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Archive through April 30, 2002

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru June 2002 » Archive Thru May 2002 » Depressed » Archive through April 30, 2002 « Previous Next »

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Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2002 - 5:57 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

No, it's not our fault, it's because of the racoon. He was just kind to take care of the poor beast.
Posted on Monday, April 29, 2002 - 10:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Angryp,
What you did to help that poor suffering cat was compassionate, noble and selfless. Quite possibly this was the only kindness that poor creature ever experienced in its miserable life. I have been in similiar situations and I understand how heart breaking it is. I will gladly keep you stocked in absinthe and even throw in a lasagne.

The whole stray cat/dog situation is so overwhelming and heart breaking. Their situation is the direct result of irresponsible humans. I think children are born with a natural empathy and interest in all animals. Our brutal society teaches them to view animals as dispossible worthless commodities, not worthy of rights or dignity.
Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2002 - 1:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The problem of cruel treatment of animals is inbuilt into children at a very early age. We teach them to view animals as 'property' and as such, items that exist to fulfil our needs. Whether this need is for a cute, companion animal whose purpose is to make us feel good, or the need to give us a 'kick' as we hurl a cat to its death is really immaterial. The problem is the status of ownership.

Is it acceptable to keep goldfish in our ponds to make the pond look pretty? To keep a hamster in a cage and watch it run round and round on a wheel because it has nothing more exciting to do? To keep fish in a tank? We do all these things solely to fulfil our own selfish needs and then we kid ourselves that we care for these animals.

We view animals as property, pure and simple, items that exist to fulfil our needs. Our whole relationship with pet animals is pretty screwed up.

Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2002 - 6:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Another one I just remembered: in northwestern states, Canada, and Alaska, stray and feral dogs are a major threat to the health and well being of wild wolf populations. By interbreeding with, and living with wolves, they dilute their genetics and their social learning/inheretance structures. Such 'contaminated' wolves have been known to lose their hunting skills and fear of humans, which makes them toast. The domestic dog genes can affect populations like a virus.

Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2002 - 4:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Saying that dogs or cats are fearful, preoccupied, worried, or even conscious of the possibility of the cessation of their own existence is unfounded, completely speculative anthropomorphism"

"The act of attributing human forms or qualities to entities which are not human. Specifically, possessing human characteristics such as jealousy, hatred, or love."

What we would call jealousy, hatred and love, are just complex mechanisms designed to allow us to survive and 'further the species' within a certain context. It is naieve to think that other species have not developed similar mechanisms.

Maybe you forget we are just animals. We need to Live only in order to breed. Anything else is a result of this, love, hate, anxiety.

Who I am, how I feel, what I think are all determined by two factors. Genetic inheritance and my external environment.

I have no control over my genetic inheritance, so its influence on who I am is out of 'my' control. From birth, my external environment shapes me both physically and mentally as I adapt to, and learn from it.

I am the result of environment and genetics.

What seperates me from a Rat? Genetic inheritance and environment. Neither of us can influence our genetic inheritance, and we are both shaped by our environment. True, we can exert influence on our environment, but any influence we choose to exert comes from a combination of our Genetic makeup and environmental influences on us.

I decide to go and drink a Pepsi, why? At a basic level, the choice can only have been influenced by two factors, Genetic inheritance and environment.

Do you blame someone suffering from a genetic disorder? No? Why then blame someone who goes out and kills people? Change the way they look at things, by all means, but blame?

I find this subject both interesting, and upsetting.

What is the end result of this going to be, why play the game?
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 10:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

It just occurred to me: if you had a dog with problems that you couldn't or no longer wanted to deal with, are you one of those people who would just drive a few miles outside city limits and abandon it? If not, why not? It seems compatible with your view to me.

Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 10:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

And I am saying not to make that call on their behalf is cowardly, irresponsible, and ignores the entire history of how they came to be where they are. Every mistreated, stray, or feral dog in the world isn't your or my responsibility personally, but they are humans' responsibility. We modified their genetic and behavioral makeup, and we brought them into existence. They aren't wild animals. They don't belong in the wild. They can't live in the wild. They can't hunt. They can only live off of garbage and human debris.

I don't see what you think a stray dog has a fighting chance at. It's not like it's going to pull itself up by its bootstraps and move into a luxury condo with automatic milk-bone dispensers. It's going to go hungry, become diseased, malnourished, and probably create dozens more little sufferers with even worse chances before it dies. Stray dogs are inevitably a problem. Aside from the suffering issue, they spread disease and fuck with responsibly kept dogs, cats, and even children. Try running your ideas by people who work for the local animal control agency, and see what they think.

As for your contention that there is no moral dimension to your position... OK, then why NOT round them all up and sterilize them or kill them? You imply they have some kind of right to life and/or self-determination. I say it's an unwarranted anthropomorphism, and that our responsiblity in terms of animal husbandry outweighs it. We should take care of the animals we have domesticated.

Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 9:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

" so out of touch with the reality of what is happening to millions of animals in our country that it's difficult to fathom"

Indeed- I find the application of 'moral grounds' to the situation to be ridiculous. That's not what I mean here. What I mean is, if they are causing a problem, sterilize them, but if you are worried about them feeling pain, that isn't a valid reason. I won't snip your balls off on the off chance that one of your kids might have a rough life, and I accord a cat the same respect.

"Saying that dogs or cats are fearful, preoccupied, worried, or even conscious of the possibility of the cessation of their own existence is unfounded, completely speculative anthropomorphism."

I didn't say the were concious of it. I said they try to avoid it. In any case, saying they *aren't* aware of it is just as fallacious. I am saying I don't care to make that call on their behalf unless there is no other choice. I've made that call when there wasn't, mind you, and I would have done what Angryp did in that case (in fact I did once, to a cat who'd had the side of it's head pulverised by a passing hot rod.)

But killing an animal that stands a fighting chance, unless you have an overriding practical reason, seems kind of dickheaded to me.
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 8:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I live close to the river, and we have 15-20 "neighborhood cats" that get fed by the neighbors and live outside in our backyard. We have tried to get rid of them, but unless we buy a dog, i don't see how to do it. They wake us up at night with fights, have decimated the native bird population, and poop all over the place. We keep our two cats indoors because of the threat of disease from the "river cats."
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 7:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think you did the right thing AngryP.
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 7:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"I understand the sterilization thing- but let's be clear. These aren't pets. They are feral animals of the same species that is typically used as a pet."

That's bullshit. They are there because we put them there. With dogs in particular, they became our responsibility when we lured them out of the wilderness and into our service. We took away their independence and survival education system in order to make them suitable to our purposes, and what happens to every single one of them is our responsibility. You can't just wash your hands of the consequences of millenia of domestication and husbandry just because libertarianism suddenly suits your fancy. The idea of not sterilizing dogs and cats, and allowing fertile feral ones to procreate without intervention on moral grounds is so out of touch with the reality of what is happening to millions of animals in our country that it's difficult to fathom.

Saying that dogs or cats are fearful, preoccupied, worried, or even conscious of the possibility of the cessation of their own existence is unfounded, completely speculative anthropomorphism. On the other hand, awareness and avoidance of pain and suffering on their part is easily observable. There is no equivalence.

Just because you've witnessed animals struggle to survive through suffering doesn't mean they wouldn't be better off having not endured it. I think we do have the power and the responsibility to make decisions on their behalf, often in spite of their apparent wants. My dog would like to eat herself sick every day, and escape from the back yard and bite every child in the neighborhood. I believe feeding her a healthy amount of food, and preventing her from harming children is the exercise of wise restraint in everyone's best interests.

Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 6:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

There are often other options than killing the animals or letting them run free. Here in the New York City area, there are a number of no kill animal shelters. Mighty Mutts is the largest. You can see them all over the city doing streetside fundraising/adoption things.

In some cases, like the stray that I had put down today, having them killed really is a kindness. This cat would have died in a week or so of thirst or starvation. His wound was infected and was eating away at his face. He must have lost 30% of his weight in the past three days.

My cat was a stray (and a littermate of the cat that was put down) and there are a number of other strays in the neighborhood. Fortuneately for them, my landlords feed them and spay any females they can capture. There are also no mice or rats in the area :)

The sad fact is that sometimes strays become a health hazard. This is more of a problem with dogs than cats, but when they are, they do have to be brought in.
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 6:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I understand the sterilization thing- but let's be clear. These aren't pets. They are feral animals of the same species that is typically used as a pet.

So would I sterilize them to prevent possible suffering on the part of their descendants? No.

I might because they were a problem, the same way I would remove the restrictions on hunting limits to deal with an overpopulation issue.

But the issue of preventing suffering? You can't have it both ways me bucko- you either 'anthropomorphise' them by saying they are suffering and that they would rather not, the same way I say they would rather not die, or you don't.

Personally, I don't consider this anthropomorphisation, so much as a considered view of the animal involved. I have spent enough time with cats and dogs to know that they do suffer, they do try to stay alive. In fact, sometimes a sick or wounded animal will just give up the ghost, lay down and die. And sometimes they will persist through horrors that would make most people lay down and die.

I just don't consider myself godlike enough to make that choice for them.
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 6:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Still way too anthropomorphic for me. Dogs and cats don't have plans for the future, or even a concept of the future. And, in fact, yes, if I was suffering terribly in a ditch or gutter with no hope of improving my lot in life, and someone could come up and kill me painlessly without any awareness, anticipation, or fear on my part about what was happening, I would consider it a kindness.

