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The philosophy of favouring pets over humans

Rick C
September 8th, 2005, 10:16 AM
I was just dallying at the Chicago Sun-Times site this a.m. and saw this Professor of Philosphy's comments regarding Hurricane Katrina and wondered how you would all think of it . . . . do you agree or disagree with him:

"What drives people to help animals in this situation is not the idea that they are helpless, and also not the idea that animals have rights. What motivates people is that animals suffer, and the fundamental moral principle to alleviate suffering applies to animals as well as human beings," said Jason Bridges, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago.

"I think there is a danger of devoting too many resources to animals," Bridges said.

"People do matter more. I read somewhere that more or the same amount of money is given to pet shelters as homeless shelters. There is definitely something disturbing about that, " he said.

http://www.suntimes.com/output/hurricane/cst-nws-petrescue08.html

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

marko
September 8th, 2005, 10:45 AM
I just heard an interview 2 or 3 days ago on the radio with Canadian author Farley Mowatt.

In that interview he says that the greatest pain he has felt has resulted from the deaths not of people he's loved who have died but of the animals he's loved and have died. That the pain from these deaths have been the hardest to bear.

He freely admitted that he is aware that most people think he is looney for thinking this, and that many are offended by this train of thought.

In his opinion he feels that animals probably suffer more than we do, and feel pain more strongly than we do. He suggested that this is because humans are used to suffering and have conditioned themselves to deal with suffering, where non human animals have not. Their suffering is more raw.

Jazz&Cricket
September 8th, 2005, 11:08 AM
Here's how I look at it...in most cases (except in cases of natural disasters like Katrina, disease,) humans bring about their own suffering because we have 'free will'. We have the ability (maybe not necessarily all the resources) to chose to make our lives better. Animals do not have that luxury so humans attempt to help.
I try to balance my charitable donations...I sponsor foster children and donate to various animal shelters in equal amounts. In the case of Katrina, I've done the same...some for people, some for animals.

Rick C
September 8th, 2005, 11:23 AM
I just heard an interview 2 or 3 days ago on the radio with Canadian author Farley Mowatt.

In that interview he says that the greatest pain he has felt has resulted from the deaths not of people he's loved who have died but of the animals he's loved and have died. That the pain from these deaths have been the hardest to bear.

He freely admitted that he is aware that most people think he is looney for thinking this, and that many are offended by this train of thought.

In his opinion he feels that animals probably suffer more than we do, and feel pain more strongly than we do. He suggested that this is because humans are used to suffering and have conditioned themselves to deal with suffering, where non human animals have not. Their suffering is more raw.

That's quite an interesting comment coming from Farley Mowat who wrote one of the great anti-war books of all time, "And No Birds Sang," recounting his horrific experiences and friends lost in the Canadian infantry marching through Italy in WWII. That book ranks right up there with the "can't-put-down" kind and has rave reviews from Time, New York Times, Publishers Weekly, etc, etc.

There's a man who has seen human death at its most futile and most graphic . . . . yet he says what he did in that radio interview.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Luvmypit
September 8th, 2005, 12:24 PM
As for me I have always since I was a kid had a soft spot for animals. I personally think for me its their helplessness. I think of those animals in Katrina and it breaks my heart.

I don't even watch anything to do with the animals in NO cause honestly I can't take it. I saw one or two stranded dogs and ended up turning off the TV and crying like a baby for 20 minutes. I didn't do that for the humans. I don't believe I have any favourtism to animals I just feel terribly for them. I cryed many tears and still do for the human loss.

I have always felt uncomfortable with humans saying we matter more. I just feel like how dare we judge the value of life. Yes take care of our own but to totally leave these animals alone and abandoned through no fault of their own doesn't sit well with me. Yes I value my life and that of other humans but there is room to value ALL life.

