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"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.


Scapegoating – 6 July 2006
By Mary T. Hoffman

More and more I am becoming aware of the subtle and not-so-subtle ways that humans worldwide “take out” or relieve their frustrations on others. These “others” may be humans or they may be other animals. Scapegoating is an ages-old method of placing blame or “dumping.” It is so common that many people aren’t even aware of it.

Here is one example: the TV commercial for a window cleaning product. This ad is an example of humans attributing negative characteristics – ones found only in their own species – to non-humans. A couple of cartoon-like magpies trick a human man into walking into a closed glass door that has just been cleaned, and rendered invisible, with this window cleaning spray. The magpies are overjoyed by the man’s blunder. It is obvious that this ad is meant to be funny, while the point is made about the alleged excellence of this glass cleaner. (Advertisers, as well as speech writers, know that humor relaxes people, thereby making them more open and accepting of the message presented.)

Many humans (particularly hunters, who often cite “Bambi”) accuse animal advocates of anthropomorphizing other animals – of attributing human traits to non-humans. Yet, isn’t this what these accusers do in their cynical attempts to denigrate those of other species whom they deem inferior? It seems that every autumn, during hunting season, the newspapers print some hunter’s complaint of a deer or goose attack. How about a killer rabbit?! The hunters’ desire to justify and excuse their cruelty against animals, who have the God-given right to live their lives without the harassment of humans, crosses over into the absurd and ridiculous. It’s interesting that while some people will cite some human-like characteristics of other animals, they often try to ignore or downplay the horrific physical and emotional pain suffered by these creatures of God. It is time for the lying to stop and for the legal rights of other animals to be established.

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