A few months ago, someone in Atlanta was suing a vet for the loss of their dog (a 13-year-old miniature Schnauzer) – I think they wanted $75K because of vet malpractice. I remember the age of the dog because I thought to myself when I heard about it, "Thirteen is a very unlucky number."
My second thought, of course, was "How long to miniature Schnauzer's live?" About 15 years, came the answer from a trusted internet site. Sounds about right to me. The law generally treats dogs as property, not people. When I purchase a tire (a piece of property) and they have to replace it, they do some calculation that takes into account the benefit I have already had from the property. If you do so with an animal, such as this Atlanta dog, I get the whole life (all 15 years) being worth $562,500. My husband does not have that much insurance on his head, and his life, I don't think, is 13/15th used up.
And I know, lots of people will call me callous. But even actuaries calculate how much human lives are worth. I don't think calculating the same value for animal lives is any worse.
I don't really know where I fall when it comes to animal rights.
I have fish, which are animals. Placing fish in an aquarium seems cruel to me, but fish don't have much of a brain. I wouldn't be happy when I ate in the same water I crapped in. But that's is just me. Fish don't seem to mind. Fish seem to be towards the "decorations end" of the animal spectrum. You don't want to cruelly kill them, but when people dispose of them by flushing them down the toilet, that sort of defines their pecking order.
Snakes, lizards, turtles, those sorts of animals. I put them in a category slightly above fish. You can't dispose of them as easily as fish (no quick flush). And you can hold many of these animals (although I would not be that excited about holding a snake). And, sorry Grant, I could not find a picture of bikini-clad Tia Carrere holding an anaconda in the Wayne's World movie.
I don't think we should be testing make-up on rabbits. It seems cruel. But I have had a rabbit dish once (I did not know it was rabbit originally), and it was good. Taste like chicken. Sure, people from Georgia shoot rabbits that are eating their flowers (and then, bonus, have something for dinner). I never got while people would want an animal that routinely ate their own poop. As I remember from high school biology, wild rabbits eat grass in the morning, poop in a pile, and eat their own poop in the afternoon. Apparently they have bacteria that helps break down the grass and whatever, then they digest more stuff. So when people buy rabbit food, it is basically partially digested grass. Okay, maybe that is not right, but it sounds a bit silly.
I think ferrets are more like elongated rats that people take care of. These animals make me nervous.
Dogs and Cats
I don't own a dog or cat. I just don't want to grieve every ten or so years. I have read that they do certain experiments on dogs and cats, and I wonder what the cost is. I have not really figured that out. I think it is more impactful for all dog and cat owners to neuter or spade their pet. Perhaps Bob Barker knew what he was talking about – it probably will cause far less animal rights violations (think of the pound and how animals are treated there; how many are put to sleep).
Oh, this blog entry went in a whole different direction. I am just scribbling today.
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