When Animals Get Attacked!
The case of Michael Vick, who pleaded guilty to charges for his role in running a dog fighting operation, has left his defenders wondering. Although the Atlanta Falcons has had other misfortunes in its 41 year history, this particular incident has hit a particularly sensitive nerve. Now that he has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL and is likely to spend a year in prison, the question of what this all means in the grander scale of things must, over time, be reflected.
Animals are cherished by many and, by some, are treated as children. People who have pets of all sorts tend to live longer, better lives. They make people more aware and sensitive to the fact that although humans are on the high end of the intelligence scale, sometimes homo sapiens act worse than animals when it comes to respect for life in other forms than our own.
Animal abuse isn’t just about abusing pets, such as cats or dogs, but the destruction of natural habitats simply because the power of our mechanized society makes it possible. The Indigenous populations of most areas in the world hunted animals primarily for food, not for sport or perhaps for initiation rituals that involved coming of age from adolescence into manhood. The acknowledgment that all things that live have a right to exist because it was created as part of the biosphere we recognize as Earth should be a fundamentally accepted principle. Yet it is not.
The Japanese are in a panic over the decline of tuna yields that have been a result of the very methods they have used to fish, which has not allowed the species time and enough space to replenish its stock. This has also happened to the whale. Over-abundant hunting has vastly reduced their numbers. These are just two examples. There are many more depending on what part of the world is being referred to.
Although it is estimated that there are billions of species on this planet, only a small percentage of them are known by science, and the loss of unknown species is occurring every day before we have had the opportunity to discover them due to the claim by homo sapiens that anything that interferes with our “expansion” is expendable. It’s as if humans recognize some sort of “manifest destiny” over the animal kingdom that gives us more of a right to exist than those which are considered lower forms of life.
These kinds of attitudes, are everywhere. Even as I surfed the net, I found astonishing examples that reflect attitudes toward other life forms that, although seem a bit over the top, have their additive affect. Included are some comic book references that many of us grew up with that although seemed innocent at the time, perhaps helped form attitudes about animals that need to be re-examined.