Who’s “superior?”

Posted by Karen Hadalski at 14 June 2012

Category: animals/pets

Last weekend,” I’ll Have Another,” winner of the Kentucky Derby & Preakness, was pulled from running at Belmont due to a leg injury.  Had he competed and won, he would have been the first Triple Crown champion in 34 years.

I applaud this colt’s owners for making the moral, compassionate decision on his behalf.  Many others have not been so fortunate.

It was disturbing to read responses to this honorable decision, however.  The following sentiment, expressed by the last Triple Crown winner’s jockey, Steve Cauthen, pretty much sums it up: “I think the whole racing world is just dying to have another great horse come along and capture their hearts.” (www.washingtonpost.com/sports)

Never mind that I’ll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby over 15-1 odds and, 2 weeks later, won the Preakness Stakes.  I guess that wasn’t enough to capture any hearts.  It seems the only colts who give enough to satisfy racing fans are those who die, themselves, in order to do so: Like the rare filly, Eight Belles, who finished 2nd in the Kentucky Derby but was injured and euthanized right after her finish; or, the “much loved” Barbaro who , after being injured during the Preakness, suffered with his injuries for eight long months before finally being put out of his misery.

Greyhounds used to entertain dog racing patrons don’t fare any better.  Essentially, they live a hard, isolated existence, brought out of their pens only long enough to run.  Then, when they begin to slow down– if not rescued almost immediately– are unsympathetically euthanized.

Using animals for our needs, entertainment, and financial gain is by no means limited to the racing industry.  Since the beginning of mankind’s occupation of this planet, we have been using; abusing; eating; killing for sport, hides, fur, pretty feathers, wall mountings, ivory tusks; imprisoning and training for our amusement; racing until they drop; and, now, destroying the habitat of the animal kingdom.

We do this without conscience and with a sense of absolute “entitlement,” referring to the Book of Genesis when our morality and ethics are called into question.

I don’t know what kind of self-delusion allows mankind to perceive itself as superior to the rest of Creation. Our history certainly doesn’t provide evidence to support this point-of-view.  As a species we have wreaked more destruction on the planet, other species, and our own kind than any other living creature.

Why not spend a week really looking around, listening to the news, observing the attitudes and activities of your fellow- man as a visitor from another planet would?  Emotional distance and objectivity provide the clarity and perspective unconscious immersion lacks.  In sociological terms, this is called being a “participant observer.”

Maybe if we were all schooled in this capacity, instead of “100 ways to feel good about ourselves,” the world would become a better place–for all it’s inhabitants.

 

2 Comments

  1. Val Wolf says

    Karen,

    Thank you for this excellent post which tells the truth about the exploitation of animals.

    Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane. Greyhounds endure lives of nearly constant confinement, kept in cages barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around. While racing, many dogs suffer and die from injuries including broken legs, paralysis, and cardiac arrest. And many greyhounds are euthanized every year, as the number retired from racing exceeds the number of adoptive homes.

    At racetracks across the country, greyhounds endure lives of confinement. According to industry statements, greyhounds are generally confined in their cages for approximately 20 hours per day. They live inside warehouse-style kennels in stacked cages that are barely large enough to stand up or turn around. Generally, shredded paper or carpet remnants are used as bedding.

    An undercover video recently released by GREY2K USA shows the conditions in which these gentle dogs are forced to live: http://www.grey2kusa.org/azVideo.html

    For more information on injuries these dogs suffer, please view:

    http://www.grey2kusa.org/azInjuries.html

    http://www.grey2kusa.org/eNEWS/G2K-022811Email.html

    Dogs play an important role in our lives and deserve to be protected from industries and individuals that do them harm.

    VWolf Board Member, GREY2K USA

    Reply
    • admin says

      Thank you for your thoughtful, informative response, Val. I learned a lot about this heart breaking industry when living in Philadelphia from the man who founded the interstate greyhound rescue group, there. ( I am sorry to have forgotten his name).

      Reply

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