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Discussion About the Article:
Violent Role Models:
George Bush Sr. and the United Methodist Church

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Comments by Roger Kimble
8 July 2001

Dear Mike,

It is obvious that [we] have come to an impasse in our discussion of how we should restrain, or not restrain, our companion animals.  Part of this comes about from our individual life views, and what we each consider cruelty, and also as to what means we would use to reach our own desired ends.

I have no problem with fencing for a yard.  It serves a good and useful purpose and allows the dog to at least have some illusion of being free.  In fact, I had a fence around my yard for this purpose until my Cocker friend of 16 years passed away.  I then removed the fence for other reasons.  However, the fence served no purpose for the various cats I then owned, and now own.  So, no argument over a fence around a yard, nor for using a leash for WALKING the dog, or EXERCISING it.  After almost three decades of volunteering with the county humane society, I have no idea of how many dogs I have seen chained, and chained for life.  Every day, every week, every month, every year, chained to the same spot.  I do not believe this is humane.   After awhile, the dogs lose the sparkle in their eyes, and a little farther down the road, they lose interest in most things around them, or, even worse, they turn vicious.  As I think I would do also.

As Frank pointed out, there is a very thin line here.  Sometimes we mean well, and yes, I think everyone on this list means well when it comes to the humane treatment of animals, but sometimes the methods we use are worse than the results we are so desperately trying to avoid.

And then, as briefly mentioned earlier, there are the cats.  Leash them?   Tie them?  I doubt it.  Maybe once.

Each companion animal seems to be different in some ways.  Some dogs will not chase birds, others live for it.  And so we go, on and on.

I think what we have to seriously consider is what means we are employing to reach an end.  First we should be certain that the end we are seeking is the right one.   Then, decide how we reach it and are the means used justified, or worse, than the end.  It is very easy to get bogged down here and lose track of just what it is we are trying to do.

In an imaginary country, let's say there is great unrest and a rebellion starts.   Whether or not it is right in our eyes, let's leave out right now.  The main problem is to restore peace, for whatever reason. Negotiations can be tried, but again, let's say they utterly fail.  The powers that be then resort to drastic means and just either jail or shoot all dissenters.  Ah, once again, peace is restored. All is well.  But is it?  Really?  At what price?  We have the desired end, peace.  But the means used to attain that peace is worse than the unrest that preceded it.

And so it goes.  By the way, the story of that legless sparrow would make a great article for persevering in spite of obstacles.  You should think of writing it for one of the humane or animal mags. Or one of the health mags that are everywhere.   Seriously, the courage of that little bird is a wonderful thing and more people should know of it.  It might spur them into not giving up.

My best,

Roger

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