the issue of suicide, the group that behaves most consistently with the character of the Biblical deity is the Islamic State. When atheists are asked what put them on the road to atheism, many would say the Bible, and so it was with me. I can scarcely imagine a more brutal deity.

Ginny said...

There is no way I would be able to ignore a hungry suffering animal. I can't do as much as I wish I could but I donate to farm sanctuaries. There's one in woodstock, NY that I donate to.

I also only adopt from shelters and adopt adult cats as they are less likely to get adopted than kittens. Bosco is also FIV positive which is a stigma that I work on educating people about. They can still live full happy and healthy lives.

As for Michael Vick, I think he should be in jail. Anyone that would treat another living creature like that is disgusting and I don't trust animals abusers out in society.

As for the guy who left the kitten, I feel sick about it, but he wasn't openly abusing the animal. Ugh I'm going to hug my cat now.

Emma Springfield said...

It saddens me that you are so unhappy belonging to our species. I feel that if I do the best I can every day I can ask little else of myself. I like some meats and I eat them. My first obligation in life is to take care of my needs so that I can accomplish whatever it is that I am meant to do. I would never viciously harm any animal including a human. At the same time I must put my needs at least on the same level as another animal's needs.

Snowbrush said...

“As for Michael Vick, I think he should be in jail.”

Capital punishment is a dilemma for me. Take pedophiles for example, if there is but scant hope of making them safe to be around children, I think they should either be locked away forever or killed, and why waste money on locking them away? On the other hand, if you punish them severely, people are less likely to report them because they are often a member of the victim’s family. I know that there are professional ethicists who sit around thinking about such dilemmas, but what advantage would a professional have over you and me?

“As for the guy who left the kitten, I feel sick about it, but he wasn't openly abusing the animal.”

Vick did evil while the other man rationalized evil, so which is better? Their commonality lay in the fact that they both made the treatment of animals dependent upon human desires without regard for the welfare of animals. The average American eats 27 chickens a year and 270 pounds of beef. Nearly all of these animals are raised inhumanely, so if you tally how many animals a sadist like Vick kills against the number the average America pays to have killed, the average American doesn’t come out looking so good.

“I would never viciously harm any animal including a human.”

I don’t think many people would. I don’t think out problem is primarily viciousness but rather selfishness and callousness. (I should add that I don’t personally dislike my species but rather the harm that my species does. Indeed, I see the members of my species doing good everywhere and everyday. Yesterday, my neighbor came over frantic because she couldn’t find her cell phone, and, worse yet, she didn’t know where her eight year old daughter was. She was apologetic about needing help, but I was glad for it because it gave me a chance to repay the times that her husband has helped me. Such is life. We survive because we have the help of others. It’s good to be helped and it’s good to be helpful.)

“I must put my needs at least on the same level as another animal's needs.“

I think that if we all put our needs on such a level, the world would be a wonderful place, but what I see us doing is to put our needs—and even our desires—ahead of the needs of everything else. There are good reasons for this in that if we didn’t do it, life would be awfully inconvenient. For example, all of us who drive have killed millions of insects and an occasional reptile, amphibian, or mammal. If we held their needs equal to ours, how could we in good conscience drive? But if we didn’t drive, how would we get our groceries home—take a bus, and let the bus driver do the killing? So it is that, by our hands, other creatures die, but surely it behooves us to be conscious of the ways we kill them so we can at least reduce the harm we do.

kylie said...

I commented on this post but I guess my thoughts went missing somewhere in the great web.
I feel bad about eating animals but i still do it because i like the taste and meal planning seems easier and my family demands meat. I do a couple of meat free days a week and I'm trying to extend that gradually.

At least when we eat animals we derive some benefit (whether or not it is a fair thing to do) Cruelty for it's own sake is just abominable

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Snowbrush, you have written a great deal about killing animals and you are happy to quote the old testament. Old testament is for people who lived a savage, uncivilized life where the only means of survival is to defend oneself against merciless enemies. The old testament doesn't apply to the present day living.

