The new face of douche

Recently, a national bowler in Singapore ran over a stray dog with his black Porsche, and proceeded to drive off without helping the dog. He returned to the scene of the crime only when he realized that his license plate had fallen off during the collision, and wanted to recover the license plate before anyone sees it in close proximity to the dead dog.

He claims otherwise of course, but that’s what guilty people always do.

The dog was a recent mother, and left behind eight young puppies. None of which Ong has offered to adopt, because he already has a puppy of his own at home.

The dog that Remy Ong ran over, and his Porsche's license plate

Anyway, under Singaporean law, any driver involved in a hit-and-run accident could be fined up to $3000 or jailed up to a year. Obviously, a guiltless douchebag who just zooms around recklessly in his Porsche deserves to be given the full punishment of the law, but I have serious doubts that this will happen. Why? Because it’s just a dog.

“Just a dog”… that’s the kind of attitude that sickens me, but sadly that seems to be more prevalent. Everyone can say they love dogs and “oh those puppy-dog eyes are so cute, I wanna take him home and cuddle him forever”, but in a situation like this where you have to weigh the life of a dog against the career and future of a human, I’m going to guess that the judge is going to favor the human.

Had Ong run over some kid, he’d be really getting it now. But no, it’s “just a dog.” Never mind that it was a mother and had eight puppies to look after… it’s still just a dog and the puppies are just more dogs.

And that really sucks!

Why should an animal’s life be any less important than that of a human’s? Maybe they don’t pay taxes or contribute to the economy, but that doesn’t mean you can just go around running over random dogs because you’re angry that you almost-but-didn’t bowl a 300 game that day. And what if it wasn’t a dog, but a cat that Ong decided to mulch with his Porsche?

Singaporean traffic laws define the term “animal” as any horse, cattle, ass, mule, sheep, pig, goat or dog. That means some psycho could just veer his meat-wagon into pigeons, cats, squirrels and your little sister’s pet guinea pig, and you can’t do anything about it.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Gandhi

I just don’t know what that says about a lot of countries in the world. There are still tons of puppy mills in Singapore – the wifey and I have walked through one before and she almost threw up. China has been legally selling live goldfish and turtles trapped inside tiny keychains. It’s just hard to imagine that we’re that much higher up in the evolution chain when we are not only capable of committing these atrocious acts – but legally entitled to as well!

Yet another display of China's love of profit and contempt for life

But how much should the law value animal life? You obviously can’t protect a pigeon with the same laws as you would a human (imagine devoting police resources to solve a pigeon’s death), but there must be some protection, right? At least something that says “if you torture or kill animals, you might not be given the death sentence, but you’re still going to be fucked in the ass.”

I heard from a German friend that in Germany, fishermen are obligated to undergo training and get a license before they’re allowed to fish. In doing so, they are taught to use the right bait and catch only the right types of fish to minimize torture and suffering for the fish. I think says a lot about German attitudes towards fish, and I like it.

Maybe they should do something like that with pets. When Angelina, or any regular person for that matter, adopts a child, there’s a crap load of paperwork to do, and social services has a file on them. But to buy a pet, one only has to fork over some cash at the pet store. What they do to the animal after that doesn’t seem to matter. How many dalmatians were found abandoned a few months after the Christmas that 101 Dalmatians premiered?

If they institute a pet license requirement, that might prevent impulse purchases of animals, and pet owners will be more careful since they’re held accountable for the life they’ve just adopted. I know that’ll also reduce pet sales and garner the anger of pet shop operators and the economy etc, but that once again goes back to the initial debate of the human vs animal welfare. But there’s just gotta be a balance, you know?

I have this anti-puppy mill t-shirt, and whenever I wear it I’m bound to get asked about the image of the crying dog. Most of the time, people just stare at me funny when I explain the concept of puppy mills and how inhumane they are. I get kinda riled up inside when I get the “but they’re just dogs” response.

