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.
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!
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?