Plus you still didn't address the issue of sterilization. That mother and pup I found... what do you think happened to all the other pups? How do you think she got pregnant in the first place? If you claim to care about the welfare of pets, allowing unsterilized feral dogs and cats to run around is a horror. If you don't care, don't think it's your responsibility, or simply don't feel like doing anything that's fine too, but get your ducks in a row.

Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 5:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have never seen an animal that wasn't sick seek death. They tend to avoid it.

Stray animals in a city often lead their lives a long time before being taken by disease, starvation, etc.

I'm not talking about sick or injured animals- I'm talking about the healthy ones that don't happen to live in someone's house.

The conditions you mention often affect people- were you homeless, and sick- would you want someone to make the decision to kill you to be 'gentle' so you wouldn't have to suffer?
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 5:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Obviously, I disagree about the pound. Where I used to live, the pound was a Humane Society place where they worked hard to get new homes for the animals. Then again, the overall pet-mistreatment situation and case load was probably much better there too - I never saw stuff like I see here.

Saying an animal would prefer to 'rough it' than to die is way too anthropomorphic for me... would it also prefer leveraged stock options to the standard mutual fund package? Stray animals in a city generally suffer horribly from disease, malnutrition, starvation, fighting, infected wounds, poisoning... and THEN they die. Killing them is sad, but it's a gentler option. Also, most strays are not spayed or neutered - not taking one to the pound is like setting dozens or hundreds more loose to suffer on the streets.

Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 3:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I don't think I will ever take a stray to the pound.

Given the choice, what animal would prefer death to having to rough it?

People treat animals poorly here too, in the ghetto. Dogs are purposely let to starve in the yard- they make better guards that way, the theory goes.

A friend of mine has stolen quite a few from such situations and always either kept them or found them good homes. One he had for years had dental problems- all the enamel was gone from his teeth as he had tried to gnaw through his chain.

Angryp, if you are ever in my neck of the woods, the drinks are on me.
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 3:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Angryp, rest in the knowledge you did a good thing.

I will personally see to it you get rewarded with some fine product. It may take a while, but I won't forget. Stick around.
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 3:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Put THOSE fuckers down. Goddamn miserable human scum.
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 3:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

If animal welfare concerns you, don't come to Jacksonville. The white and black trash treat cats and dogs like shit here. One of the first weeks I got here I found a stray dog in the park just wandering with a puppy that was still breast feeding. The mother was covered with malnutrition sores, and was a very gentle and nice. I couldn't take care of them so I had to take them to the pound. Later I found out almost every dog that's taken to the pound is killed. I've seen all kinds of strays since wandering around the ditches and medians by the side of busy roads. I once stopped in heavy traffic on a busy 40mph 2-lane and a big, lactating female dog crawled under my truck and just laid there. I couldn't do anything but wait while it took bystanders more than 5 minutes to get her out, eventually using a rake. When I was whizzing down the road the other day, I saw some kids throwing a cat at the edge of a roof and laughing as it dangled from the gutter in fear... I could go on.

Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 1:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I agree about paying them if you have the money, although it would be nice if they didn't rape you with the cost, particularly considering that you're trying to help a stray. I have three dogs and a cat and I've noticed a tremendous difference between vets; it seems that it's harder to find one that is a genuine animal lover rather than a business person who happened to go to vet school. I know it's a business and they have to pay insurance, staff and tuition bills - but I see a big trend towards greedy vets who take advantage of our emotions when a pet is sick. On the other hand, a really good vet is like gold.

You did a nice thing Angryp, your absinthe will be that much tastier next month.
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 1:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

They try, but it still costs them- so if you've got the money handy, pay em. That means they can do the next one that has to be free, for free.

I had to kill to parakeets once- one of my friends who owned two cats brought them home. Are you insane, I asked? It'll be fine, she says-the cats can't reach the cage.

The cats simply knocked the stand down.

The couldn't get IN, but they could mutilate the birds through the bars, which they did.

So it fell to me, and I used MAPP gas from my torch. I buried them on a cliff overlooking the river.

A sight I must have been, at three in the morning, walking through the ritzy cliff top neighborhood with a shovel and two dead birds in a baggie.
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 10:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'm sorry that happened, Angryp. When I see animals in the road I feel guilty all day for driving a car. Don't vets usually handle this type of thing for free when a good samaritan brings in a stray? If not, they should.
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 8:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kitty has given you it's life in love. Sorry to hear it.
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2002 - 8:23 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Had to take a stray cat into the vet to be put down. He got into a fight with a racoon or possum a couple of days ago and got half his muzzle ripped off. His face was a mass of puss and blood.

For the first time, I wished I had a .22 or varmint rifle I could use to put him out of his misery.

To top a bad thing, I had to blow my absinthe budget for next month on the vet

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