“Save the Baby Humans!” I always have thought that is such a sad but poignant bumper sticker. Are our societal priorities so askew that we need a reminder to care about baby humans? Shouldn’t we instinctively want to protect baby humans more than we anguish over the plight of baby whales?
Robert Araujo addresses this at Mirror of Justice in his post entitled, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
A few years ago I found myself on the periphery of a controversy involving the applications of several student groups that were seeking recognition by the student government so that they could qualify for campus funding and other university benefits. One group was “Law Students for Choice.” The University administration correctly stepped in and noted that it would be a problem for the institution which asserts a Catholic identity to recognize this group as a qualifying student organization. In response, some members of the university community then began to raise questions about a student pro-life group that was also seeking recognition around the same time. I don’t believe the latter group ever got by the student government board. Oddly enough, the Animal Rights group made it through to the finish line, so to speak, and on to become a recognized student group.
Professor Bainbridge touches on the same topic in his post Put People First. The US House of Representatives has passed a bill with large bipartisan support (vote was 349-24) requiring state and local preparedness offices to take into account pet owners, household pets and service animals when drawing up evacuation plans.
… this legislation sends a message that states and localities should expend resources to save pets in an emergency. Do we really want first responders spending time coaxing a scared dog onto a helicopter when they could be off saving people? Do we really want to spend taxpayer dollars on saving and sheltering pets instead of people? Money doesn't grow on trees and in a world of scarce resources, tragic choices have to be made.
I like my cat. He was a stray that showed up on our doorstep nearly ten years ago. My husband was certain we would not be keeping the cat so he forbid us to name it. Therefore, the cat became The Cat or TC for short. Ten years later that is still his name. I feed the cat, make sure he gets his yearly check up and shots, and have nursed him through a few cat fight injuries. In the last year he has developed hyperthyroidism so I am giving him a pill twice daily. His kidneys don’t work as well as they used to so he gets a special cat food. I am amazed at the medical options I have been offered for my cat. For about $1200 I could subject him to a radioactive iodine treatment for his hyperthyroidism thus ending the twice daily shove-a-pill-down-his-throat routine.
When I lived in Southern California the local newspaper ran an article about the large number of pet psychologist who practiced in the area. Our region boasted of more pet psychologists than any other area of the United States. The article interviewed one psychologist who discussed a particularly satisfying treatment of a depressed canary.
We must be a tremendously wealthy nation when so many resources are devoted to our domestic animals. I have to ask the same question Robert Araujo asks in his Mirror of Justice post:
But, I ask, do they care about people as much as animals? If it is good to hope for animals, famous or not, is it also not a good to hope for people, be they famous or not? The answer to that question must be yes. But our culture, which is quick to display its empathy for a famous animal, does not always respond in a similar fashion when even one person, let alone thousands or millions, is forgotten by the same culture.