No where I find you have mentioned about ISIS whose only motive is to kill people who don't belong to Islam.They will not spare even Atheists like you. They have killed,raped and maimed millions of people and destroyed vast areas of property. You have not mentioned about Syrian refugees who are getting into most of the European countries to spread Islam. How is that you have soft corner for ISIS? Are you supporting them? So much focus on Christianity is unwarranted and serves to divert the attention of your readers from real culprits of the present world. You seem to have a penchant for dwelling in the past which has no relevance to the present. You should see the good in Christianity and reflect on the wonderful work they are doing in the present world for the welfare of the human race. Don't dwell in the past it only brings pain and misery. The present is a reality and therefor you should live in it.

I am against killing for sport or wanton killing of animals. But as source of food, yes, we should kill them whenever needed for human beings to survive. I don't believe in strict vegetarianism. Vegetarians are also killing plants brutally. Unfortunately plants don't have red blood like animals and therefore vegetarians think they doing a noble deed by eating plants. Plants have life and if they can cry, their tears will drown mankind.

We human beings are hypocrites, pretend that we are better than others and preach. We do many unwanted things in secrecy but when we discover such evil acts in others we pretend and put on an holier than thou attitude. This is a built in frailty of human beings.

The correction process should start with each one us and not with others.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post.

Best wishes

Snowbrush said...

“I do a couple of meat free days a week and I'm trying to extend that gradually.”

I don’t recall that giving meat was hard for me with the notable exception of bacon. I do recall that it created social problems. Sharing meals with others is a bonding experience, and when you don’t eat as others do, that bonding is made more difficult. One of the chief advantages of not being a vegan is that I’m far less hated, and far better able to enjoy the bonding that comes with meal sharing.

“No where I find you have mentioned about ISIS whose only motive is to kill people who don't belong to Islam.”

Try looking in the comment section to this post. I don’t talk about a lot of things, but you’re a fool in thinking that this implies that I support them.

“How is that you have soft corner for ISIS? Are you supporting them?”

You excel in hatefulness to the point of being laughable, and while you claim to be a Christian, I have found no love in you. All of the close-minded self-righteous bigotry, self-satisfied ignorance, and appalling arrogance that I grew up as a fundamentalist Christian, I see in you. I wouldn’t be surprised but what you would be willing to kill me in service to your God, and when you chopped my head off, you would yell your version of “Allahu Akbar!” Such is how I view your religion, and I can but be thankful that I don’t live anywhere close to your nutty country.

As for ISIS, I don’t understand what motivates them beyond greed, power, and sadism, all under the banner of religion. While bemoaning the outrages of the Crusades, they behave even worse. I’m often critical of my country, but it seems obvious to me that if America doesn’t do most of the work in stopping ISIS, it won’t be stopped because no other country is willing to spend enough money on its military and intelligence services to stop it. Europe, especially, is dependent upon America, without giving back anywhere near as much as they get. Indeed, they feel superior to us and even hate us. As for ISIS, America caused that problem, so there is some justice in leaving us to fix it, but we really can’t do it alone simply by dropping bombs, and it’s not us who is most vulnerable to attack. I think the day could come when a man like Trump might have appeal in Europe. They laugh at him now, but they’re not as frightened as they’re likely to become, especially after taking in millions of Moslems. Why is it, I often wonder, that America is so much more concerned about Europe than about Africa and other parts of the world? Is our indifference not rooted in racism?

“we should kill them whenever needed for human beings to survive.”

I agree, but we’re not in that situation.

“Unfortunately plants don't have red blood like animals and therefore vegetarians think they doing a noble deed by eating plants. Plants have life and if they can cry, their tears will drown mankind.”

