|Words and photo by F LoBuono|
However, I don't anthropomorphize them. We don't have to. They are entities unto themselves. In fact, some would prefer the company of animals over that of humans. All of us who love animals relate to and understand this. However, humans are animals but animals are not human. Thinking of it this way helps to give us some perspective.
The other day, while scanning through Facebook, I took notice of photo of a cute kitten. I mean, who wouldn't notice LOL! The corresponding copy asked for people to sign a petition to stop The George Washington University of St. Louis from doing research on cats and kittens. Apparently, the school is experimenting on cats to innovate new techniques to insert tubes into the throats of children. Of course, this must produce a cruel and painful situation for the cats. Proponents would argue that. although "distasteful", these types of experiments are absolutely essential in perfecting new procedures that will save human lives. The opponents point of view would seem obvious; it is cruel and heartless. The moral debate over the pros and cons of animal research has raged for years and still does. It is a most complicated issue. In fact, it is so much so that I would like to save that debate for another entry. What I would like to do with this one is address the responses to the posting.
Quite a number of people responding suggested this: instead of experimenting on poor, defenseless little kittens, we have thousands of horrible human beings wasting tax-payer dollars in our prisons, let's use them. Really? Conduct experiments on human beings? Hasn't that been done before - with disastrous results? I recall something about Nazis. . . Even our own country has conducted scientific research on humans without their knowledge or consent. It's a sad and shameful chapter in our history. And it perpetuates the cruelty that the original post aimed to end. You see, it is not about just saving poor, defenseless felines (although that is a worthy goal). It is about ending CRUELTY. If you just perpetuate the act with a different living being, animal OR human, you are simply defeating the purpose and missing the point. And that point is to find a better way. Is it possible, using today's mind-boggling technology, to find a method to perfect the new technique without cruelty to any living creature? ANY.
If we always take the easy way, playing to our baser human emotion, we will never end the cycle of cruelty and brutality. Everything is connected. Every effort we make towards improving the lives of all living creatures works cumulatively to improve the lot of every sentient being. Only love conquers hate. You can take all the religions, all the philosophy, all the great thought in the world, but if you don't believe that, if you don't LIVE that, we are doomed to live in a cycle of hopelessness, hate, and despare. The choice is ours. I've made mine - to renounce cruelty. Now, it's your turn.