There is also another saying that goes along the following lines. The state of a nation’s prisons is generally a reflection of just how well its citizens, both authorities and laymen and women, take care of each other, particularly the weak and disenfranchised. You can take, say, a country like Brazil, legendary for its high rates of inequality in spite of rampant economic progress, and see just how appalling the conditions are for women who have been incarcerated, usually for petty crimes to do with trying to survive.
You could even take a country like China and then see how much they value the presence of both domestic and wild animals in their midst. I mentioned China deliberately because it seems to me that no matter how advanced their developing economy is, some things remain primitive. Here I am not even referring to the rural poor, many of whom are being forced to migrate to urban centers to seek out new work to help improve their impoverished circumstances. The rural poor, by necessity, take care of their own, including their farm animals. I am amazed at just how much well-educated men and women can stomach the idea of eating domestic pets, referred to as something of a delicacy in many urban areas.
I mean, think about it. After keeping your dog or cat as a close companion for at least a few years are you now going to decide that one day, you’ll be slaughtering your friend to prepare a sumptuous meal for yourself? And as you sit down to a hearty cat or dog stew, are you then going to reminisce on the good days you shared with your animals? Or are you, as it seems to me, coldheartedly going to clean your plate of its domestic gravy with a slice of bread as some people of this world appear to be doing? I can’t stomach it. Can you? Anyway, I’m glad to see that even the Chinese, albeit rather slowly, are beginning to take note of the need to protect animal species, particularly those that are now endangered or threatened.
If the Chinese can take care of their cherished and rare panda bears, then the Russians can reverse the cruelty being meted out towards their giant black and brown bears. And if the Chinese and Russians can show more compassion towards their animals and those of other nations, then I see no reason why the ‘civilized’ Japanese can put an end to the grim mass slaughter of their beautiful dolphins. But when authorities finally clamp down on cruelty towards animals, the poorest among society and the animals in their custody bear the brunt of the policing. It is true that many of the poor just don’t have the capacity to look after their domestic creatures which remain loyal to them through thick and thin.
The sad irony of life, that’s how I feel about animals in general. The saying goes that in order to express kindness, sometimes it is necessary to be cruel. In this context, poor suffering animals are often ‘put down’. This to me sounds much like softening the blow on killing innocent, unborn children. So, let me say it more crudely this time. In order to put animals out of their suffering, we kill them. And in order to prevent children entering a world of poverty and untold suffering, we kill unborn babies. Sorry if all this seems quite harsh. Remember, I am, after all, expressing my own emotions.
Let’s just say then that you err on the side of women’s rights over how they should look after their bodies and general well-being. Let’s just say that you argue in favor of the women’s right and freedom to choose. Please feel free to express your thoughts on this. So, I’m going to re-emphasize this again. Putting down animals and conducting abortions is seen to be a form of mercy killing. Not judging anyone who has been down this road before, believe me, I’ve seen more than enough of this and have had to do my share of counseling to struggling mothers on these difficult decisions, but to me, killing remains killing.
Mercy killing now extends to adults too. In some parts of the world, assisted suicide is now legal. This is to cater for those who are terminally ill and are now just in too much pain and cannot bear the suffering any longer. I have to wonder whether we’ll reach the stage where, one day, a person who is just unhappy can just quietly swallow a pill, lie on her bed and die peacefully in her sleep. I mean, where does one draw the line. Wars are being fought everywhere. Justifiable causes are being propagated, but are they really justified and even necessary, particularly when women and children always seem to be in the line of fire. Whew! What an emotional post this has turned out to be.
I can assure you that it was never intended to turn out this way. Perhaps I can close this post by at least telling you what prompted it in the first place. Part of my work includes finding suitable homes for women and children. Some of them have pets. While doing the placements and what saddens me is that many living areas are now strictly prohibiting the keeping of pets. I understand the reasons why, but still, it is quite sad.