wilderness

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.