Oh People, Doncha Just Hate’em?

Woods

Woods (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

You know those getting to know you/riddle questions, if you were alone on a deserted island/in the woods/lost in space what food would you want/book would you bring/who would you want with you?  I hate those stupid questions.

But apparently some people love them so much, they decide to go try it.  Like this guy, who went on a survival expedition in the Canadian wilderness.  He planned to be gone for two months, just a man and his dog.  Didn’t work out so well.  When he was a month late coming home, his family alerted the authorities who found him after 8 days of searching; alive, starving, dehydrated, and alone.  Attacked by a bear, his supplies and equipment were lost/ruined.  His dog saved him from the bear.  Sadly, he ended up killing and eating his dog to stay alive.  I’m not being flippant here, it is sad, and I can only assume if there was a grove of apple trees, a field of carrots, or a stream full of fish this wouldn’t have happened.

I found out about this through a discussion in the writer’s forum.  I don’t generally get involved in those discussions, but they can be fun, informative, and a good way to get to know who’s who.

I have to tell you Fringelings, if you’re a staunch PETA supporter you might want to stop reading here.  I love my dogs, love my fish and sea critters, I’m a vegetarian and have been since I was a teenager.  In fact, I’ve sometimes wondered if I would be able to get myself any meat/fish/flesh if I was literally starving.  And yet I was shocked by the sentiment of people who not only said he shouldn’t have done it/they wouldn’t have done it, but equated it with killing and eating a human family member/loved one. Really?  You’re shitting me, right?  Well played, what a perfect troll session.

Except the conversation began to meander, as these things do, and there were multiple people insisting their pets really are equivalent to their children, and the death of a pet is as devastating as the death of a child.  No.  Just no.   And then proceeded to say it was judgmental for anyone to disagree.

The Intersection of 36th and Troll

The Intersection of 36th and Troll (Photo credit: sea turtle) 

Perhaps for a few people this might be true, but if you are a reasonably well adjusted person, no.  And I don’t care if you’re young, middle aged, or Methuselah.  No.  And if this is being judgmental, well, okay.  I’ll just confess to being a judgmental bitch right now.  And more than a bit horrified that it’s so easy to find people who don’t see a difference between a beloved pet and a beloved spouse, mother, father, child, cousin, or BFF who you’ve laughed and cried with for forty years.

I’ve been very, very sad at the loss of pets.  Cried.  Mourned.  Dogs, cat, fish, invertebrates.  For the record, fish are not disposable pets, they shouldn’t die within days/weeks/months.  Clownfish really have personalities similar to puppies, they come to the top of the tank once they get to know you, will eat out of your hand, and play.  I’ve been riveted and excited to see coral spawning in my tank, see my clownfish do the mating dance.  When the clowns then ate their eggs, I didn’t feel my world had ended.  Didn’t even lose a night’s sleep.  What a cold, cruel woman I am.

Yup, laid her eggs right on this soft leather coral.

Yup, laid her eggs right on this soft leather coral.

(sorry for the out of focus photo, but that’s the only one I could find of her in “her” leather)

But.  But, but, but.  You get a dog or cat expecting it to live 10, 15, 20 years.  Same for many fish and sea critters.  So sad when a creature you’ve loved and cared for over many years passes.  Your child?  Mmm, the natural order of things is for your child to outlive you.   (I do wonder if this makes a difference for people who keep parrots they expect to outlive them, but still, not a child.)  And, yanno, it’s your child. If you get a new fish, and that fish dies when you get it home, or can’t adjust to the new tank and refuses to eat so it dies within days, it’s sad and aggravating and you’re glad you got the fish from somewhere that offers an “arrive alive” guarantee.  Cause now you’re going to get credit, and they’ll give you/ship you a new fish.  Baby?  Not exactly.  Not even remotely.

Regular Fringelings know I have a few friends who’ve lost children to fatal diseases.  I’ve had some terrifying times with Flower Child.  I have more friends whose children face horrendous diagnoses.  I’ve been zombified at Husband’s bedside in the Cardiac ICU more than once.  I’m not special, my family isn’t special.  There are thousands of families who face these events throughout the world, every day.  Many of them have pets they love and have loved.  Not one will tell you the loss or imminent loss  of their child/spouse/sibling/other is the same as the loss of Fido.

