Friday, December 5, 2008

I Too Went Through the 'Humanizing of Animals' Phase...

Shorty left the comment below on my post from yesterday, Are Human Beings Different From Animals.

As someone who has been the animal rights activist - I too went through the 'humanizing of animals' phase. Back then, I was more of the "educator", I didn't have money to spend on charities, but I was vegetarian and would "promote" the animal friendly lifestyle. I am older now, and now I can afford to give money to charities. I admit, i choose "human" charities over the animal ones. Why? Precisely for the reasons you mention.

Yes, we love the animals, they look at us with those big eyes of theirs. They are so basic, so instinctual and in some way we feel there is something inherently "pure" about these characteristics of animals.

Personally, I think that we should be spending monetary resources on human charities, and continue to educate in the "animal friendly" way. Animal refuges would not be necessary if the consumer would simply not pay for Circus' to begin with. Or buy a dalmation because that movie was just so darn cute.

As an aside, when my cat passed, I had one last option. An operation on her heart, or put her to sleep. My vet looked at me and said "as much as i appreciate your continued presence as a customer, this is not the time to spend your money, it is time to let her go".

We embrace our "animal friends" because our human family has become so distant. Our animal friends appear to accept and love unconditionally. Its time humans remember to do the same with their human family.

-Dixie Yid

(Picture courtesy of doxiementary)

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Shorty said...

Thanks! :)

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

wow Shorty, I love what you said and couldn't agree more!

Alice said...

I would also add that through caring for animals, some people learn to care for humans- or even to love themselves.

I'm not trying to argue with you like crazy even though that's how I'm coming off. : ) And I don't humanize animals. In fact I just ate one for lunch, so that would be weird.

Gandalin said...

The thing is, with the "animal"charities, you are actually giving to people, who use the money for the benefit of the animals, but it is also for the benefit of people. One might also argue that alleviating cruelty towards animals elevates the human community in which the cruelty and its alleviation occur. I would also agree with ibn al-Marzuban, that dogs at least show a superiority over some --I emphasize, some-- of those who wear clothes.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...


What do you mean that people learn to love themselves or care for other humans though caring for animals?

You're very funny!


Again, as I said to another commenter in the first post, the topic of my post had nothing to do with whether it's a good cause to alleviate cruelty to animals. Cruelty to animals in an aveira mi'dioraisa, and fosters the general mida of cruelty, which is almost always a horrible trait.

My point was that we can avoid cruelty to animals by excessively wasting human resources to support 40 elephants on a 2700 acre ranch or we can use minimal resources to see to it that those elephants which are not wanted by an owner with the resources to care for it properly is put to sleep "humanely."

-Dixie Yid

Alice said...

I have a perfect example for you I think. There are programs in some prisons where shelters bring in dogs and cats that need grooming and training so they can find homes. The prisoners who are deemed trustworthy enough and who have earned it get to work with the animals. They learn how to train and groom animals so that if they get out they have a work skill. But there are even more important benefits. The animal is locked in a cage. So are the prisoners. They relate to the animal. They fix up the animal and believe in the animal. They train the animal and make it more appealing and better suited for success in an adopted home.

Of course the prisoners themselves see that if the animal can change and learn and in essence learn to fit in, maybe the they can too. That is a huge leap for some people to make. We aren't just born with social skills and coping skills. We need to learn them. And we CAN learn them even if we have failed so miserabley that no one wants us anymore.

In addition the prisoners have a chance to have nonsexual and nonviolent physical contact with another living being. This does wonders for the temperment and for the soul for many people. It also shows them that there are ways to be with other humans that are nonviolent and nonsexual too, hopefully. For many people that is a revelation of sorts, sadly.

Animals also live very much in the moment, which is very healthy spiritually speaking. So we can learn a great deal from them. They also love humans who are difficult for other humans to love. So they are a blessing in that way. They see through the outside junk to the beautiful soul of a being. That teaches us that we are lovable afterall.

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...

Alice, I certainly wouldn't disagree with what you're saying then. If people have lost the perception of any self-worth and have lost the ability to understand how to think responsibly about any kind of creature at all, then that project or any one running on the same principal, sounds great. If someone has lost basic sensibilities with any kind of creature, then it sounds like a great idea to start at the bottom, with the basics. First learn responsibility, caring, discipline, etc. with an animal, and then use this as a building block to work their way up to apply those skills to other human beings and to themselves. Sounds very good!

-Dixie Yid

Gandalin said...


There's plenty in the world to go around. The elephants aren't taking anything away from anybody. Nobody's forcing you to contribute to their upkeep.

Shorty said...

Supporting groups that use animal "pets" for therapeutic purposes, is a lot different than animal refuges that rescue animals from movies, zoos and circuses.

these animals aren't pets. many of them are large felines (i.e. lions and tigers) who need a lot of real estate.

If the general public didn't support zoos and circuses, then there wouldn't be a need for "rescue missions".

So if more people would be educated into what goes into capturing and training animals for "entertainment" then...