I never feel noble when I eat a plant. I don’t know if plants suffer, but since we have to eat something, eating them at least appears to be a better choice than eating animals. I never feel good about killing weeds in my yard in order to plant flowers, and I also feel guilty when I throw out a potted plant, something which I did lately simply because I needed the space. I think that if there is a difference between myself and most people it is that I do feel guilty, and that this limits the damage I do.

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post.”

Yeah, right, you enjoy looking for any excuse to attack me, no matter how asinine. Yet, you remain welcome here because, as I said, you’re in India where your laws can't touch me, and your nut-jobs aren’t on hand to hack me to death with machetes.

BBC said...

Don't look forward to anything changing, we are all part of the food chain or the entertainment.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

People who mistreat animals sicken me...

Snowbrush said...

“People who mistreat animals sicken me…”

There is mistreatment from intentionality (as with dogfighting and hunting), and then there is mistreatment from ignorance, indifference, or necessity, and I think we’re all guilty of the last three. I know that my own awareness has grown exponentially, not because I used to be a bad person, but simply because I didn’t think and this led me to regard the state of affairs that I grew up with as normal and therefore desirable. Having concluded that there’s a vast difference between what is normal (in my society) and what is desirable, I behave better, but for this and many other reasons, I also feel estranged from my society. Thoreau wrote (and I paraphrase), “What the mass of men consider to be good, I know in my heart to be bad,” and so it is with me. Having come to believe this, there is no way that I can regard my society with respect, and in many ways, I hold it in contempt.

Snowbrush said...

Here are Thoreau's exact words: "The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior.” I was very impressed by Thoreau as a young man, but I didn’t understand how alienating from society such an attitude would lead one to be. It’s one thing to regard society with bemused adolescent cynicism, but quite another to hold it in strong contempt. It’s hardly desirable to be in the latter situation, but if it comes from what one truly believes, then what choice does one have. One of my readers, All Consuming, is a vegan, and I often think about how many a times a day she must be reminded that the values of society are not only not her values, but they’re absolutely abhorrent to her. One reason for not being a vegan, and not working with animal rescue groups is the alienation from one’s fellows that such things surely must entail. It’s hard on many levels to go against society.

kj said...

you lost me at the third paragraph when you pivoted to black people defending black people who torture animals. i'm quite certain there is no color test in this misguided and cruel segment of humanity. i'm trying my best to get past any possible reason you think it important to this important post to pile up one group's defense of michael vick, but i will otherwise say i share your disgust with any person who would turn away from an animal in need. and to those who harm them, i wish the punishment included jail time, lots of it.

i've seen that lavery photo before and i wondered then how he could justify leaving that little kitten. culture be damned. i know we can't save the world--a visit to an animal shelter quickly makes that point, but i always hoped my pocket would be big enough for that little kitten.

best wishes, snow. love
kj

Snowbrush said...

“you lost me at the third paragraph when you pivoted to black people defending black people who torture animals. i'm quite certain there is no color test in this misguided and cruel segment of humanity.”

According to these celebrities—and the NAACP itself—there most certainly is a color test. Indeed, that’s the basis of their defense. No matter what the crime, their position is that if a black person commits it, it’s not his fault but rather the fault of racist white people. In this instance, some black leaders claim that Vick’s brutality is a part of black culture and therefore should be excused, if not accepted, in the interest of honoring diversity while others minimize what he did by drawing false correlations. According to the head of the NAACP: “How is it that young Trayvon Martin could be killed by George Zimmerman and George Zimmerman gets no time when Michael Vick got two-and-a-half years for killing dogs?”

