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Unhappy Animal Events in 1987 and 2009

Story ID:5242
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various usa
Year:2009
Person:various
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I recently read one gifted writer saying that he never uses cliches. Since
I do, I realize that if that makes me less a writer - so be it. The one which
came to mind this week is "The more things change, the more they
remain the same."

In this instance, I was saddened with how true this is re animal cruelty back
in 1987 and recently in 2009.

In a Dear Abby column of 1987 -this letter was published:
"Pet Sympathizer in Hollandale, Wis." completely ruined my day when
she described what her husband did when he found a mother beagle and her
pup on their doorstep half-dead from starvation and thirst in 96 degree
weather. He got his gun and quickly put them out of their misery.
The sheer lack of compassion on the part of these farmers horrified me.
instead of water and nourishment, these animals were greeted with bullets."
--Cristine

Abby's response: "Dear Cristine: Thanx I needed your letter. You and I were
pathetically outnumbered. A sample of the opposition: "Your criticism of "Pet
Sympathizer" for putting the two starved, abandoned dogs out of their misery
was not only arrogant, it was flat-out stupid. Those farmers are dedicated to a
LIFE OF TAKING CARE OF ANIMALS....." At this point I could only incredulously
think - aren't Beagles animals? The writer should have left that dedication
part out because those farmers were clearly led not by dedication but by financial
gain. (The score: 26 for Abby and a handful of city dwellers and 360 -rural
folk and counting).

I felt impelled to write Dear Abby my reflections on this matter on Sept. 14, 1987:

Dear Abby,

In my book, a compassionate answer like yours regarding the shooting of the
starved beagles can never be wrong and all the polls in the world will not change
this. However belatedly, I would like to join you, Cristine and the others who were
"less than pleased " with the farmer's solution in putting the starved Beagle mom
and her pup "out of their misery" by blowing out their brains.

Unfortunately, all too may of us are speciest, elitist, and condescending when it
comes to the animal world. And this will continually amaze me since we should
take our cue from a benevolent and loving God Who is our "steward." Would not
any thinking person assume that if God treats us, His lowly creatures, with such
love and benevolence, He would expect us to do the same to our fellow living
creatures?

So the poor farmers are deluged with the many strays that city folk "dump" on
them. True, this stupid, irresponsible thinking of some urban dwellers is
reprehensible, but those of us who care about strays, face the same problems
as the farmer. However, our solutions tend to be kind and caring- not utilitarian
and practical.

We abhor the fact that many millions of unwanted pets are put to death each
year because some people still refuse to neuter or spay their pets. But to be
effective and sane in addressing this horrendous problem, we don't look at the
large discouraging picture but try to address it - one pet at a time. (When I wrote
this I had 4 dogs and 15 cats.)

Now fast foward to 2009 where another act of animal cruelty took place
recently.

This past week we were saddened by the news that an elderly 75 year-old
woman was so enraged to find a fawn among her flowers which she says she
had worked so hard to grow that she bashed its head with a shovel - killing it.

Though I am always glad when events like this get media attention making
us aware of how cruel we can be towards the largely defenseless animal
population, in this case -I am sorry that it has reached too many people who are
equally cruel and insensitive. Some have sent her hate mail and even death
threats. One bad act doesn't deserve another. However, I do hope that this event
will convince state legislatures whose cruelty laws are lax to now consider
strengthening them. No more hand slaps for animal cruelty. And for those who
don't appreciate the precious lives of animals -consider then that many hardened
criminals were animal abusers first.