Friday, March 25, 2011
Almost a year ago, we adopted a dog. Last night, he died.
He was a good friend to myself and my two oldest children. Prince was gentle, intelligent and fiercely protective. Unfortunately, like many dogs, Prince loved to run away and explore the world. He probably escaped about once a month since we adopted him. Last night was the first time he escaped at night. Being black, he was not visible to drivers at night and he soon met his end on a busy road near our home. A police officer called me. I came and took away his lifeless body. He now rests buried in a nearby forest, next to a little stream.
What's interesting is how different this response was in comparison to a human, God forbid, being struck by a car. In that case, not just one police car, but several would have been called. A small truck, fitted out with medical equipment and containing several paramedics and emergency medical technicians, would have rushed to the scene within minutes. The victim's mouth would have been cleared, an oxygen mask would have been applied, CPR might have been performed and the patient would have been totally immobilized on a board before transport to prevent spinal damage. In the hospital, teams of doctors and nurses would have rushed to provide further intervention. Every person involved with the victim would have extensive training and licensing. Very likely, the outcome would have been the same. The body would then have been moved to the hospital morgue to await removal by a licensed funeral director for respectful burial or cremation. Many thousands of dollars would have been spent all to do anything possible to, first of all, save the victim and, failing that, to respectfully dispose of his remains. Boxes of paperwork would be generated as well to document every tiny detail. This might be in addition to a lawsuit being brought against the driver involved, a large settlement being paid to the victim's survivors, again huge expenses, legal fees, mountains of paperwork, etc. The process could extend for years and involve dozens if not hundreds of highly trained and educated professionals.
Why is there such a massively different response to a car running over a four year old dog or a four year old child? Surely, today, 150 years after the publication of Origin of Species, everyone except a few religious lunatics must know that man is merely an animal, and not even a very nice one.
The fact is, amazingly, not everyone's mind has become entirely poisoned by such nonsense. Most Americans still believe whole heartedly that man is fundamentally NOT an animal, but rather he is an image of God. A dog, however intelligent, kind, beloved and beautiful, is not.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 5:41 AM