Earlier this week, heart broken and very disappointed with the system, I published this post on Facebook.
And, since I’m on a mission to persuade and not alienate, I shall try to clarify my trail of thought.
1. Children and animals are different, but they are only different in their specific needs. For instance, I would not feed a child raw meat but I would treat my cat or dog to some any day. Similarly, I would not send my cat to calculus lessons but I would readily send my son. In both cases, even though my behaviour is different towards the two, I would still be doing the right thing. So when I compare animals to humans and say that they should be treated equally, I do not mean that they should be treated in the same way. What I mean is that they should both be treated with dignity and kindness. To me this is such an obvious and basic conclusion that it never occurred to me that I would have to clarify my position on the matter.
2. When it comes to the basic need of being fed, watered, sheltered and protected from harm and pain, it is even dictated in the law, that both species (animals and humans) have the same rights. However, despite it being on black and white in our laws, we do not have the infrastructure, resources or the will to enforce this when it comes to animals. When I call animal emergency services to save a cat that seems trapped and in pain inside a car engine, I would expect them to, at the very damn least, turn up, the same way they would if the kitten was a human.
3. Granted, kittens tend to get into car engines often but this does not mean that we should not tend to them every single time. Boys and girls scrape their knees and break bones all the time, and yet we never disregard their need for our help.
4. Whether we admit it or not, and whether we’re conscious of it or not, the only reason we would treat humans better than animals is if we truly believed that we’re somehow superior and that this superiority grants us the right to be arrogant and unkind. Maybe I’m crazy but I don’t think we’re superior at all, and even if I did, this does not grant me the right to be unkind. For starters intelligence does not indicate superiority and neither does my genetic belonging to a particular species.
As I write this, three days after this whole saga started – somebody has knowingly driven off with the kitten in their car engine. After trying their best to scare it out, they drove off to God knows where. The kitten might or might not survive the ride but I can’t help feeling like we totally failed to live up to our very own humanity.