Friday, May 23, 2008

Suffering In Toto...And Your Little Dog, Too!

Chip Smith over at the Hoover Hog offers this http://utilitarian-essays.com/wild-animals.pdf in regard to animal suffering. In their struggle to morally countenance the existence of life as a whole, people down through history have sought to manufacture scapegoats, the elimination of which would usher the world into the paradisical state to which life was intended. This ideation has been pursued to its logical extreme by the more radical factions of the environmentalist movement, who believe the post-human world will enter a phase of ecological harmony; yeah, all that 'circle of life' crappola. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that this 'circle' represents, above all else, killing, ingesting, digesting, and shitting. Life is both the initiator and benficiary of its own suffering, across the board. So in proposing the removal of, in my own opinion, the greatest recipients of suffering, I labor under no illusion that the problem of existence is solved once and for all. However, we do what we can...

Ouroborus, that hungry snake
found not of which he might partake.
In desperate straits, his tail he curled,
then ate himself, and shat the world.

2 comments:

Curator said...

People seem much more willing to do the existence --> suffering, procreation = wrong move for animals (pets) than for human beings. Witness the spay/neuter campaigns - nobody says, what about the happiness all those puppies might have experienced? People just say, there are plenty of dogs, lots of them suffer and die miserably, so we shouldn't breed them. And euthanasia for suffering pets is de rigeur.

But you almost never hear the same logic applied to human beings - at least from intelligent people who take human suffering seriously. You hear it all the time from jerks, unfortunately.

It often occurs to me that a suffering dog is treated in a more humane manner in our society than a suicide.

your host said...

Great point, and one I've often considered. With pets, it's so obviously, common sensically benevolent. I think the sticking point regarding humans is the vicarious immortality angle. With each human death, another unit of the extended proxy self withers; the light of the false vision grows that much dimmer. That is, of course, unless it's replaced with another substitute, and it is...again, and again, and again, by means of new births.

And you're right about a suffering dog being treated more 'humanely' (the ironies pile up, don't they?). After all, the death of lower animals doesn't threaten the
gestaltic fantasy, and so we're free to yield to our higher sympathies without restrait (though saying goodbye is still very, very hard).

Thanks for the insight, curator.