Yes, I’m a fairly strange dude. This is not news to me, or anyone who knows me.
However, as individuals we have a tendency to exaggerate the characteristics of our relationship to our fellow human beings. We exaggerate our feelings sometimes which can either have positive or negative results. Slight differences become uncrossable chasms, while superficial similarities can forge seemingly close bonds. We’ve all been there. The more introspective of us realize the fragility and superficiality of almost all interactions.
Why? Why would I be moved less by the suffering of my own species and moved more by the suffering of animals? This seems to fly in the face of natural and moral reasoning…not to mention open me up for ridicule by the more conventionally callous, or condemnation by the more conventionally moral. Well, not by all. The PETA folks might agree with me, and there certainly are rabid ( I say in jest) dog lovers, cat lovers, horse lovers and the ilk.
Anyway, I haven’t come up with too many answers. The most that I have ready to go is a two-pronged explanation: 1) because animals are ‘cuter’ than people, are at the mercy of their owners and other strangers,and that isn’t even dipping one’s foot into the waters of all those wild animals suffering because of mankind’s encroachment on their natural habitats and 2) because humans are intentionally, systematically cruel on a regular basis, arrogant, selfish, wasteful, self centered, destructive, blind to their faults in regards to other creatures living on this planet, greedy etc. whereas other animals unless they are trained to be vicious just go about doing their natural instinct, survival thing.
Now some will say that a a pride of lionesses running down a young bushbuck or zebra is cruel. That is just nature. What is cruel are poachers butchering hundreds of elephants for their tusks and feet to sell on the black market. Not killing for sustenance, just for profit. Or polluting miles of shoreline with spilled oil or destroying habitat with poor forest management.
OK maybe the first argument is ridiculously subjective and not very convincing. Plenty of people find children to be cute, babies especially. I believe that I’m strange because I do not…but then again, I know for a fact that there are a number of people who would agree with me (about babies not being cute, I mean). Then again, not many people find spiders and toads cute, so I’m probably strange even among the subset! But seriously, there is a lot about us humans that leaves a lot to be desired.
to be continued…
Which ever side you fall on is up to you but most people do find themselves leaning in one direction or the other.