But if more and more people kick up a fuss, maybe more and more countries will start adopting laws that look out for animals. Because honestly, I really wouldn’t want to bring children up in a world where they want to buy a suffocating goldfish keychain to dangle on their backpack zippers, just because all the cool kids in school have one.

PS Speaking about fishing, I’ve seen fisherman who leave newly-caught fish on the dock, where they flop around until they suffocate to death. I’m not sure why they do that, but surely there’s got to be a better way to kill the fish, right?

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About Drew

I love videogames, movies, my wife and my dog (in no particular order).

8 responses »

  1. emage says:

    The only issue I have with this blog entry is that I’m fairly sure you’re an enthusiastic meat eater, and I’d be very surprised to hear you conscientiously purchased only humanely farmed animal foods (ignoring the fact that the *humane* versions are usually only more humane than the factory farming versions, as opposed to genuinely humane). I think it’s great you care about animals, I’m just suggesting that you could probably extend your empathy further if you tried.

    One of the most horrible things about animal agriculture (at least here in the USA) is that there is a much lower standard of required care for animals that are part of the food industry than say, a household pet, and what is legislated as sufficiently humane is defined by the industry in question, more often than not.

    On a totally different note, I get so pissed off when people say things like ‘they care more about animals than humans!’ while complaining about some horrible policy or event that affects people, when usually the kind of activism they’re comparing it to is trying to establish the most basic levels of consideration for the animals in question as opposed to equivalent or superior status to humans.

    All that said, this guy sounds like a total douche! Ugh.

    • drewpan says:

      True that, but I am actively trying to cut down on my meat intake! I do go the vegetarian route whenever I have the chance, and I’ve only been to KFC once in the past few years.

  2. Cara Olsen says:

    Very well said, Drew. This ran quite deep for me.

    As someone who owns and loves her animal, and can easily imagine this atrocity happening to her, I cannot help but feel emotional vested in this issue. My husband and I are very familiar with puppy-mills — as Bella arrived to the shelter from one in terrible shape — and their abominable treatment of animals, but also other companies where value on animal life is nearly non-existent. Recently we have both made an effort to see where our chicken and fish come from, hearing about what horrid conditions both are forced to “live” in until their imminent demise. One cannot judiciously justify a human life against an animal’s. Long before animals were pets, they solely existed as food-source and a means to not perish from the Earth altogether. One thing that remains the same is the lifestyle in which these animals were accustomed to living before they were sacrificed so that families might not starve. I read quite a bit, and within the novels there is usually a fair amount of historical/agricultural information. Cows, goats, horses — they were revered in many aspects, prized possessions.

    Sadly, this respect does not exist today. Corporations espouse and uphold mass-production and quantity, over the quality of life. This behavior from the top trickles down to the public, sending a message loud and clear that our animals are nothing to concern ourselves with — they are “only” animals. Okay, I can understand that there are those who were not raised with a household pet, or never connected with an animal beyond the consumption of its nourishment, but what happened to being a decent human being? Knowing black and white, and should you encounter a sentient being suffering, do what you can to relieve that suffering — especially if you were the one to cause it.

    • drewpan says:

      Well said! Your comment about people who weren’t brought up in close proximity to animals reminded me of this Japanese (or maybe Korean) movie I saw once, where a chef had this family cow that he’d been lovingly raising since young. But in order to win some really important cooking contest that would redeem his family name (or something like that), he had to kill the cow for the ultimate beef.

      That was incredibly heartbreaking… but sadly a lot of people just probably won’t get it.

  3. In Japan if you kill another person’s pet/livestock, you must pay damages plus buy them a new one.

    Reason #200891 why I loved living in Japan.

    They just have this profound respect for life and their environment. That is; the individual citizen, I am not including their government in that.

    • drewpan says:

      Respect for life and environment… If you can just instill that in the world’s population, that in itself will solve like 80% of the world’s problems.

  4. animal lover says:

    while I wouldn’t compare an animal to a human in terms of punishment, there should certainly be laws to protect animals from unnecessary cruelty and to punish those who cause them harm. The key chains are outrageous!

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