Thursday, August 7, 2014

What more do they have to do?




Recently an adorable and brave kitty made international news when a video of her showed that she risked her own life to chase away a dog who was attacking a little boy with whom she lived. Experts were interviewed to explain why a cat (who was certainly smaller than this dog) would risk her life. Many talked about how cats will go into burning buildings to save their kittens, and one explained how this cat saw this little boy as a member of her own family who would need protection. One could have argued that “instinct” motivated her to protect her own babies, but why a human?

And even more recently, a bear imprisoned in a zoo was caught on video saving a drowning crow. The bear used her* mouth to get the crow out of the water. Why? Did she know the crow? Who knows, but she knew the crow was in distress. And she made the decision to save him.

You might imagine these are rare instances caught on video. But how many more times does this occur without our knowledge? I figure they are countless.

And for some of us, this is not surprising, especially when we have lived with family members who walk on four legs.

Some have dogs whom they have played with and know very well their dog could pull away during a game of tug of war—but they don’t. They WANT to play and don’t cross over the boundary. And I remember my beloved kitty Malcolm (whom I had from when he opened his eyes until he was 16) would growl at the front door when strangers were there.

Animals have demonstrated their ability to use moral reason, yet human animals come up with many abstract reasons as to why we have the “right” to treat non-human animals as we do. When will our excuses end?

What more do non-human animals have to do?

We know they suffer.

And they suffer intensely when they have their babies taken away.

Remember the heart-wrenching scene in Blackfish where the mother cries when her baby is taken away? It is a noise many viewers had never heard before.

Certainly you have read stories about mother cows who cry when their babies are taken away from them so human animals can drink their milk.

The media celebrates when an animal escapes from a slaughterhouse and gets to live his life at a sanctuary.

People adopt hens and yet still eat other chickens at dinner.

Why do we feel some are the lucky ones? Why not allow them all to be lucky?

We have that power.

Maybe we need to show our morality.

I have to wonder what more animals have to do before we allow them to just be who they are without the fear of pain (emotional and physical) from us.

Of course, I will still be glad when I hear and see these stories in the news.

I can’t deny that I am thankful that people celebrate happy animal stories and that these stories get so much attention because they force us all to see these animals in a different way.

I can just hardly wait until we all recognize that we do have the power to make them all happier.

*For ease I reference the bear as a she and the crow as he; I do not know if this is correct.

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