•    Why Should I Care if My Own Ox is Not Getting Gored?   

    Scales of Balanced Justice

    Why Should I Care if My Own Ox is Not Getting Gored?

    If you choose to accept, as a society standard, the mind-set of the individual who only cares when “his own ox is getting gored” — then DON’T expect anyone to care when YOU get gored and slaughtered within that same environmental framework of callous indifference.

    On the Serengeti Plains, the lion singles-out one zebra from a herd of many hundred, and the lion has his way with that lone zebra — BECAUSE the zebra herd does not realize that their strength in numbers could easily and decisively defeat a few attacking lions. The zebra is an incredibly strong, formidable animal. One zebra-kick to the head of a lion can be fatal. But because a zebra apparently lacks the cerebral resources to figure this out, he adopts a tunnel-vision policy of “every man for himself” and he simply does not care about the danger to all UNTIL he himself is getting thrashed and devoured. By then, it’s far too late to start thinking about the “strength in numbers” safety of the herd strategy.

    Humans, however, are credited with having far greater intelligence than the zebra. But if this assumption of superior human intelligence really is true, why does such a huge majority of human beings cling to a zebra-like tunnel-vision mind-set that says “I don’t care because my own ox is not getting gored?” It’s important that we understand “WHY” because this prevailing tendency is robbing humans of a tremendous, mammoth survival advantage that we would otherwise be enjoying as a species, to insulate humans rather securely from a torrent of life’s real dangers. WHY are so many humans surrendering or obliterating this enormous advantage?

    The answer is, quite simply, a grotesquely distorted, inaccurate perception of ‘self’ and of ‘other.’ The typical individual — commonly self-absorbed and drowning in his own ego — tends to harbor an acutely bloated, lofty, inaccurate estimation of his own wisdom and intelligence, while maintaining a typically low regard for the well-being and intelligence of ‘others’ — whom he staunchly differentiates from himself, as inferior. As a consequence, when such a bloated, dishonest egotistical mind-set encounters a “victim” he most often does NOT empathize with or identify with that victim because he erroneously perceives that victim as being an ‘other’ that is inferior to himself.

    Thus, such a dishonest superiority-plagued mindset assumes, without justification, that this inferior ‘victim’ probably caused his own demise and injuries by doing something ill-advised or stupid which no person of superior intelligence (like himself) would ever do. This rationale tries to justify this distinction between ‘self’ and the ‘other’ (victim) by reinforcing the bogus assumption that “I CAN help save ME by virtue of my superior intelligence, but I can NOT help save the ‘other’ (the victim) — precisely because of their profoundly inferior intelligence.” A compressed restatement of this sentiment would read: “You can’t save people from themselves – – from their own self-inflicted stupidity — so just focus on saving yourself.”

    Every victim will tell you that ANYONE can be a victim — even a brilliant, intelligent genius. The 9\11 World Trade Center victims and their families would tell you “they did not deserve that calamity — they did not do anything stupid or irresponsible to ’cause’ the misfortune inflicted on them.” The families and parents of the little children ruthlessly murdered in the Newtown school massacre know, with certainty, that those children did NOT do anything wrong, or stupid, or irresponsible to cause the tragedy inflicted on them while they were in their school.

    Only a LACK OF Intelligence and Honesty could produce such a “blame the victim” mind-set that doesn’t care until one’s own ox is getting gored. This lack of intelligence “blame the victim” mind-set is sociopathic — in the extreme, and it’s both dishonest and, ironically, self-destructive.

    Ben Franklin understood this when he said, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” In essence he was saying, “Don’t wait until your own ox is getting gored before you unify forces, because by then it will be too late.”

    Perhaps this typical self-centered tunnel-vision human condition is the natural extension of the national precepts embedded in the American bedrock concept of “Individual Rights” and its lopsided obsession with the supremacy of the individual right to the pursuit of happiness. If one is focused on the rights, interests and well-being of the whole collective of individuals in society — one is labeled a “socialist” or a “communist.” And if one is focused solely on the sanctity and supremacy of the ‘individual’ and his exclusive individual inalienable rights — one is labeled a good red-blooded American who is rightly embracing “The American Way.”

