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A Mary T. Hoffman Commentary from


"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Arrogance - 22 Feb 2006
By Mary T. Hoffman

The other day I watched a “Nature” program called “Animals Behaving Badly” on Public TV. I quote from their TV Listings: “Presents new examples of animal/human conflicts based on the highly popular “Animals Behaving Badly” format from 2000.”

At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch this, because it sounded like more animal-bashing propaganda. At the end, I was left with mixed emotions. It underscored my concerns for the fast diminishing future well-being of all creatures, both humans and animals. Many of the dilemmas covered in the program are being played out right here where we live.

Why, you may ask, have I chosen “Arrogance” for my Blog title? As well-meaning as some of the people in the program appeared to be, others were real jerks. I couldn’t help but think that it is human arrogance that is causing these problems.

We humans think we are so superior. Sure, on one hand, we’ve come up with technological marvels. But on the other hand, we’re also causing global destruction.

We inadvertently introduce tree frogs and insects (an example from the program) to new areas, then place blame and scapegoat those creatures. We take over more and more land and then feel angry with the animals who are trying to survive.

And we talk out of both sides of our mouths (to use an old expression): We arrogantly choose to believe Descartes’ garbage about animals having no feelings and that it is ok to use them like machines; then when it suits our purpose, we describe their actions using human-like terms: clever, sneaky, resourceful.

Some people bash non-hunters as Bambi lovers who anthropomorphize animals. Then they claim (as a hunter did in an article on the front page of a newspaper) that a deer deliberately attacked. Isn’t this hunter anthropomorphizing the deer’s character? Wow! Attack deer and geese are on the loose! (Yes! A goose attack – claimed by another man not far from here.) What next? Attack rabbits?! Any propaganda to promote the killing of God’s creatures!

Yes, animals do have personalities and God-given characteristics that were meant for their own well-being and enjoyment, as well as our peaceful interaction with them. Think of our relationships with our companion animals. We wouldn’t consider these relationships as being arrogant; then why are so many people arrogant in describing sensitive people’s concerns for other animals?

Go on to: In His Image - 23 Feb 2006
Return to: Love, Fear and Hate - 21 Feb 2006
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