Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Outrage All Around Us

The Rationalist reacted strongly upon seeing a father with his two year old on the end of a leash:

(this is just an image pulled from the interwebs)

"I understand why that kid's on a leash....but that's just not right!"

His outrage has also been ignited by the idea of dog breeding.  After watching a Dogs 101 DVD that talks about different dog breeds and crossing breeds, he exclaimed,"That's just wrong!  Dogs shouldn't be forced to mate with other dogs...with total strangers!! How would those dog breeders like it if they had to mate with a total stranger!?"

I tried to convince him that animals frequently do such things in the wild, meeting up for brief periods with a heretofore unknown animal and then moving on.

He didn't seem convinced by my argument.  ;-)

His main outrage has to do with the concept of "force" and animals or people being made to do things against their own will or inclinations.

Before I know it, he may become a member of PETA or decide to go vegan and I'll have to change what I feed and clothe him with.

I do admire his passionate conviction at times.


Sabio Lantz said...

That was funny about your boy!
I once had a couple bring in their son on a lease in my clinic -- when they took him off leash, he ran over to my leg and bit it! True story. I have witnesses who still rib me about it.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

We have a great many books and movies that personify animals as if they had feelings and understandings like ours. I think it came in the 40's and 50's and increased steadily.

Before that, people had a good deal more actual experience with animals, and were not so ready to anthropomorhise them.

As to the leash, I don't think the child has any sense of being victimised, so it doesn't feel to him as it looks to us. A junior version of the same pretending on our part. I understand exactly how your son feels in both cases, and when I was young, would have had the same reaction, perhaps.

That he can even ask himself the question "How would they like it if..." sounds like a developmental marker to me, of identifying with others. Not all adults can do it, either.