from the Stupid to the Sublime

It’s not often I encounter someone whose IQ is so low that I consider their existence to be a waste of space.  My definition of stupidity is:  “Stupidity is the unwillingness to learn” because I didn’t believe in “stupidity” per se.  In this particular case, I’d also add one of my favourite quotes by the poet John Donne:  “No man is an island…ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”  I’ll explain shortly why that last quote is so relevant to this rant by a livestock owner who is only at the top of the food chain by accident of birth or, um species, and certainly not for any other saving grace.  Note that the emotional, almost hysterical, tone adopted by this, um, writer is exactly what the pro slaughterers claim is what horse advocates indulge in…reminiscent of Anita Bryant or Pa Kettle (well, to be fair, Pa was thick but kind-hearted).  Hmm…read on and decide for yourself.  Then go on to read two responses, one from another farmer, and one from Animal Advocates of Michigan.

In answer to a politely written Letter to the Editor of located in Salem, Ohio, he writes:

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What’s so Special about Oregon?

The furor over the couple in Oregon killing their own horse then taking pictures of themselves smiling through the horse’s abdomen and appearing to eat its heart while naked baffles me.  Respect for life means RESPECT FOR LIFE…in what way does this event differ from the horrifically cruel ways horses are slaughtered every five minutes all over the world (just view the youtube video made in Argentina and see which makes you sicker).  I can understand the anti-slaughter movement in the US hitching onto this particular, but certainly, not unique incident because Sue Wallis revealed just how profound her pathology is by publicly supporting the couple’s behaviour (it takes one to know one, or two, in this case).  And I can understand why the incident has gone viral; after all, I’m sure that the friends and neighbours of the couple could do follow-up interviews, looking mildly bewildered and saying things like, ‘I don’t understand it…they seemed like such a nice couple.’  You know, similar to what people said about Ted Bundy.  We just don’t expect evil in someone’s own backyard even though, if you expand the geography of your own backyard by just a bit (and those of you who live in Massueville need only add a very little bit of yardage), this level of cruelty happens everywhere.  If you have no respect for life to begin with, what does it matter if you carry that disrespect to extremes like that psychopathic couple did (in fact, that’s probably why they published their video:  even they know that the world has no respect for life)? In for a penny, in for a pound.  I don’t think what they did was any worse than the testimonial of an abattoir worker in Jonathan Saffran Foer’s book, Eating Animals. Foer cites this testimonial from Gail Eisnitz’s book, Slaughterhouse.

“Down in the blood pit they say that the smell of blood makes you aggressive.  And it does.  You get an attitude that if that hog kicks at me, I’m going to get even.  You’re already going to kill the hog, but that’s not enough….[I] split its nose…a live hog [would just be looking at me]…and I would just take my knife and…cut its eye out while it was just sitting there….One time I took my knife…and I sliced off the end of a hog’s nose, just like a piece of bologna….I took a handful of salt brine and ground it into his nose…[then] I stuck the [rest of the] salt right up the hog’s ass.”  (p.252, Eating Animals, quoting Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz)

Now I don’t think measuring levels of pathological behaviour as it pertains to no respect for life would be useful here:  is this abattoir worker less cruel because, unlike the Oregon couple, he didn’t bother making a youtube video out of that incident…an incident which hundreds of abattoir workers have admitted is no different from what goes on all the time, by everyone?  

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When No-one Cares for you, I will

Believe it or not, the title of this post is a quote from the John Wayne movie, The Sons of Katie Elder.  My but the world has changed!  The New York Times had an article I found enlightening if only because, when taken together with the following article (written by Animals-Angels USA), it embodies how a new insight into an old tradition evolves into action…

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