The original Lamento Rumeno website specifically deals with Laura Pontini’s crusade to protect and rescue dogs in Romania.
To be honest, I’m a relatively thick-skinned bastard, especially when it comes to my fellow human beings. I’m the oaf who cheers at the over-the-top kills in a horror film and delights in playing first-person shooters (the gorier the better). I can weather an autopsy with very little squeamishness, and only the most abstract sort of empathy. Photos and footage of casualties of war are far more likely to arouse my outrage against the perpetrators than my sadness and pity for the victims.
However, I can’t even begin to look at the evidence that Laura Pontini has amassed on her website and MySpace page without tears springing to my eyes. It is too immediately heartbreaking if you have any love in your heart for dogs, or animals in general.
Go take a look and see for yourself (www.myspace.com/lamentorumeno). But don’t say I didn’t warn you. It’s truly horrible.
The good news is that Pontini and others have significantly improved conditions in Romania since her struggle began. That’s worth cheering, and supporting. I have far more respect and esteem for her than I have for 99.9% of the people who are celebrated by our media and the general population.
Hey, we are animals, you know.
It’s prima facie for superstitious people, who believe that we possess something called a soul and animals do not. Okay, that’s a bit of a simplification; some people think that animals also have souls — and some have a complex cosmology that says some animals have souls and some don’t (my guess is that these folks probably believe that the cute ones get to have a soul).
Well, if I end up in an afterlife in which there are no animals, I will long for Earth and all of its horrors.
Anyway, the only difference between humans and other animal species is a difference of scale. We may have more (or less) of any given characteristic or attribute, but nothing ‘additional’ or ‘novel’ when compared to other species.
I know that many of you really want to believe it. Just as the Jews like to think that they’re the chosen people and Americans like to think that they must spread freedom and democracy and Chicken McNuggets over the face of the Earth…by force, if necessary. Just like Aryans are the Master Race — and anything that they do to the mud people is okay, right?
We all want to know that we’re unique and special and destined for greater things, and it scares some people silly to think that we wonderful human beings are no better than damn dirty apes. For one thing, if we are indeed animals, then all the horrible things that we’ve done to our fellow animals throughout the centuries is a huge black mark on the collective soul of humanity (and even if we’re not, didn’t I read something about god telling us to take care of the beasts and the trees? Looks like we’re screwed either way, huh?).
Luckily, there is no god and no soul. But there is a conscience, and there are consequences. The reckoning for our belated realization may be more than future generation can bear. Look how long we’ve been cleaning up the moral and social mess from a mere century or two of slavery!