Friday, 9 March 2012

Suffering of animals

And a postman has been jailed for six months for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
It was a cat.
When he arrived at the cat's house, the animal jumped on his trolley. He beat it repeatedly and threw what remained into its own garden and told everyone who had been witness to fuck off.  The cat died later.  The child of the family was particularly upset, it being her birthday.
It's good he has been punished; but it is inadequate, or shall I say unbalanced. There is the harm he has done the child and the rest of the family; and the cat has lost its life. That's on top of its suffering.
I do not see why one should get less for hurting an animal than for hurting a human; and this was a murder.
The punishment reflects a general view that animals are less important than us.
Some years ago I heard an interview with a terribly important man. I forget his name; but you could tell from how he spoke that he was important. Maybe he was called Tiddles. It doesn't matter; they answer to anything as long as you defer.
He experimented on animals. That was his profession.
I have a bit of trouble with that. And the declarative argument "but it helps people" is one that I find less than persuasive.
This chap said "and anyway animals aren't like us; they're just machines; when you sacrifice them it's just like switching them off"
I remember thinking that if an ethics committee would ok it then I would be happy to demonstrate how easy he would be to turn off, especially if I were armed with a hypodermic full of poison and he unsuspecting.

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