Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sad Details Emerge in Sled Dog Killings - Vigilantes threaten to cull sled dog killer

Sad Details Emerge in Sled Dog Killings - Vigilantes threaten to cull sled dog killer

(Newser) – A sled dog company employee who slaughtered around 100 huskies after tourism dried up has been receiving death threats, Canadian police say. Police and animal welfare authorities are investigating the killings, which came to light after the worker described the killings in grisly detail to obtain workman's compensation. The animals were killed in sight of other dogs before being dumped in a mass grave, the Province reports. The killing went on for two days, according to the compensation board's report.
I am critical of cognitive dissonance where I see, there's no shortage of it in politics -- especially from the right, but we find it on the left as well. So, I find myself on the horns of a dilemma when I come across stories of animal suffering because I don't keep a vegetarian diet; I did for a while many years ago, but the lure of bacon with breakfast was too strong. (And I never stopped wearing leather.) I was a vegetarian in part because my roommate at the time was and it was, frankly, easy to keep a vegetarian diet while living with a good example. But I never preached it and never thought less of anyone who didn't. When asked why, I would, however, state my preference to not be a party to animal suffering, the extent I could control it. Obviously, my commitment to that principle wasn't the strongest.

Still, I feel very strongly that killing and injuring animals for sport, for the hell of it, for the sake of being cruel, for profit, is wrong. I grew up with dogs and I will argue with anyone who cares to that animal suffering is real; further, that to the extent the bowl of mush in our skulls fashions consciousness out electricity and science juice -- a phenomenon that you can call a soul, if you want, provided we agree that the thing we are talking about  is inextricably bound up with our bodies and not an eternal ghost that, after being manufactured at conception, ascends to paradise or descends into torment -- dogs have it, too. Not the same, not as "advanced," if you will; I'm not prepared to grant animals human rights, but I believe that their experience of suffering is real and needs to be accounted for in our use and stewardship of the planet.

So, I read this article and recoiled. If you follow the link, and the second paragraph doesn't move you, then I'm not sure that your bowl of mush and my bowl of mush have all the same wiring. We may disagree about the level to which it's a crime, and the severity of the punishment that is warranted, but if you don't agree that there is real suffering there, and that it's worth being concerned about, then we just don't have much in common.

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