Friday, July 10, 2009

Optimus Prime Said, "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."


If you're very easily bothered by animal cruelty (like I am), STOP reading this post right now. Seek respite from your workday elsewhere...

David Santuomo is a no good son-of-a-bitch that's getting off way too easily. The man and his wife were about to go on vacation and apparently didn't want to spend the money boarding their two mixed breed dogs, Sloopy and Skeeter. So what did he do?

No, he didn't leave them with a friend or family member. No, he couldn't even ask a friend or family member to come over, feed them, and let them out. Oh no, that would have been too much to ask.

Instead, he tied the two dogs to a pipe in his basement, manufactured a homemade silencer using a two-liter plastic bottle, attached said silencer to the end of his rifle, and shot and killed both dogs.

One dog was shot SIX TIMES. Either this guy is a poor marksman, or he was enjoying this.

He then disposed of the remains in a dumpster.

According to this blog post, what's even more outrageous is the fact that two neighbors VOLUNTEERED TO WATCH THE DOGS WHILE THEY WERE AWAY.

As part of a plea deal, this guy was sentenced to 90 days in jail to be served over the course of two years, some fines, and some community service. Bastard got off easy, if you ask me.

____

Speaking of people who got off easy, Michael Vick recently got out of prison. I know, I know, the guy served two years and most think his football career is ruined (it's not, someone is going to pick him up eventually and he'll make more than enough money to forget about his time spent inside), so many believe he's paid his debt to society. I think a more apt sentence would have been for him to serve six years, which is exactly how long he ran the illegal dogfighting operation. Yep, that's right. SIX YEARS.

To think of the pointless suffering all those dogs had to endure, so Vick and co. had something to gamble on is just sickening. Dogs, as we all know, are sentient beings, capable of experiencing pleasure and pain. Any dog owner will tell you they're capable of experiencing sensations more complex than just pleasure and pain too, and anyone capable of purposely putting dogs through that much suffering is morally reprehensible.

As Optimus Prime explained in Transformers, "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings." Crap movie, but decent quote.

24 comments:

Rita Vetere said...

Brian-

As you know, I'm a dog lover and was outraged by that story. I say the bastard ought to be dealt with in the same manner he dealt with those two helpless dogs.

Here's another dog story that happened in Toronto. Read it all the way through to find out what happened to the owner in that case--a much more satisfactory ending:

Toronto News


--Rita

seanag said...

It is so sad and strange that there is a thread of thought that doesn't credit animals with a feeling life. It can be very convenient for us to think otherwise, but both simple observation and common sense would dictate compassion for them.

That said, I still can't quite figure out why I'm not a vegetarian.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Rita -

Thanks for sharing. A much better ending to this story. I was happy to read a bystander had hit the guy that left the Rottie in the car.

That Rottie in the picture reminded me immediately of Bear too! :)

And don't get me started on Vick. To all the people that say, "He's suffered enough because his football career is ruined," I say: "As it should be." Even though it probably isn't.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Seana,

I just don't understand how the firefighter was able to kill those two dogs. Jenna and I consider Bear and Gracie almost like our children. As a matter of fact, when we're talking to Bear or Gracie about one another, we refer to each other as "Mommy" and "Daddy."

That's probably a bigger glimpse than anyone wanted into the private lives of the O'Rourkes.

You do make a good point about vegetarianism. I do see a difference between killing for food and killing for...killing. That being said, I have read some pretty horrifying things about the incredibly poor treatment of animals destined for our tables though.

seanag said...

Though some might say you are anthropomorphizing your dogs, there is a certain sense in which people anthropormophize their children as well--treating the little savages as human until they actually become human.

Yes, killing animals for survival is different, but some of the practices are extraordinarily inhumane. And really, I don't wonder for anyone else whether they should be a vegetarian, I just think it's the logical extension of my own feelings about animals. And yet, I still eat them.

Rita Vetere said...