So, what can we conclude when many prominent black people—and the NAACP itself—defends Vick while, so far as I know, no prominent black leaders condemn Vick? To me, it suggests a sickness in black society when, seemingly, it is only whites who find his brutality a reason for outrage. You, KJ, as I understand you, often seem willing, if not eager, to argue against the failures of white society while regarding anything short of total acceptance of black society as racist. Yet, if it’s fair to talk about white people enmasse, than surely it is fair to talk about black people enmasse, although I consider it just as obvious that no large group of people is truly monolithic no matter how the public media might make them appear. What you seem unable to believe about me is that I’m not claiming that it’s race itself that’s responsible for the failures of what I will generalize as being black society, but rather the experiences that went into molding black society as it exists in 21st century America. It is a society that comes out of great distress, so it seems inevitable to me that its thinking would be skewed by that distress. However, believe when I tell you that I believe that there is just as much individual difference among black people as there is between you and David Duke. Yet polls suggest that there are also enormous differences in how MOST white people think compared to how MOST black people think when it comes to racial issues. However, you think more like the majority of blacks while I think more like the majority of whites.

Love to you too. I enjoy our discussions.

kj said...

Snow, I'll offer more response later but my point is that black people do not torture animals at greater incidence than white people do. I do question your examples of rationalization also, but that's secondary to my comment

BBC said...

When I was young I killed some things for the sport of it, rats and groundhogs. I also hunted some to put meat on the table, and fished. But I think it takes a sick person to kick the shit out of a dog or cat or any other critter just for the hell of it.

Snowbrush said...

“my point is that black people do not torture animals at greater incidence than white people do.”

Those prominent black people who labeled dogfighting either a cultural phenomenon or a minor infraction would seem to disagree, and I find such people to be numerous on the Internet, but I can’t find a single prominent black person who takes the opposing side. The following blog is by a black Chicago man who grew us in a neighborhood with dogfighting, admits that black people simply aren’t interested in promoting the humane treatment of animals, and argues that while 99% of the whites he knows support Vick’s sentence, 99% of the blacks think it was too harsh. http://www.chicagonow.com/fanning-flames-since-1978/2011/09/why-most-african-americans-could-care-less-about-animal-rights/ . Here is another blog on which many more black supporters of dogfighting are quoted: http://moderntribalist.blogspot.com/2007/08/dog-fighting-and-african-american.html. Finally, here’s a blog that makes mention of black people who do support the humane treatment of animals: http://www.animals24-7.org/2016/01/20/a-black-and-white-issue-that-the-humane-community-has-yet-to-face/, but I had to look for a while to find it, and some of these people were dead at the time of the Vick incident or, as in the case of Nelson Mandela, was at best a lukewarm supporter of the rights of animals. The prevalence of the evidence seems to favor black people as a whole either justifying or minimizing the severity of what Vick did. As one wrote, “Black people have enough problems without worrying about the rights of pitbulls.” The truth is that black attitudes and white attitudes are often statistically different. I don’t believe this to be a function of race but of culture, but that makes it no less real.

“I think it takes a sick person to kick the shit out of a dog or cat or any other critter just for the hell of it.”

Agreed. I also know enough about you to know that you feed stray cats, and while I appreciate your humanity, in the absence of getting them neutered, does this do more good than harm? Another reader, Strayer, does get them neutered, and then releases the feral ones back into their former habitat, this being a common practice among humane societies. I’ve thought a lot about this too because feral cats kill so much wildlife. While I believe that Strayer does great good, I think that, when it comes right down to it, euthanasia would be preferable, so I would never, personally, release a feral cat. There are no easy answers here even among those who are concerned with the welfare of animals, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the animosity between the environmentalists and the “neuter and release” people.

rhymeswithplague said...

In the verbal brouhaha brewing between you and kj that we readers of your blog are so looking forward to, I hasten to remind you that you are automatically disqualified from having an opinion, let alone stating it, regarding the incidence of animal torture among black people and white people. Your opinion and mine are of no consequence to enlightened 21st-century liberal minds because we both hail from states of the old Confederacy. Therefore we both are, by definition, racists and bigots, not to be tolerated even if the facts support your statement and nothing whatever supports kj's. Consider yourself warned. Facts that do not agree with liberalism's agenda will be ignored.

BBC said...

