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Cats and pets


Camy

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Cubby, one of Luc's kittens has died. Now I'm not going to start a diatribe on the cruelty of nature, and I'm sorry about Cubby, but are we, and by we I mean 'pet owners', out to lunch?

 

I live with four cats I love much too much. They are wonderful distinct personalities, they bring me joy beyond any rational explanation, and I spend a fortune on feeding them ... when there are sentient human beings starving to death, being tortured by inhumane dictators, being bombed by arrogant western leaders less than fifteen hundred miles from where I sit dolling out cat milk ... What

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We are likely insane.

 

There is a strangeness in shelling out SO MUCH money to feed and care for animals who will not, in turn, feed us when there are people starving in this world. There is just as much strangeness in buying Playstations, dvd players, mp3 players and all those other necessities that really aren

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I think what it comes down to is what's the most salient. We see our pets on a daily bases so we feed them and look after them. We see ourselves and our families on a daily bases so again we feed them and look after them. We don't see strangers hundreds of miles away. So despite the fact that intellectually we know they're there and we do feel bad for them, we just don't think to do anything.

 

Here's another example of what I mean. Everday I come in and read people's blogs, or go the message board, or visit with people in chat. I really do care what happens to these people. I really am upset about the bad things and happy for the good things. Two years ago these same people were still going on with their lives, still feeling the misery and joy...and I didn't (personally) care. Out there in the world right now someone's unhappy or elated, but I haven't met them yet, so I don't share in the experience with them. In a few months perhaps they'll be at this forum, or living next to me, or working in the same building...and suddenly I will care. My personal acquaintanceship with them doesn't change their experiences, nor does it change the fact that the may be wonderful people worthy of every amount of sympathy or vicarious joy. But I still need to meet them, see them, personally interact with them first.

 

There are people in the world suffering right now, and if I think about it and see the opportunity maybe I will donate a few dollars. Maybe I'll even donate a little time if it fits nicely with my schedule and it seems "worthy". But to REALLY care and REALLY make the effort to fix it I'm going to need to know the personal details.

 

My cat's hungry, I'll feed him. My coworker is hungry, I'll buy him lunch. Someone starving in a poverty stricken country? Well I want to help but...

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I accept my twisted sense of priority with a relatively clear conscience. After all, I

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Guest Kitty

Posted

Well, I've observed that some people treat their pets better than they do other people. It may have something to do with the unconditional love that pets give us. (Well, as long as we feed them on time :D ). It can be kind of tough being in the world right now; our fellow humans tend to let us down; but our animal companions are generally there for us, no matter what. I know it would have been a lot harder to get through the last year without my (feline) girls being there with me.

 

Kitty :)

 

Edited to add: I'm not saying it's always right, though. I'm thinking about people who leave their dogs outside to howl and bark all night, and then get very upset when they're asked to do something about it. Expecting one's pets' needs to come before a basic consideration for one's fellow human beings shows misplaced priorities, IMO. Maybe it comes from people feeling isolated and defensive, a "me first" attitude, rather than having a sense of community where others' feelings and needs are also important.

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I'm thinking about people who leave their dogs outside to howl and bark all night, and then get very upset when they're asked to do something about it. Expecting one's pets' needs to come before a basic consideration for one's fellow human beings shows misplaced priorities, IMO.

 

If the dogs are out howling and barking all night, the owner is not looking after their needs either, I don't think.

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Guest Kitty

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If the dogs are out howling and barking all night, the owner is not looking after their needs either, I don't think.

Now that is a very good point. I've found that many people get very defensive about their pets, and act as if you're attacking their child, almost, when all you're asking is that they be considerate of other people. It has nothing to do with the dog's actual needs (which as you indicate would be better served with disciplining the pet and establishing the owner as the "alpha" animal, and also giving the pet quality attention instead of leaving them alone outdoors) but with the owner's issues, which he or she is projecting onto the pet.

 

Kitty

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