Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why $7,000 for a dog to be in an ICU is silly, wasteful and not at all principled

A Facebook "friend" I thought was a sensible good lefty, reacted with the most petty bourgeois matron's bogus sentimentality when I suggested a better solution than spending thousands on a very sick dog: a shotgun. Of course, the coterie of "good girls" who think commenting consists only of saying insipid niceties were outraged.

Let's think this through, shall we?

At a time that millions of people cannot get medical care for lack of money (leading to an overuse of intensive care units to make up for good preventive or palliative care), it is a rather bizarre use of resources to spend thousands on a dog.

Is that cruelty? Not, it's a sense of priorities. Humans should show kindness to individuals of their own species, before venturing to solve all of nature's problems.

Anyone who has spent more than a day in a farm will recognize that the slaughter of animals that are ill is a kindness.

Of course, I suppose all the animal lovers have never eaten hamburgers, hot dogs or steak, let alone chicken, kidneys, salmon, crab, etc. For those who will reply haughtily that they are vegetarians: don't you have to kill a plant or steal its eggs (fruit) to subsist on a vegetarian diet?

Finally, let's face it, having a slave animal cooped up in a city dwelling designed for humans may feel very sentimental and motherly and kind. But it isn't. As found in nature, animals run free, without collars or owners.

How is sentimentalizing one's "love" of a pet any different than Antebellum slaveowners saying they treated their slaves "like family"?


Lynne H said...

Interesting take. Aside from the face we've bred the wildness and ability to survive in the wild out of most domestic dogs. When you take on pet ownership, you take on the responsibility of caring for them. If, how, and how much of a persons own money they choose to spend on that care is up to them and isn't taking away from any human health care, only from their own budget. Dictate how you choose to define "humane" for yourself. I have lived on a farm - grew up on one. We spent a bundle on veterinary care for our animals because they were our livelihood. Maybe you should try living on one before you make inane comments like that?

Gary said...

I disagree in principle. I am not a lefty. I am a populist, probably, a bourgeois, but unable to spend $7000 on a dog. Were I a lottery winner, maybe. But that's not the question: it's a straw man. The question is your lumping in domesticated species with food animals. Domesticated dogs exist. Historically man has nurtured such animals. Thus, there is an ethical obligation to continue such care.

On the other hand, I am a vegetarian, and a contributing cause to that lifestyle change was the "manufacturing" of food via factory farms, both for the animals' sake and for the sake of my own health.

What troubles me most about your opinion is that you believe it objectively true when it is a mere subjective truth -- perhaps an ethical truth according to your mores but an ethical failure according to others mores.

Finally, know that "health care" is not a zero sum enterprise. Money spent on veterinarian care is not diverted from any health "care" other than that of the person spending the money.

There is much to lament in this world, but the connection between human and dog is not one.

Jassy said...

Wow... posts like this one make me even more certain that I'd spend money on vet bills for my pets before human healthcare. After all, I've never met an animal who is clearly a complete waste of DNA!