Prin
September 8th, 2005, 02:19 PM
My step mother says that anybody who values animals more than people has simply lost their faith and hope in humans. I think that's true to a point. I know dogs have gotten me to where I am today. I grew up with a lot of not-so-nice people around all the time, and dogs were far better at teaching me how to be a good human being than they were. The best people in the world are dogs. And some of the best humans are dog people.

But for me, they aren't helpless. They are entirely devoted to us. Like kids who never grow up and never give up their innocence. They do so much for me, that I will do anything I can for them. That's what it is about for me. If a human did the same for me, surely I would feel the same way, but those kind of humans are few and far between.

Luvmypit
September 8th, 2005, 03:32 PM
I don't think its an issue of valuing them more. I think dog/animal people have more respect for life in general. More of an appreciation of it. Often animal lovers are lovers of the out doors and lovers of the enviroment. To me it means we value life more, because we have the capabilities to love other species. If there weren't animal lovers what kind of world would this be? To me its more like loving outside of the box if you will.

Shamrock
September 8th, 2005, 03:45 PM
Here's how I look at it...in most cases (except in cases of natural disasters like Katrina, disease,) humans bring about their own suffering because we have 'free will'. We have the ability (maybe not necessarily all the resources) to chose to make our lives better. Animals do not have that luxury so humans attempt to help.

With every respect - I disagree with these statements.
- Humans do NOT always have the abilility to to prevent their own suffering, and to suggest that in most cases they "brought it upon themselves" is somewhat short-sighted, in my view.


The sufferiing of all living things deserves compassion, caring and above all.... whatever we may do as humans to help alleviate it - regardless of the cause.

As for Farlwey Mowatt's comments, he is quite correct in his understanding that many would feel offended by his train of thought. I am one.

Humans may be more conditioned to adversity, but human suffering encompasses a wide scope.
By what measure is he assessing animals suffering as more "raw" and the notion that they feel pain more?
His observation that he found it more painful to deal with the loss of animal than human loved ones is a personal one, based on his own life experiences.

It is NOT the case for most people, in my view, or in my personal experience
The depth of pain cannot even begin to be compared.

twodogsandacat
September 8th, 2005, 03:50 PM
A pet has faith that they will be taken care of and in kind will take care of us. They shouldn’t be abandoned. They wouldn't abandon us.

Prin
September 8th, 2005, 03:59 PM
Poor doggy in that picture!! So sad.

chico2
September 8th, 2005, 04:06 PM
I have a really hard time dealing with the fact animals were left behind :sad:
I honestly would risk my life for my animals or any other animal.
People understand what is happening,animals don't,they love us and trust us...I am not saying this was not a horrific tragedy for the people,many who have lost loved ones under terrible circumstances,but how do people decide a dogs/cats/horses life is not worth saving??
I LOVE my animals with all my heart and any other animal that comes along,we all want to live,we share this earth...
There is no more faithful and loving companion than your dog/cat,would I abandon them in a crisis,not on your life!!
The one very disturbing story about Snowball the little poodle and his young owner,is to me disgraceful,the officer tore the little dog out of the boys arms and threw him down beside the bus,probably in the water...was that cruelty really necessary?
I have friends who consider me a little looney,but I love life in all it's forms,consider myself lucky to share it with animals,the beauty of nature and everything that is good in life.

Roxy's_MA
September 8th, 2005, 04:45 PM
I would be one of the people who would risk my life, staying in NO if I was told I had to leave my pets behind. I just couldn't do it. I think the reason is the loyalty my pets have to me. I don't think I could betray the trust they have that I will take care of them.

Shamrock
September 8th, 2005, 05:13 PM
.
People understand what is happening,animals don't,they love us and trust us...I am not saying this was not a horrific tragedy for the people,many who have lost loved ones under terrible circumstances,but how do people decide a dogs/cats/horses life is not worth saving??

Chico, I totally agree that its extremely disturbing to know that these poor animals, depedendent on humans as their protector and saviour were left behind.
The story of little Snowball was an utterly heartbreaking example.