    And this lopsided militant obsession with the supremacy of “individual rights” further alienates us from the interests and concerns of the whole collective society because, as one might expect from a self-centered, narcissistic perspective, the individualist (typical libertarian) reverently worships the sanctity of individual ‘rights’ while militantly repudiating the notion of there being attendant, counter-balancing ‘responsibilities’ embedded in those ‘rights.’ For the libertarian individualist, more rights is ‘good’ and more responsibilities is ‘bad’ — as in anti-American — because it attaches a ‘burden’ to those rights — and self-centric Ayn Rand devotees invariably demand a ‘free lunch’ — i.e. — something for nothing — i.e. — rights without attendant responsibilities. If you try to impose responsibilities on an individualist — expect to be labeled a socialist, a communist, and an unAmerican totalitarian dictator. Anyone who has ever raised a five-year-old is familiar with this mindset.

    What is missing is a primary and secondary educational system that accurately inculcates the bedrock American precept that ‘rights’ necessarily entail responsibilities — just as adulthood ‘necessarily’ entails responsibilities. We can’t go on enjoying the ‘no responsibilities’ childhood free-ride forever.

    Humans are blessed with a supreme survival advantage in this World – Intelligence – and we are squandering it and nullifying it on a mass scale, by allowing our acute, gargantuan narcissistic egotism to utterly distort and falsify our perception of reality, leaving us exposed with a soft vulnerable underbelly. Why aren’t logic and sound reasoning skills taught in elementary school, junior high and high school? Why do educators stress rote memory skills and the accumulation of ‘knowledge’ – as a database of ‘things’ knowledge, while utterly ignoring the logic and reasoning skills that are indispensable for disclosing the vital implications embedded in this database of ‘things’ we have knowledge of?

    Our educational teaching system is obsessed with giving us a torrent of ‘things’ to remember in rote fashion, as though a treasure-trove of trivia database facts is all we need – – – without teaching even the rudiments of logic or reasoning skills necessary to responsibly ‘process’ all that data. In so doing, humans are squandering and nullifying the greatest survival advantage we possess — Intelligence and Compassion.

    We continue to do this at our own peril. We cannot long endure if we continue to allow acute emotional egotism to trump reason and Compassion, while distorting our perceptions reality.


    The Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog

  •    Human Dishonesty Against Animals   

    Scales of Balanced Justice

    Abstract: In order to protect animals from abuse – we must be candid and HONEST about what abuses are actually routinely taking place right under our noses. Typically, the media lacks this kind of candor and honesty. But HERE we disclose the naked, lamentable TRUTH lurking behind the whitewash media euphemisms.

    The term “Human Dishonesty Against Animals” at first blush sounds awkward. One might think, “shouldn’t it be ‘Human Dishonesty ABOUT Animals?’ ” We phrase it as “AGAINST Animals” in order to emphasize the point that this is a deliberate, calculating, intentional and intractable human attempt to demote animals to a lower ‘value’ rating than humans and to denigrate their importance while trivializing their pain and suffering — compared to human suffering. It is a strategic dishonest human exercise in “jaundiced perceptions” engaged in by humans as a matter of self-serving specie-biased convenience, very much like political boundary gerrymandering that seeks to strategically and dishonestly redraw voting district boundaries — solely to dilute the votes of a targeted group in order to rob them of their political voice in government. Human dishonesty regarding non-human animals is calculated to hide the human atrocities committed against animals while either denying or trivializing the horrific, unconscionable pain and suffering animals endure. Clearly this is AGAINST animals – while exalting and prioritizing human’s superiority complex.

    The dishonesty we are talking about is the surreptitious ‘slight-of-hand’ manipulations of so-called ‘facts’ when considering the interests of non-human animals versus the interests of human animals. Let’s start with the terms and the euphemisms. Usually we say “humans” versus “animals” — as though humans are not animals, but something ‘higher’ and more important than just ‘animals.’ We human animals tend to absolutely deplore any attempt to connect us with chimps, gorillas or the horseshoe crab, when reaching back through the biological causal chain of events for the origins of life. It’s a kind of condescending inbuilt bias humans have ‘for’ human animals and ‘against’ non-human animals.

