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Our Moral Progress in Question
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged
by the way its animals are treated." --Gandhi
I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to have my dog taken from me after some kind of incident and killed by my own city with no discussion. That’s what has happened to two dogs who, of course, happen to be pit bulls, Zeus and Wicca, this month in Quebec.
So, what about the countless bites by small dogs, which are much more common than those by larger canines? Furthermore, what about human-on-human attacks that can cause as much or more damage to a person? Should we execute all of those people too? Our jails would be practically empty!
Even if a dog attacks or bites many times and the owner does nothing to change his or her own behavior, let alone the dog’s, even then there are still other solutions to killing outright – mandatory muzzle and training or find new owners that will handle the dog properly, for example.
What does this attitude and breed specific legislation say about our society, our humanity? Don’t we give humans chance after chance to change and spend millions on keeping these perpetrators in jail and on trying to rehabilitate them?
Dogs are much more trainable and much easier to rehabilitate than humans, but because we can’t talk to them, ask them why they did this or that, or ask if they’re sorry or because they have big teeth, it’s just easier to get rid of them, right?
Why not focus on educating people about how to be good and responsible owners, providing easy access to training or, perhaps most importantly, teaching non-dog owners how to read and interact with dogs properly?
I have a friend who has been working on this amazing project called Pawsitive Leadership that “teach[es] children safety, responsibility, respect and empathy towards canines.” All parents want their kids to grow up to be responsible, compassionate adults – shouldn’t that extend to all living beings, not just humans?