They limit the feral cats here to six or less, they help keep the mice population down, and they have been fixed. They do get a few squirrels and birds but that is just the way of it, my feeding them some helps keep their hunting needs down.

Snowbrush said...

“our opinion and mine are of no consequence to enlightened 21st-century liberal minds because we both hail from states of the old Confederacy. Therefore we both are, by definition, racists and bigots, not to be tolerated even if the facts support your statement and nothing whatever supports kj’s"

I blogged a month ago about taking two classes (one about chronic pain and the other about grief). The latter turned out to be a discussion group instead of a class, and I felt poorly accepted from the outset by the other two students, but didn’t know why. I still have a bit of a Southern accent, and in the last class I attended, one of the other students said that she regarded the movie “Deliverance” (a movie about murderous psyopaths) as an accurate summary of white culture in the South. The level of bigotry I have seen from people whom are proud of their “respect for diversity” has often been just that blatant.

“my feeding them some helps keep their hunting needs down.”

I’m sure that some cats hunt out of necessity, but cats that get plenty to eat often go from the food bowl to the killing fields. Scientists have found that some kill upwards of 1,000 creatures a year and some none, so hunting among cats is very much a matter of disposition.

BBC said...

" Scientists have found that some kill upwards of 1,000 creatures a year and some none, so hunting among cats is very much a matter of disposition."

Could say the same about many humans, just try to stay out of the way.

kj said...

Not fair! I may disagree and I may do poorly in substantiating my perspective, but I don't label. Southern, liberal: these terms mean little to me in an honest discourse of opinion or fact. Jeez!

Snowbrush said...

“Not fair! I may disagree and I may do poorly in substantiating my perspective, but I don't label.”

I agree with both sentences, and I think Rhymes would too. He has what might be called a wry sense of humor, and he was expressing a common experience of Southerners, but I can certainly see why you would have been offended. I can but say that I know him to be a loving person, and a very interesting man. He was born in Delaware (I think it was), grew up in east Texas (the most Southern part of Texas as to culture), and his mother was Jewish and extremely fearful of anti-Semitism, something that, I believe, she sought to pass onto him for his own protection, So, he can relate to being the victim of prejudice because of his Jewish heritage, his Southernness, his conservative Protestant values, and his conservative political values.

As for me, I’ve said this before: when I moved to Eugene, Oregon, aka “the Berkeley of the North,” I thought that liberals wore haloes, so imagine my surprise at having left one state where I was rejected for my beliefs only to go to another where I was rejected for my accent by people who didn’t even know what my beliefs were, people who became livid if I suggested that they were prejudiced.

A black woman who moved here from Louisiana told me that life was easier in Louisiana because she knew where white people stood, while here, the prejudice is hidden, so it took a while to know how people really felt about her. The same is true of me now that my accent has faded to a large extent because while people used to be very open about their bigotry toward me (often within a sentence or two of meeting me), now that my accent has faded, some people spot my Southern origin right away, while others seemingly never do, so I live with a degree of wariness similar to that with which my black friend lived simply because it’s so hard to know what’s going on with others when something doesn’t feel right—like in that class.

Mr. Shife said...

Wow. I wasn't expecting this when I visited as it's Friday night for me and I have turned the brain off but I enjoyed the read. Lots of excellent points and I am of the belief that if you abuse animals then deserve something just as harsh. It's not cool that we decimate and destroy animals all over the world on a regular basis. They help make the world a better place and we really need them around.

Snowbrush said...

“ I wasn't expecting this when I visited as it's Friday night for me and I have turned the brain off”

I don’t choose what to write about so much as I choose what not to write about. Ideas come into my head all the time, but most of them die there because I put a lot of time into my posts, and this makes it necessary for me to put thought into what topics I choose.

“animals…make the world a better place and we really need them around.”

It wouldn’t matter if we didn’t need them around because there is no ethical justification for us playing God by deciding what species have a right to exist based upon what we like and need. It’s also true that we don’t even have the wisdom to know which species benefit us because of the interdependence of life. I think that most people would kill every mosquito in the world if they could, but would this help us more than it would hurt us? No one knows because mosquitos are necessary to the survival of various other species.

Now that we have the ability to create new species, we’re faced with a whole other ethical dilemma. For example, I heard (on NPR) last week of some scientist who’s implanting human genes into pigs with the hope of growing human organs for transplants. One problem is that he doesn’t know what the implanted genes will do, and this opens the possibility of creating a pig who thinks like a human.

kj said...

Snow, a quick comment and I'll tell you why quick. I look up the facts and research on this subject and you are right. I was incorrect.

My beloved daughter and mother of 4 small children was shocked to learn last week that she has cancer. We are all stunned. It is treatable and we're told curable but chemo is ahead for the next few months and I need to help. A lot on my already full plate....
Love
kj

Snowbrush said...

“A lot on my already full plate….”

Surely, you don’t mean to say that you value life and family more than you value commenting on my blog!!!

Oh, my friend, what can I say but that I’m relieved beyond words that this cancer was caught early and isn’t one those cancers that will kill a person before another Christmas rolls around. Hugs and kisses to you, my darling friend. If I could hold you in my lap I would. Of course, this might be difficult if you didn’t want to be held and started pummeling me in the face and kicking me in the shin, but the thought to be in physical touch is still there due to my love for you and my relief for you. I know it doesn’t come across on my blog, but I’m very much a person who values touch. There even came a point a couple of years ago when I started kissing my male friends (all two of them) and calling them sweetheart. Touch is life to me. Touch is what’s needed when words fail, and I grieve that I can’t offer it on the Internet.

Cathy Kennedy said...

Intense post! I don't think animals should be killed for fun as some of these folks put it nor am I fan of hunting animals for sport. I'm fine with hunters killing animals for food, but not to satisfy the need of a trophy kill, you know what I mean? Honestly, I think people who indulge in this sort of tormenting of animals is one brick short of a full load.

rhymeswithplague said...

Not Delaware. Rhode Island.

My friend Tom J. kissed me on the cheek at church a few years back, and it made me feel "a little funny" but he was being absolutely Biblical -- New Testament at that, if there happen to be any old Church of Christ folks within the sound of my voice, er, reach of my pen. By pen I mean keyboard. It gets so tiring having to explain everything.

Snowbrush said...

“I think people who indulge in this sort of tormenting of animals is one brick short of a full load.”

The same is true of pedophiles, but it doesn’t minimize their legal responsibility. My thought is that if a person is declared legally sane, there is at least the possibility of reformation, but if he or she is insane, there’s no help for it other than pills, and how can society trust that he will continue to take them after being released? I would argue that such people should never be given the opportunity to hurt any creature again. I would prefer that they be humanely executed because their life is already over as far as freedom goes, so what’s the point of keeping them alive when the money could be spent helping those who have something to offer? If I had my way, Vick, at the very least, would never again look through a window that didn’t have bars on it. He spent a little over a year in federal prison, and when got out of that, he was tried in Virginia and given probation and a $2,500 fine. Imagine a man who makes between $30 and $40 million a year being fined $2,500, an amount that would proportionately come to less than a penny if imposed on an ordinary person. I think the outcome of his case constituted a clear statement that society views the lives of non-human animals as of very little importance. After getting out of prison, he resumed his career, and the crowds who came to his games were as large as ever. I guess that if people can enjoy football while knowing that those who are playing the game are going to become senile at an early age from brain damage, then why should they care if the players are criminals, as many of them are? I think that most people’s idea of morality extends no further than legality, meaning, in the case of football, that no matter how badly the players are injured, if the game is legal, most people will consider it moral to watch it.

“Not Delaware. Rhode Island.”

Picky, picky. I was born along the eastern wall of a north-facing third-story room in Mississippi, but if you said it was the western wall of a south-facing first-floor room in Arkansas, I would consider you close enough to be right.

“My friend Tom J. kissed me on the cheek at church a few years back, and it made me feel "a little funny’”

Several years ago, I saw Peggy’s sister’s husband for the first time in at least 15 years and gave him a hug. When the visit was over, he stuck his hand way out in front of him as a clear signal that he wasn’t going to hugging me a second time. You no doubt remember author and professor Leo Buscaglia, aka Dr. Love, who was a strong proponent of physical affection, and reportedly believed in hugging everyone whether they wanted to be hugged or not. I think displays of affection should be based upon how well one regards the other person and what that other person is comfortable with, but it’s not always that easy. For example, Peggy has some relatives who are coming for a visit soon. If I went by affection, I would hug some of them but not others, but since that would offense, I’ll do as expected although I no more want to hug some of the women anymore than they want to hug me. You probably know that there have been studies that bore out the belief that heterosexual men who are uncomfortable with physical affection between men rank high in latent homosexuality.

rhymeswithplague said...

Providence, Rhode Island, is more than 300 miles from Wilmington, Delaware. The only thing the two states have in common is that RI is the smallest state and DE is the second-smallest state. Kind of like your birthplace in Mississippi is near Tyler, Texas. Not even close, I don't care which direction the room was facing.

I'm fine with hugging (I'm a former charismatic, remember? None of that sideways Baprist-style hugging) and I'm even fine with cheek-kissing. Lip-kissing not so much as it might lead to tongue-sucking, a definite no-no unless procreation is what the kisser & kissee have in mind. Baptists, of course, have always been against having sex standing up because it might lead to dancing. 😎

Snowbrush said...

“I don't care which direction the room was facing.”

You don’t?! It took me 26 hours to get that information from old hospital records combined with architect’s drawings, and I did it just for you, and now you tell me that you don’t care about the room I was born in because you’re too fixated on whether some little loser town named Tyler is located in Rhode Island or in Delaware!

“Lip-kissing not so much as it might lead to tongue-sucking, a definite no-no unless procreation is what the kisser & kissee have in mind.”

You and the pope are on the same page about this, but I never once kissed while thinking about procreation (rather the reverse, actually), and I’m quite sure that homosexuals don’t either. I have, however, wondered how it would feel to kiss a woman if women had tongues like cats, tongues that, as I learned from a book called “The Character of Cats,” were made (by evolution, not God) to facilitate ripping the flesh off carcasses. I had thought that cats’ tongues were made that way so they could bathe more efficiently, but who am I to argue with a man whose book was subtitled “The Origins, Intelligence, Behavior, and Stratagems of Felis silvestris cats”? Just his use of the word “strategems” combined with the fact that he knows the scientific name of domesticated cats told me that here was a man who knows what he’s talking about.

Practical Parsimony said...

I had a cat that I begged my mother to allow me to bring from Jackson, MS to Memphis. TN when I was eleven. She said no, that he would just get loose from me and be lost on the way. I promised to hold him tight. I know he went to the bathroom along the way and came right back to me. I sneaked him into my room against my mother's wishes. When I found out I was highly allergic to cats, he went outdoors and I never even petted him again. Ten years later, I married and we got a cat for indoors. a black cat I named Sloopy. That cat was crazy. Eventually, he had to be put to sleep for distemper or something.
that cat forty years ago was my last.

I take that back. I have had a golden kitten, a black kitten, and a blue kitten, all stolen by neighbors in or one rent house in this neighborhood. I gave up on having a kitten/cat. Besides, food and medical care is out of my reach.

I am not officially allergic to dogs, but I break out, itch and get fungus and ringworm from supposedly healthy dogs. And, I am pretty much terrified of dogs.

Even with all my allergies and fears, I do rescue both dogs and cats.

After getting chickens, I pretty much hooked on them for pets. They are amusing and have different personalities. Fancy came and talked to me all the time.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Michae Vick us as vile as they come and anyone who says different is an idiot.