    Then there’s the torrent of commonplace idioms and phrases humans use which desensitize people to the meaning of the expressions and trivialize the horror of the acts alluded to. Phrases like: “killing two birds with one stone” — “line-up all your ducks in a row’ — “hog tied” — “pig in a blanket” — “I ought to tan your hide” — “tougher than shoe-leather” — “We’ve got bigger fish to fry” — “easy as shooting ducks in a pond” — “red as a lobster” — “a pig in the poke” — “he flopped around like a chicken with its head cut off.”

    These phrases desensitize people to the horrors of the acts every time these phrases are used. And they trivialize the suffering behind those acts. It illustrates just how sociopathic humans have become — to be so estranged from any level of Compassion or human decency.

    We also see this bias embedded in a phalanx of other terms. When referring to non-human animals humans invariably refer to them as “it.” Most pet owners refer to their pets as “he” or “she.” The term “it” converts the creature into an object, like a rock or a table, as opposed to a sentient “being.” Occasionally one hears someone refer to an infant as an “it” and I always cringe when I hear that too. If there is uncertainty as to the gender of an infant or a non-human animal it is better to call them a “he” or a “she” and risk the 50\50 chance it might be wrong, as opposed to calling them an “it” which has a 100% guarantee that it is wrong. Whenever I hear a pet owner refer to their pet as “s\he” I always feel relieved because I feel more confident that the pet is probably in a good home – because they see their pet as a ‘being’ and not an object.

    One couldn’t help but notice the disproportionate amount of attention lavished on the human victims of the BP Gulf Oil Spill Disaster compared to the attention given to the non-human animal victims, who were suffering mind-boggling horrid deaths, while the human fishermen’s suffering was largely confined to financial losses. It’s a self-serving operating assumption of convenience, that “dead animals” are just incidental expendable “road kill” lying on the side of the road — something the Transportation Department should clear away as soon as possible so as not to create a hazard or an eye-sore for human animals. Beings are beings, and suffering is suffering. Suffering does not cease to be suffering simply because it is happening to someone else other than ourselves.

    This human dishonesty is particularly apparent when one looks at the criminal statutes and sentencing statutes for incomprehensibly horrific acts of cruelty perpetrated against non-human animals, even when they are someone’s beloved pet — a virtual, actual family member for most pet owners. The law treats animals as mere ‘property’ — “objects” – something humans ‘own’ and ‘possess,’ like a golf bag or a pair of shoes, which the law says one should be free to discard as one pleases. And if a human cruelly tortures and kills another human’s pet, the legal system holds that reimbursing the owner for the market value of the pet constitutes full and “just compensation” for their loss. The perpetrator makes out quite well when s\he tortures and kills a pet that was a pound mutt that is not a pedigree. This twisted mind-set goes beyond just being “dishonest.” It’s flat-out demented and sociopathic — and its deeply embedded in the human culture and legal system, even though pet owners most often see their pet companions as actual ‘beings’ and as actual family members.

    There’s so many ways that human dishonesty against animals manifests itself.

    There’s the dishonest flim-flam ‘slight-of-hand’ dishonesty that goes on in the Animal Experimentation debates. It especially happens when the argument hones in on WHY it is morally impermissible to experiment on humans. The answer is always the same — “because of the pain, suffering and death it would inflict on the human, where that human is not the targeted beneficiary of the experiment.” Yet this reason would also apply to animals. There’s not a single aspect of that ‘reason’ that does not also apply to animals. Yet, in every Animal Experimentation debate I have ever participated in, there is a staunch refusal to honestly admit that this would apply to non-human animals as well as humans and would make such experimentation equally immoral. What one always hears as a rebuttal at these debates comes in the way of pettifoggery — Machiavellian double-talk — as Ph.D. experimenters argue that “we do not know with any degree of certainty that animals suffer as humans do.” It’s a response only a sociopath or a pickpocket could embrace. We know they have a central nervous system like ours that feels pain, experiences fear and like humans, animals seek to avoid that pain and escape from the source of that fear. And no amount of flim-flam woo woo double-talk is ever going to hide that fact.

