I was at a party the other night and met this lovely person. Smart, funny…and I have no desire to ever pursue a friendship with them.
Why? you ask. “Was there something absolutely terrible about them?”
Not in the least. They were very pleasant.
So what happened?
We started talking about pets. They mentioned that they had a pet and gave it up because one of their children was allergic to it. And the comment was “My kid’s more important than a pet.”
They went on to kinda intimate that if they could have, they just would have euthanized the pet.
This stopped me cold. Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with someone saying, “This is affecting my kid’s health and I need to take steps to rectify it.”
My issue was the buying of the animal in the first place. Most people put thought into the adoption of animal, y’know, because it’s a living creature. And so, wouldn’t common sense say that before you pick up an animal for your kid, you get the allergy testing done before you adopt the pet so you can avoid a waste of time, money. Not to mention that the animal can and will bond to the family, then ripping it away to put somewhere else is traumatic to all concerned.
And let me also say that just because I don’t agree with this person, doesn’t mean I like them any less or think they’re a bad person. I don’t agree with this particular philosophy. And common sense also says that there will be a time (or a million) when people disagree with my philosophies, so if I don’t want to be judged, then I can’t very well judge, can I?
Now, I realize I am a really abstract thinker and I can find common threads in the most unusual places, but this mindset sent out warning bells in my head.
There is a philosophy within our world that animals are lower than we are. We differentiate between “animal” and “human” meanwhile, by definition humans are animals. Beyond this, I firmly believe that a society is judged by the way it treats those who cannot defend themselves, be it pocket pets, large pets, children, abused adults, etc.
This callous disregard for the sentience of furry life-forms hits too close to the discriminatory mindset expressed by Whites to Minorities sixty years ago, believed by men to justify the treatment of women.
Just like now, there’s so much “proof” to justify this philosophy. But can I just remind people that years ago, IQ tests “proved” that Blacks were dumber than Whites. The most famous example was the questions “what color is a banana?” The white kids said “yellow” the blacks, “black.” And government, education, jumped on this as justification for not funding black schools, not promoting minorities, etc.
Of course, what they neglected to take into account was the economic lifestyle of blacks versus whites. And let me tell you, when you’re poor and you can’t afford to buy a banana until it’s almost rotten, believe me, it’s black not yellow.
The so-called “impartial” testing has been used to justify everything from segregation to eugenics. And it’s wrong, it’s immoral, and it’s evil.
So kudos to my friend who’s desperately working to save the life of her fish (and if anyone knows how to help a bloated betta fish, who’s misssing a fin let me know), applause to all those toiling in the mental health professions from nygoodhealth and a big thank you to you, for all the tiny, little ways that you give back and protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Just because someone is different, thinks in a different manner, looks different is not enough evidence to disregard their inherent intelligence, nor their right to live with dignity and kindness. And it sure as sh!! doesn’t give you the right to toss them aside or euthanize them for convenience’s sake.