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By Andrew Tsou
When I walk home from the bus stop, I pass factories that constantly spew out carcinogens, parts of town where 12-year olds with guns are a threat to my wallet and health, past gas-guzzlers with “Support the Troops” bumper stickers.
But I’m not worried about pollution or being mugged or depleted oil reserves or the conflicts overseas. It’s the scourge of barking dogs off leashes that consume valuable resources and defecate said resources onto the sidewalk that worries me.
First, I confess that I have had a mortal fear of dogs all my life. That said, my view of dogs as useless beasts with no place in our society (save as sustenance) applies equally to all pets. Most of us consume cows, pigs, and chickens without any trepidation; why, then, the place of dogs, cats, et. Al. as members of the family? You don’t find many people with chickens running about their house (although, in fairness, there is a man in my county who owns a pig and walks it around the park).
In South Korea, many people consume dog meat (http://www.koreananimals.org/animals/dogs.htm). Although, as would be expected in our western world, most web sites on the topic condemn (with virgin-eyed shock) the actions of these particular South Koreans. Sites such as http://www.dogbiz.com/dont-eat-dog-meat.htm are indignant about the manner in which these beasts are exterminated, yet there is no similar outcry for slaughterhouses in the United States. It appears that animals are only deemed worthy of protection if they are cute and cuddly.
(In fairness, there are groups and sites such as http://www.hfa.org/hot_topic/interview.html which focus on slaughterhouse cruelty, and there is surely overlap between the two groups. But for the majority of Americans, the suffering of cows and pigs is easily ignored, while the slightest cruelty to a dog or cat is viewed as a crime greater than human genocide.)
Dogs are a burden on our resources; rather than spending money on food and vaccines and other costly medical procedures, they should simply be slaughtered for food, as other livestock are. Would this not then create a substantial decrease in the rate of world hunger, not to mention an improvement in the balances of countless Americans’ bankbooks?
Tellingly, there is a foundation based on “rescuing” dogs abandoned by their owners after their (the humans’) house was foreclosed (http://www.examiner.com/dogs-in-phoenix/disturbing-trend-dogs-left-behind-after-foreclosure). The question, then, is, why the outrage over a useless animal that produces nothing, as opposed to the real issue, which is that the economy and people’s personal financial decisions are so shot so as to make these foreclosures necessary?
Some people claim that a dog is a person’s best friend (this axiom has been altered for political correctness). This ignores the fact that such a needy, dependent, helpless animal will become attached to anyone who gives it food and shelter. Dogs offer nothing; people who claim that they and their dog are in a loving relationship frighten me as much as the writings and credo of NAMBLA. Only a sick person could make a creature dependent on them and then call it “love.”
Perhaps it is some sexual perversion which keeps people so attached to their dogs and cats (this idea was brought to me by an anonymous English professor who suggested that girls are fascinated by unicorns because of the phallic symbol of the horn; presumably the sharp point implies a thirst for S&M play, but this topic was sadly not addressed in that particular lecture). It would explain why people let their dogs sleep in their beds, follow them around, etc. Perhaps the leash is a symbol of sexual power that these sadly unfulfilled people have (unfortunately, not all dog owners subscribe to this particular fetish; note the numbers of people who unleash their dogs while out walking at local parks, despite the clearly posted “Dogs must be on leash” signs).
While in Virginia, I found a brochure with the ever-present tagline “Virginia is for lovers.” The photograph on the cover pictured a serene sunset scene, with the silhouetted figures of a man, a woman, and…their dog.
I’m all open for people exploring their own impulses. But can’t we get equal rights and acceptance for homosexuals and polygamists first? (And at least those groups contain all consenting members.)