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Our Collective Shame

Story ID:8895
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various USA
Year:2013
Person:various
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This morning on TV I just caught the end of "Never Forget to Lie"-
one of the many personal accounts of the terrible history of
the Jewish purgation by Hitler and Nazi Germany. It is one
of the things that I believe belongs under a category that I
have named "Our Collective Shame."

How many people, countries, religious groups were there who
failed to do anything to help these poor persecuted Jewish
people? Sadly, it seems that almost all turned a blind's eye
to it.

I am not a historian, but we know from their individual stories
that many were herded onto crowded trains and taken to camps
where most of them were later gassed.

Because I am introspective, I wondered how those people on
the train were able to relieve themselves. Did any of you
also wonder? They must have been embarrassed to use the train
as a toilet. Maybe they even considered this the least of
their worries and with reason.

The man in the Frontline story said that he was born Jewish,
raised Catholic, and lost his faith in God during the war. His
mother told him that God had been taking a nap during the
Holocaust. Sadly too, much of the world had also been napping
during this time -to OUR COLLECTIVE SHAME. (If interested,
Marian (male) Marzynski's story can be found on the internet.)


BLACK SLAVERY - ANOTHER COLLECTIVE SHAME

I don't think I have to write much about this one, but it
should be evident to anyone who has a sense of what is right
and wrong- that enslaving another human being - no matter their
color is wrong and can never be justified. I believe I read
in the Old Testament somewhere that slavery was permitted.
That's why I sometimes wonder if ALL of the Old Testament is
truly "inspired."

But I am saddened re our own chapter re it. I also feel that
once they were freed, it took them all too many years before
they were truly integrated and assimilated into our society
as equals. In my opinion, all those who enslaved them in the
first place, and the rest of us who felt we were superior to
them is something that I think should belong under the category
-Our Collective Shame.


ANOTHER TYPE OF SLAVERY - ANIMAL SLAVERY

The way all too much of the world treats animals generally
certainly should belong under "Our Collective Shame." But sadly
we, as a people, while hopefully recognizing the injustices
suffered by the Jews during the Holocaust and the Black people
under slavery, still have a long way to go in recognizing that
animals deserve to be treated humanely and compassionately.

I am always amazed how some religious people believe that because
God gave us stewardship and dominion over the earth, that it
implies that we may treat animals anyway we like. And if you
look the world over it seems we do, and so many animals suffer
terribly at our hands.

Some of the cruelty I can recall offhand -The Australian export
of live sheep and cattle is one of them. They suffer horrendously
on crowded ships only to be cruely slaughtered at destination's
end. Today, with refrigeration, wouldn't it be more compassionate
to slaughter them first and then export their meat to these
countries?

Something new here in the US re the shameful exploitation of
pit bulls - Trunk Pit Bull Fights. Who ever thought this up
certainly has a cruel streak in them. Two pit bulls are locked
in a car trunk, and probably because of the close confinement
a terrible dog fight ensues. The despicable humans who
arranged this fight are obviously ghoulishly glad to open
the trunk and find one of the pit bulls horribly mauled and
dead.

I could list so many more cruelties found here in the US
as well as in so many of the countries of the world. Spain
is notorious for inflicting suffering to animals even in
its religious festivals. Many oriental countries have no
regard for animal suffering at all. Somewhere here they eat
the brains of live monkeys. Years ago I read about this and
hoped it had stopped. Apparently not.


HELICOPTER WILD HORSE ROUND-UPS

Yesterday on NBC -Lisa Myers had a wonderful expose of the
cruel wild horse round-ups done by the Bureau of Land Management.
This was really the uppermost reason for my wanting to write
this post. Here too many of us must sadly share in the
collective shame in allowing these horrible round-ups to
happen and continue for so long without doing anything to
stop them.

True, there were and are compassionate legislators who wanted
this stopped as well as many of the people in the animal rights
community. But, obviously there were too many who didn't believe
it was important and did nothing at all.

Certainly, these round-ups were and are cruel and damaging to our
beautiful wild horses of the West. To be hounded by the whirring
blades of the helicopters and forced to run miles on end in hot
weather without water is cruel and unusual punishment for these
magnificent and free spirits many of us love.

Among the horses were mares and their foals. How they must
have suffered, and some would die along the way. Lisa Myers
reported and videotaped the picture of a young horse who
had run off his hooves. Finally, he could go no further and
crumbled to the ground and died. For people who care, we can
only try to imagine his terrible pain as he ran on crippled
feet. Only death spared him more pain.

Thank you NBC and Lisa Myers for this national exposure.

And why is this happening? They say that the grazing lands
cannot sustain the continual reproduction of these horses.
Then why have they not been using contraceptives to keep the
population down? Oh yes, too expensive, too this, too that.
And yet, they have money to employ the people on these cruel
round-ups which certainly can't be cheap.

Then there is the problem of the cattle people saying they
need to use public grazing lands for their cattle. I thought
public lands were suppose to be used for public - not commercial
interests. And one day hopefully, people will realize that
eating meat is not good for one's health and less and less
cattle will be raised.

Yesterday, I received three pieces of mail from the horse
charities reminding me of the need to support legislation
introduced to Congress in March on the same day that we
learned of the election of the new Pope Francis. May this
be a good omen.

This new bipartisan SAFE Act- (Safeguard American Food Exports)
would outlaw US horse slaughter on food safety grounds.

Last year- per the Jurga Report "..more than 160,000 American
horses were sent to a cruel death by a grisly foreign industry
that produces unsafe food for consumers." Who will take credit
for this horrible happening? I believe our legislators can take
some credit in their do-nothing Congress of last year and perhaps
earlier. And maybe we all can "share" in this collective shame
if we also did nothing to try to stop it and write our legislators.

At any rate, much thanx is due to the compassionate legislators
who have sponsored and introduced the SAFE ACT: Sens. Mary
Landrieu, D-La. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. and Reps. Patrick Meehan,
R-Pa, and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. Their bipartisan legislation- if
passed, will stop the inhumane killing of American horses for
human consumption and prohibit the transport of horses across
the U.S.border for slaughter in Canada and Mexico.

Please God, may it pass. Let's all remind our legislators of
this need.