Friday, August 05, 2005

The Culture of Life is making me crazy

In the last 24 hours, there has been a news report about a man who threw his teenage son's 5-month-old puppy off a 5-story balcony, and one about a woman (who works with young children) who clubbed her kitten to death because she couldn't afford to take it to the vet for a minor injury.

These events sound shocking, but they are fairly common. Even in municipalities where there are meaningful animal abuse laws, judges and police officers often find ways around them. Until there is strong public outrage, there will be either weak laws or good laws that are not enforced.

But even when there is outrage--as I'm sure there will be against these two latest perpetrators--the same people who are so shocked are usually participating actively as consumers in factory farm crimes in which millions of animals are tortured, or are still buying products tested on horribly treated lab animals.

Years ago, one of the so-called voodoo shops in New Orleans kept cages of chickens out on the sidewalk because some practitioners wanted chicken blood. The public was outraged, partly because the chickens were kind of crowded in the cage, but mostly because their fate was to be killed for a ritual. Yet those same people went to the grocery store and bought chickens who had been much more tightly crowded and also treated with extreme cruelty. So, torture and brutally slaughter a chicken for your dinner--okay; kill a chicken for a ritual--not okay.

Puppies, kittens, and young blonde girls (I suppose I should throw in "brain-dead women") get public sympathy when they are abused, go missing, or are good objects for exploitation. That kind of superficial "compassion" is useless, for it does not lead to change. A kitten matters (well, as long as it isn't a lab kitten), but a chicken doesn't. A little blonde girl matters, but a little black boy doesn't. A fetus is something to cherish, but an abused child can be ignored and left to suffer.

I am beyond being sad or being confused about this culture. I'm just in that kind of permanent state of shock that makes me want to escape to Neverland, only I'm afraid of finding out that Tinkerbell has been handcuffed and tasered.


"...only I'm afraid of finding out that Tinkerbell has been handcuffed and tasered."

But Tinkerbell is blonde and rather attractive - she's more likely to go missing, right?

A powerful post, but the title made me think that this would be examining something more specific to the Republican party. Are you linking the Republican party with denial about the violence inherent in eating animals? The same denial (of the general public) existed under Democratic leadership. (Sorry to be devil's advocate here.) I understand the link between Republican stuff and superficial compassion, but not the link between denial about eating animals - I think that cuts across all party lines.

By Blogger Melinda Casino, at 1:22 PM  

LOL about Tinkerbell.

You're right. I even thought about that after I posted. No, the animal torture denial cuts way across party lines, as you say. I guess I think America in general is now hooked on a "culture of life" campaign in that there really isn't any major objection to the blonde-girl-gone-missing routine or the save-the-fetus campaign. In other words, since those people are running the country, I have come to associate the whole nation with their crackpot ideas.

By Blogger Diane, at 1:29 PM  

Gotcha. Thanks for explaining. :)

By Blogger Melinda Casino, at 4:12 PM  

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