Ok...are we ready for a little reflection time here?
Well...have you ever wondered what makes us human and what is our relationship to animals? Some may say the usual, age old, answer that we have the ability to reason and think rationally, plan ahead and communicate with language etc...but that is all reproducible in the animal world in some sort and so many so-called "humans" do the exact opposite of the above mentioned.
The notion of "humanity" was created to dissociate man from "the rest"...i.e. animals. So, from a philosophical point of view...we exist as human only because there are other living creatures out there that we call animals. That we dissociate ourselves from animals has, in itself, nothing wrong but when we use that to assert our superiority and dominance over animals then the perversion is complete.How many times have we heard the expression: "its just an animal...i can do whatever i want with it..."
Ok...how about now turning this whole discussion around and analysing from another angle...From an evolutionary point of view, we would be NOTHING without animals. Since the beginning of civilisation, humans have used animals to survive as a species. Animals for food, animals for protection against the cold, animals to plough their land; animals for hunting, for companionship, animals to move quicker and conquer new territories and animals as role models (Gods) How many years was that ago? Thousand of years? Come to think of it...we still do all these until now!Meat, milk and eggs are still in our diet; leather is still worn,dogs still used for hunting, cormorants used for fishing,types of animals kept as pets is ever increasing, Horses are still used to move around and animals are still in the pantheon of deities in so many cultures. In addition to all that people have found new "uses" for the ones we call "non human"...in medecine...in sports...in fashion etc. Now can you imagine ourselves without animals? I guess we would have failed in an epic way as a species without them. We have always used and still are using animals and have you ever wondered why the veterinary profession was invented? I guess that at some point of time, someone thought that if we were going to "USE" animals we better be responsible and cater for their needs and welfare... Yes...vets only look after animals that humans use, or that have some value for the humans. Have you ever heard about a vet who looks after cockroaches of some mollusc in the ocean? No huh!? So many of us do not feel responsible about this (including many vets) and so many people go to the other extreme and fight for rights for animals going to the extent of activism and terrorism...
So what makes us human heh? Is that the fact that we have feelings? The dalmation doggy that is on IV perfusion for 3 days in a row proves me that this is not the case. Doggy stopped eating since her mom died on monday and spends her time lying down in rain and sun over the mound where the mother is buried...How "animal" and "feelingless"is that? So many times...in our extreme moments we are no more human than our animals...when we let our instincts and our inner self come out...So.. yeah...there is a line that demarcates us from animals...but that line is very thin and blurry!!
We owe a lot to animals, we are who we are and where we are thanks to them...and they deserve respect even if they are going to end up on your plate or help a blind man walk around and cross the street.
I feel I am so lucky and privileged to be a vet!
...and I guess everything happens for a reason too...