Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Critter Stuff

Like most people, I love animals.  I love dogs and cats--when they belong to others; wildlife--both when viewed safely in their natural environment or properly in legitimate zoos or animal farms, and I'd have to add when skillfully prepared on my dinner plate; and domestic animals--whether providing a source of power, material such as wool, or a source of food.
Also like most, I abhor the thought of animals being mistreated and/or abused; but what qualifies as abuse? I've had people complain to me about local Amish farmers abusing their horses by using them to harvest hay on a hot day.  Is that abuse?  I think not, as they would not treat a possession as valuable as that in a manner likely to cause it harm; but it gets noted as abuse.
Is it abuse to euthanize an animal injured on the side of the road?  Though some may be rescued and ultimately returned to the wild, the success rate is not that high, nor are there many skillful enough to undertake such a task.  My hat is off to those have done and continue to rescue such animals; but it takes a lot of time and resources to pull it off.
And then there are the supposed "rights" of cats, dogs and other animals held as pets, or for any other reason. They have ceased to be pets, and are now treated better than the children of some families
Again, there is no reason to mistreat an animal, and laws should be enforced when abuse is discovered; but why is it that there is so much outrage when a dog is maltreated; so much news coverage when a house full of abandoned animals is found, and cries of MURDERER when such a thing as a rhinoceros is killed illegally.
Have we forgotten what's really important?  While animals hold value--and truly they do--they do not hold the value of a human life.  I see item after item in the news about animal mistreatment, blog and facebook posts without number about homeless, mistreated or neglected dogs and cats, but where is the outcry when people are harmed? How many bloggers rail against the child abusers, elder abusers, abortion, euthanasia...? How many facebook posts--by good people, mind you--decry these things?  Not many when compared to the number that worry about our furry and feathered friends.
Man was put on earth to, among other things, be stewards of God's creation. While we haven't always been really good at, we've done even worse at caring for the creature made in God's own image.  Let's pay more attention to the care of mankind and not worry so much about the rights of the other lives we are to steward.

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