Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Pets and death

Here in UK, pets are really taken care of, often better than children!  Thus in one sense, it is better to be born an animal in this part of the world than a human being in some other parts of the world, where life is precarious and has no great value!! 

So it is that when pets reach the end of their life, they are often euthanized rather than left to die naturally.  'More humane' they say!  Rightly so!  More humane, for humans; but for the animal?  Those who argue that pets cannot really understand pain, must also be willing to concede that they do not understand joy and affection and tenderness.  And if they do concede an animal to be capable of the latter, then the former too is as much a reality.  The difference though is that while animals can feel pain, joy and affection and sorrow, they do not make sense of it - at least not in human terms.  The pain and agony that human beings undergo in the face of death is different from that of animals.  Death itself is often not the source of suffering; it is the knowledge and the anxiety that accompanies it that causes pain and suffering.  An animal most often is not anxious about its death (at least not like humans). 

So I guess pets are euthanized mostly not for their sake, but for our (owner's) sake!  It is often for the pain that we feel, when we see our pets suffering, we think that it cannot and need not take any more.  (However, just because animals do not have a sense of death and make meaning out of the suffering, does not mean that they can be culled at will for no genuine reason.  Anyone doing so, is certainly not living up to his or her humanity!)

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