    This human dishonesty even permeates the local government so-call “Shelters” (“Animal Kill Centers” — the Dog Pound), where sham euphemisms are routinely used to distort and misrepresent what is really going on behind closed doors. Typically you will hear a Pound director stating that they “Euthanized” 2,000 animals that year (for example) — because no homes could be found for them. (fn 1).   On July 12, 2010 CBS News had a story about “400 Canada Geese Killed for Air Safety Reasons.” The subheading for the CBS story read “Mass Euthanization of Geese a Step in Goal of …”. They did NOT “Euthanize” these animals or these Canadian Geese!! They “Exterminated” them. They “Exterminated” perfectly healthy, non-injured, non-suffering animals for human convenience. The ‘human convenience’ is that the Pound keeps picking up animals in the neighborhood in an effort to clear the streets of the rift-raft nuisance ‘items’ neighbors complain about. The ‘human convenience’ is that the humans saved humans the time, the expense and inconvenience of solving the Canadian Geese problem in an intelligent, non-violent, humanitarian manner. One way or another, this ‘rift-raft’ was to be discarded — either to an adopting human or to an incinerator. They chose the unintelligent, violent, ruthless ‘incinerator’ method.

    The term “Euthanize” only applies when it is done solely for the benefit of the Euthanized animal to alleviate horrific immediate pain and suffering of that animal, and only where it is a last resort because the animal’s condition is terminal and there is no medical cure for his\her disease or illness. It is worth noting that the fraudulent, deliberate misuse of the term “Euthanize” has deep roots in the Nazi propaganda machine that served Hitler’s Grand Plan for genetic purity (Eugenics Program), as they too sought to clear the streets of the human ‘rift-raft’ — the physically disabled, the mentally disabled, the elderly, the gays, the gypsies and the Jews. Hitler and the Nazi Regime called this the “T4 Euthanasia Program.” (fn 3-6).

    This particular human dishonesty about the term “Euthanasia” regarding animals is virtually identical to the Nazi calculated misuse of the term, in that it seeks to conceal (via misrepresentation) the true reality of what is taking place and why, by hiding it behind a sham euphemism that falsifies the reasons for the killing and falsifies the intended beneficiary of the killing, just as the Nazi Regime did. Virtually every respected dictionary and encyclopedia defines Euthanasia as: “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.” (fn 3 – 5). Sometimes referred to as “Mercy Killing,” it is unmistakably clear that the sole purpose of the mercy killing is to alleviate the pointless, unequivocal and extreme suffering of the creature being killed. There is no OTHER ‘ulterior’ motive — no OTHER intended beneficiary — no OTHER collateral purpose or interest being served when TRUE “Euthanasia” is implemented. And it is only done when the animal’s medical condition is “terminal” — thereby making the suffering pointless.

    Killing one being, taking one life solely for the benefit of another (namely the one doing the killing) is NOT, I repeat, is NOT “Euthanasia” in any sense of that term and that term should never ever be used to describe such conduct. Mass extermination is NOT euthanasia.

    Killing one being, taking one life solely for the benefit of another (namely the one doing the killing) is called “EXTERMINATION” because that is exactly what it is. It is precisely what Hitler’s Nazi Regime did with humans – he “EXTERMINATED” them for the twisted perceived benefit of society (others) under his demented notion of a genetically pure race of human beings. The killing of these Canadian Geese is no more “Euthanasia” than is the Nazi genocide.

    It would appear that all those engaged in this “Extermination Program” and all those in the media reporting about it, are acutely aware of how immoral, unethical, unjustifiable and reprehensible this “Extermination Program” really is, otherwise there would be no need to cover it up with fraudulent, sham euphemisms, as the Nazi’s did. Hitler knew that if he called it what it really was, “Extermination,” there would have been a mass revolt. Hitler deliberately falsified what he was doing by calling it “Euthanasia” knowing that most people deem Euthanasia to be a ‘humanitarian’ act of kindness, rather than a ruthless, senseless genocide. Hitler understood that the public had already fully accepted the misuse of that term (Euthanasia) at the animal control centers, where massive numbers of animals were routinely killed every day. Even though the public knew it was NOT really euthanasia that was going on, they accepted the misuse of that term, and Hitler’s plan was to get the public to react the same way with his planned “T4 Euthanasia Program” aimed at exterminating select categories of the human population. Hitler reasoned, “If you call it ‘euthanasia’ and characterize it as ‘absolutely necessary’ the public will accept it just as they had at the animal control centers. And as it turned out, Hitler was dead right. The public bought the dishonest snow-job, hook, line and sinker.