But, to me.. even more gutwrenching is the story I read today of St Rita''s nursing home in St Bernard parish, where they have discover the bodies of approx 35 elderly people. Tiny frail corpses were found laying in overturned wheelchairs, stewn along the floor,.. something straight out of a horror movie..
The high-water mark was near the ceiling, and a staff -owned Hummer sat outside.
These people were apparently not only abandoned - they DID know what was happening. That thought is pretty hard to bear.

For the families of these human victims, a grief from which I'm sure they will never recover.

As far as risking one's life for your pet... yes.. We all feel that way, I think.. that we would - and must - do so.
But,their are limititations. Not at the expense or peril of our own...or anyone else's life.
Our pets would never want that, if they had a "say"...

babyrocky1
September 8th, 2005, 05:25 PM
I guess the intellectual and phillisophical discusions can go on forever, but, people do respond differently to the suffering of animals than that of humans, maybe its the constant bombardment of human suffering in the media that we have to de-sensatise ourselves somewhat to it just to get through the day. Maybe we just don't have the same built in emotional protection for the suffering of animlas because other than those of you that work in rescue, its not coming at us 24-7 the way human tragedies are. Some of it comes from the fact that we know the animals don't have way of comprehending what is happening to them. And I think that some of us know the feeling of abandonment very well and when we see animals alone we empathise immediately. Its just all too sad and I agree with Michael Osullivan of the Canadian Humane Society who said that helping the animals and the humans are not mutually exclusive! The animals all belonged to the people who are suffering enormous loss! Im sure losing their pets are very high up there on the list. Not the same as losing there human family ofcourse, but has to be next in line.

babyrocky1
September 8th, 2005, 05:46 PM
But, to me.. even more gutwrenching is the story I read today of St Rita''s nursing home in St Bernard parish, where they have discover the bodies of approx 35 elderly people. Tiny frail corpses were found laying in overturned wheelchairs, stewn along the floor,.. something straight out of a horror movie..
The high-water mark was near the ceiling, and a staff -owned Hummer sat outside.
These people were apparently not only abandoned - they DID know what was happening. That thought is pretty hard to bear.

For the families of these human victims, a grief from which I'm sure they will never recover.

.. Oh Shamrock , I didn't read this before I posted..this is awful, Im not sure Im clear about the staff though. Are you saying the staff stayed outside with the car? :eek:

doggy lover
September 8th, 2005, 08:41 PM
I guess that I'm loony, sometimes I prefer animals to humans. They don't go around shooting each other for no reason, they would never abandon us but yet we do it to them. I still cry for my dog that I lost last year, I would put it close to losing a child ( mind you I haven't gone through that, thank god).

I am actually reading Farley Mowat's book The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, right now and yes he loved that dog, it is a well written book about the antics that his dog Mutt got up to, quite funny.

They love us so unconditional, I think that is what makes them special. I couldn't emagine leaving Tucker behind to fend for himself and hoping that he would survive, it must have been awful for people like us that care about their animals so much to do that to them.

Shamrock
September 8th, 2005, 09:17 PM
I still cry for my dog that I lost last year, I would put it close to losing a child ( mind you I haven't gone through that, thank god).

As one who has, and recently, I would not.
I suppose this whole topic is just a highly sensitive one for me at this time.

But I do understand, doggy lover. I'm very sorry for your loss of your beloved dog. The grief that is felt from losing a cherished pet is extremely great.
I've been throught that heartache too, more than once over the years.
As with all things in life.. we all handle it differently and in our own way.


Babrocky, I am not sure what the reference to the Hummer signifies.
Here is a link to the story that I read today.
( warning - I found this to be quite graphic and disturbing in its content)

http://www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=b583e32b-3ac0-40cf-b5a3-a98da82b5527

twodogsandacat
September 8th, 2005, 10:51 PM
I will selfishly use this posting to send a message to Michael Bryant and Dalton McGuinty. If it offends any...I apologize.