You love your dog/cat?  That’s wonderful, me too.  Swear you wouldn’t eat him no matter that you were facing certain death otherwise?  OK, I tend to doubt that I would eat mine either.  Can’t say for certain, seeing as I’ve never been lost and starving in the wilderness and I’m unlikely to ever be.  Besides, Big Senile Dog is old and tough and scrawny.  I will admit that Little Incredibly Dumb Dog’s back legs bear more than a passing resemblance to fuzzy chicken legs when she’s wet and in the bath.  Plump, too.

Humans are animals too.  Yes, we are.  And we’re at the top of the food chain.  I intend to stay there.  Now I’m off to eat my pasta with meatless meatballs.

15 comments

  1. Oh my. Just…. wow. Yes, I’ve seen those people, whose pets are elevated to the level of humans. Sometimes higher than humans, actually (what with the depravity of man and all.)

    You know you are dealing with an unhinged person when no matter what you tell them about your child, their reply is “ohhh I understand exactly what you mean, I’ve got a puppy/kitten/python, he’s my baby.” But the death aspect? Oh my. I’m glad I didn’t see that a couple weeks ago as our hearts broke with C’s passing.

    I hope I’m never forced to choose between Mickey and starvation. But if I was forced to choose between Mickey and one of my children? Absolutely no choice at all.

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    1. Unfreakin believable right? And yes, I’m still raw from C, as we all are.

      It’s exactly the same…and yet, I’m guessing kitty/puppy never asked their owner (partner? idk) why they can’t make the pain stop, or told them they were ready to go to heaven, or or or or or.

      No, no choice, and outrageous that it should even be a question. 😦

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  2. Crazy world we live in, even crazier people. I am an animal lover, I can’t have a dog because of the severity of my asthma. Choosing between an ANIMAL and my children (who I sometimes call animals 😉 ) I would choose the animal NO contest. I can’t even see how this would be a discussion.

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  3. I love my kitty, mrs fringe. I call him my baby. Well, fleabag, these last two days. 🙂 And I had a cat once who lived 24 years. That’s a long time. I loved her.

    I have an affinity for animals. I usually keep my trap shut about stuff but I will speak up in two instances, without hesitation: if I see cruelty to animals, or children.

    I eat meat and like to fish and I own a leather coat but if I had to eat my little kitty to survive, honestly, I would have a tough time doing it. But if I had a child who was starving, it would be done.

    I think the guy acted prematurely. Then again, I wasn’t there, so who am I to judge?

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    1. I feel the same way, except for not eating meat thing.

      It was interesting, reading the linked articles, his actions might not have been as premature as they seemed. He was on his own in the wilderness for over three months. By the time he was found–after eating the dog, he was very close to death. But, I wasn’t there either, so I’ll stick to judging the Monday morning quarterbackers who believe pet = child. 😉

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  4. Years ago I lost two sweet little puppies, and it was one of the shittiest times I can remember. Days spent going back and forth to the vet, watching them struggle to even stand up, and agreeing to have them be put down when it became clear they were suffering. I didn’t get a good night’s sleep for about four months after that. I’ve also lost older pets before…so really, I get it. It’s hard.

    But um…to compare that to the passing of a child…?? No. If I had lost a child and a friend said to me, “I’m so sorry for your loss, I understand, I’ve lost a dog/cat/some other pet before…” that friend would no longer be a friend.

    *sigh*

    *rant over*

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    1. Losing those puppies must have been very hard. No question, we love our pets.

      But…yeah. No. I’m not ranting anymore, but still smh. 😦

      Thanks for coming by and joining the conversation, and
      Welcome to Mrs Fringe!

      Like

  5. I love my pets, but they are not people. The loss of a neighbor or an acquaintance is greater than the loss of a pet. Years ago I lost a very special pup – you know the one you think of years later and smile about. He had been my friend for 14 years. It was tough losing him and I had some friends who sent cards and one even sent flowers – it was a kindness and it was thoughtful. I think it’s OK for it to hurt a lot to lose a pup, and I think it would have been tough to be in that spot where the choice had to be made to eat your pup or die – but I think most people would choose to live.

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  6. I remember reading a book by Jack Londn where he had to slice the dog open to use its heat as warmth. I kept quiet during the discussion that follows why? because I didn’t understand why people would sacrifice their lives for emotions. You love and dog, but that doesn’t mean freeze to death because you love it.

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    1. Exactly. I do love my dogs, but if push came to shove, I don’t think I would trade my life for theirs, and I know I wouldn’t trade their lives for my children. I also know I wouldn’t hesitate to trade my life for my children’s.

      Like

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