Blackbird’s Song

A friend told me that she would kill her dogs in a crisis to feed her children. I once heard this said by another woman on the radio and have wondered what sort of crisis they mean. It reminded me of the Andean air crash where the survivors ate the dead to keep alive before they were rescued. One of the survivors refused to do so. He died.

In most crises, earthquake or flood, if the dogs themselves survived it would be good luck. But one’s own survival could well depend upon the dogs’ ability to smell out and catch food. I think this supposed ‘crisis’ is really no more than an expression of the importance of the child or oneself or other human, over animals.

So it comes down to what would you sacrifice to survive. If it were your own child dead would you eat it to survive high in the mountains? If it were an earthquake would you kill a dog rather than accept it as part of the group to work together to get through?

We are so used to seeing ourselves as the preeminently superior animal in the world we forget the kind of things that make us so: wisdom.  Sometimes it is better to strive for the ‘all’ and fail than to survive as a human being who would sacrifice anything to live.

This is not about rights, not even about Ethics, it is about heart. If you get through a crisis with the dog intact you will be a better human being, and a better family for it.

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January 2019
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