I’d hoped that it would be a long, long while before I came across more cases of animal cruelty in our islands. It’s been a perfectly horrible summer, with at least one horrific case of animal torture and killing every freaking month.
My usual reaction in such cases is anger, sadness, despair and fear. Anger at the bastards, of course. Sadness because these stories usually haunt me for ages after the whole hype is over. To date I have not seen the video of the poor, crucified pup for instance. Seeing Star’s pix was bad enough without adding further trauma, thank you. People make fun of me for caring. The criticisms they level against me include the following:
1. I don’t make as big a deal about cases of murdered people
2. There are starving people in the world, why am I wasting my energy on animals?
3. It’s just an animal, forget it
All the above criticisms are, of course, bull.
I don’t make as much of a big deal about murdered people because I EXPECT THE POLICE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT WITHOUT ME NECESSARILY HAVING TO STAGE A FULL-BLOWN CAMPAIGN. To be fair, the police are usually pretty good about fulfilling these expectations and I doubt they would appreciate people like me urging them to “do something about the murdered/beaten up/raped lady” given it’s a safe assumption that they’re already having sleepless nights doing just that.
With murdered animals it’s different. It took the voices of hundreds of united animal lovers to get the laws changed. It took the same hundreds of voices to get enforcement of said laws. If no one made a fuss, one case of a beat up dog would be swept under the carpet. Things are a tad different today and I do thank the powers that be, especially the police, for making it so. Whoever announced that he wasn’t happy with the punishments being meted out against jerks like the man who shot Star just is not being realistic. And that is one thing you can’t accuse me of.
To the second accusation. There are starving people in the world, why don’t you do something about them instead? This comment is very mystifying. How is being complacent about animal cruelty going to make the starving masses in Africa feel better? And what exactly do you expect me to do about the starving masses? I do my bit believe me. I’m a firm believer in helping the less fortunate. But I’ll reserve my right to also do my bit for the animals, thank you. Two wrongs do not make a right and neither do two rights (in this case campaigning for animal rights while also doing your bit for charity) make a wrong, not unless you’re Mogwai.
And finally, the third criticism. It’s just an animal. It is indeed. And I am not ashamed of saying that I like most animals more than I like most humans. I certainly cared for my dog more than I cared about certain people. So sue me.
So spare me all the pictures of the mutilated human bodies, all the reminders about abused children and all the murder statistics. Of course my heart goes out to them and to the people who loved them. Of course everything should be done to ensure the culprits spend the rest of their sad lives in prison. Of course I don’t condone violence of any form against any humans.
But empathy isn’t a finite resource that is to be used exclusively either for humans or animals. I am perfectly capable of being outraged by both. And I’m certainly outraged by this latest case of cruelty on campus. kudos to student Steffi Borg, who launched a Facebook group on Monday afternoon and in the space of three days gathered 1325 other animal lovers to her cause (and still counting). Please join by clicking here.
I am not going to join the bandwagon and point fingers. Just because a group of youngsters gather regularly in the vicinity, unless there is some proof I’m unaware about, assuming these guys are the culprits is just not on. For all we know, the majority of them might be ardent cat lovers. And for all we know, the sweet lady who lives around the corner might be the guilty sicko.
What amazes me in all these past instances of animal cruelty is how no one has yet made the connection that someone who is capable of doing certain things to an animal is extremely likely to eventually cross that line with humans. Enough books have been written on the subject and I’m far from being a psychiatrist, so you can all do your own research. One things for sure, if I lived in Mosta, I would not be happy knowing there is someone so disturbed living in close proximity.
Will this Facebook group make any difference? That is up to the authorities of course. But I applaud these students for trying their damnedest.