    So the deliberate, calculated misuse of the term “Euthanasia” sets a dangerous, horrific precedent for both human and non-human animals. For this reason, there should be a ‘zero tolerance’ for misuse and misrepresentation of that term — given its horrific Nazi history of abusing the term to justify the extermination of millions of people.

    If the Extermination of the Canadian Geese is so defensible and morally justifiable, then come right out and call it exactly what it is — the mass extermination & genocide of perfectly healthy Canadian Geese purely for human convenience reasons, and in no way is it for the benefit of the geese.

    Therefore the media and everyone else should STOP calling these mass extermination & genocide crusades “Euthanasia” since that term absolutely does NOT apply. And the fact that this term does NOT apply is not a gray area of uncertainty or a debatable point today any more than it was when Hitler deliberately and strategically abused the term to facilitate his mass extermination & genocide agenda. Take a good hard look at these words — mass extermination & genocide — because that is what humans have been doing — NOT “Euthanasia” as everyone is fraudulently claiming.

    Either this action is justifiable when we call it exactly what it is (mass extermination & genocide) or it is NOT justifiable when we call it exactly what it is (mass extermination & genocide). In either case, falsifying the accounts of what is taking place by deliberately using what, ipso facto, is a patently false, inaccurate term (“Euthanasia“) to misrepresent what is going on is most definitely morally and ethically and logically wrong. If it is too horrible and too ugly and too disturbing to think about what it really is (mass extermination & genocide) then clearly it is something humans should NOT be doing. The media and citizens need to employ an honest, ethical standard of human decency and refuse to paraphrase “mass extermination & genocide” as “Euthanasia.”

    These few examples are just the tip of the iceberg when we are talking about “Human Dishonesty Against Animals.” These are just a token list out of the vast littany of examples of the many embedded, surreptitious ways the human animal has been dishonest about their non-human counterparts — their brothers and sisters on this planet we all share.

    For now, it is sufficient to stress that there are horrific, lamentable consequences that flow from the human social practice of desensitizing ourselves via euphemisms and counterfeit logical schemes that alienate us from our conscience, our compassion and from the Truth. We do this at our own peril.

    Footnote 1 Link: “CBS News – “400 Canada Geese Killed for Air Safety Reasons” New York, July 12, 2010    Below is a Comment we submitted to CBS regarding this story.

    Footnote 2 Link: “Merriam Webster Dictionary – Euthanasia:  “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.”

    Footnote 3 Link: Encyclopedia Britannica Online – Nazi “T4 Euthanasia Program” (1939-1945)

    Footnote 4 Link: Jewish Virtual Library – The T-4 Euthanasia Program

    Footnote 5 Link: Middle Tennessee – The T-4 Euthanasia Program

    Footnote 6 Link: Disability Social History Project – Nazis, Eugenics, and the T-4 Program

    Footnote 7 Link: Encyclopedia Britannica – Euthanasia:  “Act or practice of painlessly putting to death persons suffering from painful and incurable disease or incapacitating physical disorder or allowing them to die by withholding treatment or withdrawing artificial life-support measures. Because there is no specific provision for it in most legal systems, it is usually regarded as either suicide (if performed by the patient himself) or murder (if performed by another). “

    (See also, “Rationalism Religion & Dogma – The Three Wicked Sisters” and “Mass Extermination is Not Euthanasia“).

    This brief summary stands as the framework for this subject category entitled: “Human Dishonesty Against Animals” This is an open forum and participation by way of Comments on the posted articles is invited and encouraged. At this point in time, no membership, registration or log-in is required to post a Comment.

    The Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog