America’s love of animals

I want to relate a story that happened to an acquaintance of mine in America, it just goes to show you where people’s priorities are and what their insular lifestyle has made them. I am sure I will make some enemies here but this are just the way I see it. Having seen suffering on a major scale the actions of this fellow left me aghast and scratching my head.

We’ll call him Bob, a close friend of my business partner. Bob has, well had two cats and one had been ill for some time, that cat’s name was Fred. Bob lives alone except for his two feline companions and never has visitors in. He had been watching for a couple of weeks as Fred got more and more lethargic and his appetite faded, the signs were all there but Bob didn’t want to accept it. Fred was given to Bob years ago so no one knew just how old he was, but he had lived a good life breathing in the sea air just blocks from the Pacific ocean in San francisco.

When Bob realized his good friend was beyond just being ill he called the animal emergency hospital and they urged him to bring Fred right in, even though it was Easter weekend and Saturday night. Overwhelmed by guilt for not acting sooner Bob bundled Fred into his cardboard box and set out for the vets. Normally they would have walked but this was an emergency so a cab was in order, it cost $15 and in twelve minutes they were there. Expence number one.

When people are feeling helpless apparently is a fine opportunity to take advantage of them in an extreme way and that is exactly what happened to Bob as soon as he entered the clinic. The emergency visit and diagnosis was a mere $650 but that was just the beginning. After taking samples of everything that could possibly be sampled, $275, they delivered the bad news. Fred was not responding and probably wouldn’t make it through the night. The good news the vet tech said was that Bob was eligible for a special credit card just for his animal health needs and they could put all the costs from today on it therefore costing him zero today. Bent over a barrel he agreed and signed on the dotted line. But that wasn’t the end, Fred needed to be put down, $150, then we needed to get rid of the body, decently of course. The cremation and urn along with burial would definitely be something to arrange and give Fred a proper send off they said. As a special gift they would even arrange for his remaining cat to have therapy to cope with the loss.

All said and done the final cost of laying a free cat to rest, that would have died naturally in 24 hours anyhow, was $1990 at 28.9% interest.

Though I have fond regard for animals and do understand Bob’s loss I have to look at it in light of our world today. $2000 would provide 6000 cholera vaccinations in Africa, it would provide 1000 children with malaria treatment, do you see where I’m going here. 40 emergency surgical kits, a well for a village under drought, four teachers salary in Pakistan for a month. The human population is in such dire need of a great equalizer yet those who could make a difference waste their resources on things that are worthless in the next world. With wars across the globe sending millions from their homes it makes little sense to show empathy towards beasts when in doing so we become a beast of a different breed, selfish, racists and elitist in nature, not at all what we were intended to be.

When did pets become more valuable than humans? Have we completely lost the plot? These kind of situations make me look mournfully on my fellow man, ashamed of the self centered,

Greedy people we’ve become when the life of a damn cat is more important than that of a needy child. The hospital performed no service that I can really see, if he’d just waited another day God would have sorted it out for free, but the children would still be neglected. Yes grief is a reasonable expectation when a pet dies but haven’t we taken it a bit too far burying them next to our loved ones and mortgaging homes to remember the happiness they gave us. Would we not be better in the scope of our lives to help the children and let the pets slide. Sorry Bob, I know you’ll miss Fred, but all things must return from whence they came and now he has.

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