The Katrina disaster has demonstrated one thing very clearly. People love their pets. The refusal of government controlled rescue efforts to understand this resulted in many citizens of New Orleans remaining behind with their pets. Their love was and is unconditional.

Secondly: The amount of money raised to aid in rescue efforts of abandoned pets should also emphasize that when animals are victims (or victimized) – emotions run high.

In 2007 this message will be brought to your attention again - loud and clear.

wAggie
September 8th, 2005, 11:17 PM
I strongly disagree with what he is saying. there is far more discrimination towards pets (dogs in particular) than children/humans.

bring a dog onto a subway, and then a child. see the reactions?




the reason it seems that I care more for pets then humans is because you can NEVER explain to a pet why you are leaving, and when you will or if you WON'T be back. and child, you can fully communicate with and a child can respond/ask questions/etc.

a child is far more less helpless and much more knowledgeable then a pet.

but both do have feelings.

chico2
September 9th, 2005, 08:16 AM
The nursing home abandonment was a horrific tragedy and whoever was in charge of these poor elderly patients will pay one way or the other,not that it makes up for the horror these seniors must have experienced knowing they would drown.I am in no way diminishing this human tragedy :sad:
A reporter yesterday told us how a group of dogs were swimming after the boat he was in,trying to get food or be rescued.
Fearing for their safety the soldiers shot them all,what baffled me was the comment"They were Rottweilers and Pit-Bulls",it's kind of strange :eek: I guess they don't want to say it was someones Golden or Poodle??
I suppose SOME people would rather hear they were Rotties or Pit-Bulls :confused:

Jazz&Cricket
September 9th, 2005, 08:29 AM
Shamrock,

I re-read my post and realized that I did not explain my thoughts very clearly. When I said 'humans bring their own suffering", Iwas referring to 'humankind' as a whole.
We chose to make war on one another, we chose to destroy our environment with toxins, we chose to 'live at risk' whether by driving too fast, taking drugs, consuming alcohol, overeating, smoking.... and yes, we even chose to live in areas that are susceptible to natural disasters. We build on flood plains, on mountain slopes denuded of trees. We chose to manipulate the environment to suit ourselves then wonder why we have problems.
We can chose to treat our neighbours with compassion or distain. We can chose to love or hate.
I realize there are individuals who cannot, for a variety of reasons, make these kind of decisions.
I know that you recently lost a child to a devastating illness and not for one moment did I believe he had a 'choice'...just as my niece with MS doesn't have a choice, or my aunt with Alzheimers. These are not the "people" I was referring to in my original post.
I don't know if this makes my statement any clearer and I sincerely apologize if what I said caused you any pain.

Shamrock
September 9th, 2005, 02:34 PM
Jazz and Cricket,

Thank you kindly for clarifying your meaning on your earlier post
There is no need to apologize.

In a highly sensitive state these days, I put a personal slant on what was meant as a general observation only.
I'm sorry for misunderstanding your words.

doggy lover
September 9th, 2005, 02:36 PM
Shamrock I do understand what you are going through to a certain degree, I was one of the few that stood by my friends side when her son died and listened to her pain after. No losing a pet is not as drastic as losing a child, but in some ways it is close. I have two children and hope to never go through what you or my friend has. Last year was a bad year for me and I guess since Travis's grave is the only one I can visit it makes a place for him and the other two people I lost last year. One was less than two months later than Travis my grandmother passed due to cancer who I loved dearly. Then my uncle died in Nov. So I guess I hold onto the grief of losing him as grief for all of them, I'm not quite sure, I cry for them all. God bless Shamrock. :angel:

Luvmypit
September 9th, 2005, 02:45 PM
Sorry for your losses Doggy lover! Sounds like a tough year.
Shamrock we all have no idea how you feel but we are all still thinking about you. Its ok to be sensitive, damn it you earned it. So please never apoligize.

