I grew up around a lot of animals–turtles, hamsters, dogs, snakes, elephants, lions, and walruses to name a few (OK, I made up the elephants, lions, and walruses). Whether a squirrel in the park or the cat in our house (that won’t stay off the counter), animals are a part of our everyday lives. Many people like animals, some people love them, and there are a few individuals who abuse them…greatly.
Animal abuse is a strict violation of one of the first commands God gave to man in Genesis–take care of the earth. You can eat plants and animals, but don’t abuse the earth. Obviously, with our world in a state of environmental crisis, we haven’t been good stewards of the planet. Furthermore, humans flagrantly violate this rule when they mistreat animals.
All this came to mind today, when I read about a YouTube video showing a couple of Marines (or men dressed as Marines) abusing a puppy. The Fox News article said that the public outcry has been great and so far the video’s had 135,000 hits (full story). It’s been removed from YouTube due to its TOS violation, but it’s popped up other places online.
I refuse to watch the video because I know that it would upset me greatly. According to the aforementioned article, the two men find a stray black and white puppy and throw it off a cliff. There are more details, but you can read the article or watch the video if you’re interested.
I find this disturbing for a number of reasons…
1. Animal abuse is sick. Seriously, animals are so sweet and loyal (for the most part). The poor puppy, especially if it was an abandoned stray, was probably starving and looking for food. It foolishly thought that these two men could help. Sick, sick, sick.
2. People who abuse animals go on to abuse people. Every time I’ve heard about a serial killers, it was also mentioned that the wacko tortured animals as a kid. I haven’t heard a case of child abuse where the pets weren’t also abused. Violent people abuse anything in their paths, whether they be puppies or babies.
3. Are members of the military prone to violence? I know we are supposed to swell with pride whenever our military is mentioned, and I support the troops. Yet I wonder as we turn regular men and women into killing machines if we’re not destroying part of what makes them human. Really, they go into battle destroying the “enemy”, which is composed of people on the other side trained to do the same.
After dropping bombs, shooting others, being attacked while on patrol, how can we expect these men and women to be normal? Sure, they may seem fine on the outside, but they are desensitized to things that horrify us because it’s part of the job. Perhaps these two men saw a couple of comrades gunned down by a sniper or came face-to-face with the enemy who was just like a man like them, not a demon. Who knows if they were really Marines? Who knows if they saw combat? Who knows their stories?
But when you think about it, when you’re “trained to kill” or do whatever is necessary to protect your unit, abusing a little puppy doesn’t seem that out of line, does it? Not when you’ve shot to death dozens of others.