Seana makes a good point about eating meat. For me, I know it's because I can pick up a steak or chicken breast in a sterile package without any real connection to how the meat got there. I guarantee if I had to watch the cow being killed, I wouldn't be eating that steak. Hypocrital perhaps, but I bet many people are desensitized because they've never had to kill their own food. Regardless, I still refuse to eat veal.

But back to dogs, there IS something different about them. And yes, I'm a dog lover who's had a dog in the house since the day I was born, but read the story of Bobby, if you don't already know it:

Bobby belonged to John Gray, who worked for the Edinburgh City Police as a night watchman, and the two were inseparable for approximately two years. On 15 February 1858 Gray died of tuberculosis. He was buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard, the graveyard surrounding Greyfriars Kirk in the Old Town of Edinburgh. Bobby, who survived Gray by fourteen years, is said to have spent the rest of his life sitting on his master's grave.

Bobby died in 1872 and could not be buried within the cemetery itself, since it was consecrated ground; instead, he was buried just inside the gate of Greyfriars Kirkyard, not far from John Gray's grave.

Now, if someone can find a story about a chicken or a cow that mourned its owner that way, I'll go on the record and say I'll never eat steak or chicken again.

:-) Rita

Brian O'Rourke said...

Seana,

"treating the little savages as human until they actually become human"

Laughed out loud at this one ;) As for anthropomorphizing the dogs, that may be true. Then again, we humans are just animals after all, so maybe we're not seeing "human" qualities in the dogs so much as we're seeing universal animal qualities in them and then focusing on our similarities. But I should probably leave proving that theory to men more learned than myself.

v word: manown.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Rita,

What a lovely story! I'd never heard it before.

BTW, when's the next chat? And I keep meaning to ask - is that ticker on the bottom of your web page keep track the number of visitors? If so, congrats!

marco said...

Now, if someone can find a story about a chicken or a cow that mourned its owner that way, I'll go on the record and say I'll never eat steak or chicken again.

They aren't exactly treated in the same way, though - I doubt I'd mourn the passing of someone who plans to kill me for food and makes me live in a stable. It would be like Hansel and Gretel feeling affection for the Witch.

Many animals would grow affectionate towards humans if they were given the some amount of affection and care.
There's a guy who has been gifted a little piglet, and didn't have the heart to kill him when it was the right time- it has basically been brought up as a dog and behaves accordingly, licking him, following him everywhere...

Rita Vetere said...

Brian--

Yes, I love that story. You can read more about Bobby here


The counter does keep track of visitors to my website--anyone can get one free by googling "free counter".

I've not arranged a next chat yet, as I am looking to change the format and do something different. If you've any brilliant ideas, drop me a line and share!

Have a great week kiddo.

-Rita

Brian O'Rourke said...

Marco,

Pigs are good examples too. I knew someone that had a pet pig, and it did act very much like, though not exactly like, a dog would.

I wonder where we draw the line, though? Or if a meaningful line can be drawn?

Brian O'Rourke said...

Rita,

A Skye Terrier too! I can personally attest to that breed's wonderful personality and loyalty. When I came in to this world, my parents owned a Skye Terrier named Muffy, a great dog that loved to play in the backyard with me all the time from the day I could walk to practically the day of her passing.

Rita Vetere said...

Many animals would grow affectionate towards humans if they were given the some amount of affection and care.

Marco, this is very true, and frankly I agree with what you're saying. I really do believe that all life is sacred, and this post has really caused me to do some thinking about why I eat meat.

I, too, have heard that pigs can make lovely pets.

I also agree with Brian that it is difficult to know where to draw the line. If I decide to stop eating meat, what do I do about wearing leather shoes?

seanag said...

Well, Rita, I expect that if you decided to stop wearing leather shoes, you could just move here to Santa Cruz, where that decision is made all the time. It's not even uncommon. I suspect that one reason that I'm not a vegetarian in fact is my contrarian nature, since it's so much the norm here in some circles.

