Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Darwin Sailed the Beagle, Didn't Ride the Greyhound

What's the matter with Kansas? As starters, they have an actual state law that declares a greyhound is not a dog. (Sorry, no direct link, but to get to the video story, scroll down the page and look under the heading "Irresistible Headlines.") If greyhounds were dogs, then it would be cruel to race them, and people who own dogtracks might not make money.

Then again, Kansas hasn't evolved, so maybe that explains things.


Blogger Lori said...

Say what you will about the state of the world today, it is stories like these that confirm my growing suspicion that the depths of human depravity truly know no boundaries.

As incredulous as it sounds, Kansas is not the only state enforcing laws like these; and Greyhounds are not the only animals who fall into this "living, breathing creatures, but not really animals, because that would make it really hard for us to use them exclusively for our own entertainment and profit and then casually discard them" category -- Thoroughbred and Standardbred horses are not really horses either, just in case you didn't know.

I won't go into the details of inhumane living conditions, or the use of performance-enhancing drugs (where's Jose Canseco when you really need him?)that often force these horses to run themselves literally to death, or that final race to the rendering plant, where they are met by the horrifying, metallic stench of blood and the screams of horses still alive and hanging by their hindquarters from meat hooks, where death, however agonizing and slow, will at least be a sweet relief.

Instead, I will focus on what I feel is the most sickening component of this issue. Most horses, like most dogs, are social animals, and since we took it upon ourselves to domesticate and dominate them, they now crave human companionship and yearn to please us. With pure hearts and perfect souls, they will literally run themselves to death for nothing more than a few quick pats, and a "good boy," followed by maybe a nice meal and perhaps a warm place to rest their exhausted bones before another day arrives. And our final reward for their efforts is to classify them as inanimate objects, so that they are not even awarded the same protections as other creatures fortunate enough to spend entire their lives as pets.

Since I am now on the verge of spiraling into a long and incoherent rant, I will leave you with this:

"If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans" - James Herriot

7:50 AM  

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