Why do we consider ourselves to be superior to everything else?
When I saw this image (the prison/ animal shelter comparison) I felt the need to write something about it as the comments disturbed me more than the picture itself. This is the picture that inspired me to write a blog because lets face it a picture does paint a thousand words and twitter’s 140 character limit just isn’t accommodating for that. The main thing that disturbed me here was that people commenting that they were ‘just a dog’, as if simply by being a dog these animals deserved to be locked in a confined space with no comfort just the hard ground surrounded by their own defecation because a human decided so (and it was cheaper to do so).
(I’m disregarding the prison reference as this appears to be a holding cell in a station not a prison cell – and before someone states that its a ‘cosy’ holding cell, I’ve actually seen one with my own eye’s in London, and the one pictured looks similar, and no, I wasn’t in one. I know someone who is a Police officer.)
But back to the main issue, I’m disappointed that the majority of people are of the opinion that animals are lesser beings than ourselves. Does the fact that animals don’t use computers, go shopping or invent electricity actually make them lesser or that they deserve to be subjected to our will? An animal does not need those things and because of that, their lives are much simpler. But that does not mean that they are any less significant than ours. We’re not only destroying our own planet but the habitats of our wildlife (along with our own standard of morals) with our way of life in search of the almighty dollar.
Humans share this planet with animals and the rest of nature. It is not solely ours to do as we please with no regard for other creatures. Humans do such awful malicious things to one another and other creatures. We have wars, rape, kill, humiliate, steal, lie, cheat, torture, and at the end of the day (90% of the time) these atrocities originate from our greed for money, attention or power .Animals, on the other hand, only take what they need from life to survive. A dog doesn’t care if its owner is obese, and a cat doesn’t care what race or sexuality its owner is. All they want to do is be appreciated and return the love. Isn’t that something that us as humans shouldn’t be learning from rather than forcing our socially constructed “instincts” on any-and-every living thing in the world?
Many have argued in the picture (without noticing the animals surrounded by their own faeces) that why offer a blanket when many dogs prefer to sleep on the floor and in nature that is infact what they would be doing. In nature they would not be contained in such a small enclosure. In nature they would have a variety of surfaces to lay on, many that are not as cold and hard as concrete saturated in their own urine.
The most wonderful thing about animals I believe is their own personalities, and how if you actually spend time with them you really get to know them and find how different they are from one another in so many different ways. A dog could be fully grown and know exactly how to take care of itself and live, yet at the hands of a human they have the vulnerability and innocence of small child.
All I want to achieve by writing this is hopefully change some views that animals are infact not lesser beings than us but creatures we should treat with respect as we too are infact animals ourselves and who is to say we are in fact more intelligent? We might be able to create and program a computer but only to fulfil needs that we have created for ourselves to make our own lives more complicated!
With 5 cats, along with a canary and a puppy, I’m certainly not one to be against keeping pets but I love my pets and certainly don’t see them as just an animal or even actually as a pet but as part of my family. Anyway I hope I have changed someone’s mind (or at least, got them thinking) that animals are not just things for our own amusement or inconveniences.