Or you could become a Jain and move to India, where they literally sweep the ground gently in front of them as they walk in order not to hurt any insects. It seems a bit extreme, but that's only from our perspective.

What I think is interesting is that very often people and especially children form strong attachments to animals that are not dogs or cats but are talked out of them by their parents. I knew a boy in school who lived on a turkey farm, and for some reason he did have a favorite turkey that he was bonded with. But the parents killed it along with all the other turkeys. I don't remember if he was still sad about the event or if he had shifted over to the parent's point of view. But the fact that he was telling the story in a sixth grade classroom has to mean that the turkey remained important to him in some way.

And my dad, who was an Illinois farm boy, still retained affection for a cow that knew how to unlatch a gate with its horn. This was on a dairy farm, so I don't think it came to an early end, though probably it didn't die of old age either.

Rita Vetere said...

Seana,

My dad was a dairy farmer too, in England, before we came to Canada :-)

Don't think I'd make a very good Jain. As the only person in my household who's not phobic about insects, I've been forced to massacre many of them over the years...

The story about the boy who formed an attachment to the turkey puts me in mind of when my daughter was very young, 4 or 5, and a snowy dove flew into our window, injuring itself. My daughter insisted we try to help the bird, even though it seemed to be dying. Tried to explain the bird was beyond help, but she was inconsolable. My husband and I took the bird to the vet with our daughter in tow and paid to try to save it, because we recognized how strongly she felt about helping the bird. Paid $200.00. Bird died. But I don't regret doing it. Thought it was important to validate what my daughter was feeling.

-Rita

seanag said...

Good for you, Rita. Some of my own early experiences with animals were not really validated in that kind of way, even though my parents were very kind people in general.

One of my friends has very much kept that instinct in tact. I'd like to say that I drew the line at helping her save jellyfish stranded on the beach, but in fact I did not. We made little rafts of seaweed and threw them back.

marco said...

I wonder where we draw the line, though? Or if a meaningful line can be drawn?

Generally humans draw the line at cute animals that they don't need to eat.

What I think is interesting is that very often people and especially children form strong attachments to animals that are not dogs or cats but are talked out of them by their parents.

The rabbits (cries) you made me remember the rabbits (sobs) cruelly slaughtered by my Grandfather (weeps desperately)

seanag said...

Sorry for the relived trauma, Marco.

Generally humans draw the line at cute animals that they don't need to eat.

I expect that's about right.

Rita, have you seen the movie Antz? Or A Bug's Life? I suppose you probably shouldn't if you're the resident insect terminator.

v word is fetiv, which is probably a festive occasion that is missing something, but not quite a 'fetid' occasion either.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Marco,

Just let it all out brother, you'll feel better.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Seana,

Now see, jellyfish scare the crap out of me. The idea that they could just be lurking under the surface, and about to inadvertently sting the hell out of me has kept me out of the ocean at least two or three times in my life.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Rita,

At work, I've recently moved into a new office, and I'm surrounded by women who are afraid of insects, so that murderous task has fallen to me too.

Speaking of which, I was given a promotion of sorts a couple of weeks ago, which explains the scarce number of blog posts during this time period. I hope once I get a handle on my new responsibilities that I'll be able to resume posting more regularly.

Rita Vetere said...

Hey Brian--

Congrats on the promotion--which I assume has nothing to do with your new responsibility as insect-slayer. Srsly, huge congrats!

Seana, never saw Antz or A Bugs Life. (Probably just as well. I have enough guilt to deal with!)

-Rita

Brian O'Rourke said...

Rita,

Thanks. And yes, they forgot to advise me that insectocide was one of my job duties. Had I known, I would have asked for more money of course.

seanag said...

Yes, congratulations on the promotion, Bryan. You seem to be juggling the blogging and the new responsibilities pretty well. Hope the thing that's getting cut out is not the actual writing time, though.