Schwinn
September 9th, 2005, 02:46 PM
For me, it goes my family, my pets, everyone else.

I understand what Farley is saying, I think. I can honestly say that there are people that, if they passed away (and there are those that have), have not affected me as much as my pet, even some family members. Does that mean I hold an animals life in higher regard than a person's? No, it means I hold that relationship in a higher regard. I think it is tough to speak in absolutes on this one.

Also, I think there are exceptions. In general, people are better able to fend for themselves, and understand what is going on. Generally speaking, pets don't put themselves in perilous situations while humans can take steps to avoid them (evacuation, safety precautions, etc.) However, this is not always the case, as we have seen with the elderly in that home. In that case, I think you'll find that most people are impacted as much as anyone could be.

But here's a thought...how many of us walk by a homeless person and don't give them any change, yet walk by a stray and try to help? It's a rhetorical question, because I know this will open a whole new kettle of fish, but just a thought to ponder.

StaceyB
September 9th, 2005, 02:49 PM
But, to me.. even more gutwrenching is the story I read today of St Rita''s nursing home in St Bernard parish, where they have discover the bodies of approx 35 elderly people. Tiny frail corpses were found laying in overturned wheelchairs, stewn along the floor,.. something straight out of a horror movie..
The high-water mark was near the ceiling, and a staff -owned Hummer sat outside.
These people were apparently not only abandoned - they DID know what was happening. That thought is pretty hard to bear.


Apparently the staff were offered transportation to evacuate the residents before the hurricane and refused the help.

doggy lover
September 9th, 2005, 02:56 PM
Personaly as an employee of a nursing home, I'd try to save the residents, but I would not put my life on the line for them. I might sound mean but most residents are in their 80's and they have lived their lives, I still have two children that I want to see graduate, marry and have children of their own.

As for helping strays yes I do and as for a homeless person it depends. I have helped some, but I refuse to give most money I'd rather buy them something to eat or a coffee, if you give money, they buy drink. Once I gave a woman my last $20 as her car was out of gas and she was moving herself and 2 children away from a bad relationship. I believed her as her car was sitting at a gas station and inside was bags of cloths and her children. If I was had who knows but its nice to think I helped her get a little further down the road.

babyrocky1
September 9th, 2005, 05:04 PM
A reporter yesterday told us how a group of dogs were swimming after the boat he was in,trying to get food or be rescued.
Fearing for their safety the soldiers shot them all,what baffled me was the comment"They were Rottweilers and Pit-Bulls",it's kind of strange :eek: I guess they don't want to say it was someones Golden or Poodle??
I suppose SOME people would rather hear they were Rotties or Pit-Bulls :confused: Oh my god...who was the reporter...Ive got a few things to say to HIM/HER ! Thats discusting!!!!!Will this STUFF? ever stop!!!

babyrocky1
September 9th, 2005, 05:10 PM
As one who has, and recently, I would not.
I suppose this whole topic is just a highly sensitive one for me at this time.

]Shamrock, Im so very sorry for your loss. I had no idea this had happened to you, again Im so sorry, this is an unimaginable loss! :grouphug:

chico2
September 10th, 2005, 07:47 AM
Babyrock,it was actually a Canadian reporter on,I believe CTV news,a youngish man(I was misstaken in saying CNN)
I assume he was told to say they were Rotties and Pitbulls,making the animals look more of a threat in many peoples eyes :evil: certainly not ours here on Pets.
CTV actually shows more graphic clips regarding the shooting of dogs,than does CNN,not something anyone really wants to see.
The soldiers ARE shooting any dogs keeping them from entering homes.

Rick C
September 10th, 2005, 09:04 AM
[QUOTE=chico2]Babyrock,it was actually a Canadian reporter on,I believe CTV news,a youngish man(I was misstaken in saying CNN)
I assume he was told to say they were Rotties and Pitbulls,making the animals look more of a threat in many peoples eyes :evil:QUOTE]

C'mon Chico. . . . that's a rather large leap . . . . it sounds like your own anger over breed bans is extending to something where it isn't applicable.

First of all, the authorities are shooting dogs and know full well reporters are filming them for the six o'clock news doing it. . . . . from that point on the cat is out of the bag so to speak and shaping things to sound like Pitbulls and Rottweilers doesn't make any sense, or it was the opinion of someone and reported as such. If they cared one way or another, they wouldn't be shooting dogs in front of cameras.

The most obvious conclusion is the reporter simply called it as he saw it . . . . and pitbulls and rottweilers do exist in New Orleans.

EDIT: The quote from the CTV story: "A lot of these animals are pit bulls, rottweilers. We're not approaching the dogs if we can help it," says Jitm Metza, a U.S. Coast Guard searcher.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1125948027397_25

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

chico2
September 10th, 2005, 09:58 AM
You might be right Rick,I have seen several desperate Pits and Rotties and the danger being they form packs to survive.
But are they any less worthy to save than any other dog??
As for BSL,yes I am saddened about what our government is doing,as you might know I don't have any dogs,only 3 cats...but that certainly does not mean I am not concerned about all the unfortunate dogs out there.

Rick C
September 10th, 2005, 10:09 AM
You might be right Rick,I have seen several desperate Pits and Rotties and the danger being they form packs to survive.
But are they any less worthy to save than any other dog??
As for BSL,yes I am saddened about what our government is doing,as you might know I don't have any dogs,only 3 cats...but that certainly does not mean I am not concerned about all the unfortunate dogs out there.

I wasn't disagreeing with you in principle . . . . I just disagreed with the inference the reporter was willingly shaping the news at the command of the local authorities.

Minor miff on my part. :grouphug:

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

chico2
September 10th, 2005, 10:17 AM
I read on an animal rescue-site,they believe there are 50.000 animals out there either dead or trying to survive the best they can.
So far about 1.000 have been rescued,which is better than none.
I just found it suspect that these 5 dogs were described as being only Rotties and Pits.

Rick C
September 10th, 2005, 10:23 AM
I read on an animal rescue-site,they believe there are 50.000 animals out there either dead or trying to survive the best they can.
So far about 1.000 have been rescued,which is better than none.
I just found it suspect that these 5 dogs were described as being only Rotties and Pits.

I found it suspect that the coast guard guy said: "A lot of these animals are pit bulls, rottweilers."

I wouldn't believe that for a second. . . . not from the evidence you've seen on the video clips nor the dogs that are being rescued.

But . . . . like I said, that just means I have a beef with the coast guard guy.

However, I seriously doubt if some high mucky muck in the Coast Guard took the time to send an order into the trenches telling his guys to tell reporters that all dogs being left are pitts and rotties. It just sounds like the reporter talked to the wrong coast guard guy . . . .

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

twodogsandacat
September 10th, 2005, 05:30 PM
I found it suspect that the coast guard guy said: "A lot of these animals are pit bulls, rottweilers."

I wouldn't believe that for a second. . . . not from the evidence you've seen on the video clips nor the dogs that are being rescued.

But . . . . like I said, that just means I have a beef with the coast guard guy.

However, I seriously doubt if some high mucky muck in the Coast Guard took the time to send an order into the trenches telling his guys to tell reporters that all dogs being left are pitts and rotties. It just sounds like the reporter talked to the wrong coast guard guy . . . .

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca


I didn't see the reporter but I did watch as the words came out of the mouth of a rescuer a couple of days ago. He said that there are 'rottwielers and pit bulls out there and I'm not going near any of them'.

His job was to save humans and I assume he was doing that best he could. Maybe he is scared of dogs, maybe he is cautious of dogs or maybe he just doesn't like dogs. However it didn't sound as if he was rescuing Labs and Poodles either.

From the pictures I'm seeing pits are being saved (New Orleans has a few) but I haven't seen a Rotti yet.