We humans, we hairless apes are an odd lot and nowhere else is our oddness more marked than our attitudes and behavior toward other animals.
We become misty-eyed while watching movies such as Benji, Greyfriars Bobby, Homeward Bound, My Friend Flicka and others, which project onto furry, four-legged animals near super-natural and endearingly anthropomorphic qualities while, at the same time, we are eating other animals in hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, or perhaps a bit of barbecued venison. Or maybe even feeding our cat or dog with a food made of horse-meat!
Some animals are cute and cuddly and welcomed into the home as pets to be pampered and fondled while the others are food to be hunted down and killed; or bred, raised and fed (often under near death-camp conditions) to be slaughtered en masse to feed the meat-hungry palates of the planet's most dangerous animal...homo sapiens!
No this is not a vegan or vegetarian diatribe against hunting or meat-eating. It is merely a matter of wonderment as to how we can so adore one species while so brutally treating others. It is also about a murder, which occurred in rural Missouri yesterday.
In many ways it was a minor murder as murders go....just what is sometimes called a "small death" by more calloused persons than I.
A horse was shot an killed while grazing in its pasture...I am shouting at you here! It was grazing in its damned pasture nowhere near the woods so that it could have been mistaken for a deer. But, you say, sometimes deer will mingle with horses and cattle so it might be easy to make that mistake. That is a load of crap, I respond. The horse was shot through the heart with a high-powered rifle from thirty-feet away, a mere ten-yards..a first down yardage measurement in football. To measure it for yourself take 10 long paces stretching your legs as far as you can and at the end turn around and look back at your starting point--that is how close the murderer was to his victim. And yeah, I'm betting a doughnut to a dollar that the killer was male. It was no mistake and far enough from the road, woods and habitations that the killer was looking for an animal to kill..any animal would do!
Somewhere there is a man who is so devoid of empathy, compassion, sentiment, and decency that his impelling thoughts must be limited to; I am hungry, I am sleepy, I must relieve myself, and it would be fun to shoot and kill something today. A somewhat functioning naked ape whose evolution became stymied at some point when he should have been acquiring higher sensibilities. Would it be begging the question too much to suppose that maybe that process began when another, older male smeared blood on his cheeks from his first deer kill to get him over "buck fever" and set him on his way in one of the more pagan rites of passage to "manhood" celebrated by so many people calling themselves Christian?
You see, I think there is a relationship. A relationship that empowers someone to kill a family pet, a $10-thousand dollar horse that was loved and nurtured and an affectionate source of comfort and joy to my sister-in-law and her companion on a small farm in Missouri.
They are bereft, grieving, angry, frightened, vulnerable, frustrated and in pain! Somewhere nearby there is a man thinking, "I'm hungry, I want fried chicken".