"Hey… get a job."
LTMC: Oh. Come on.
Today in the “Damn nature, u scary” files.
I want to give a late-night shout-out to the Lesula monkey. I am quite enamored by this creature, which was discovered by Western scientists only recently, in 2007. They live in a remote area of the Congolese rainforest, roughly 6,500 square miles wide. They are apparently shy and live off fruits and vegetation in the rainforest.
I love the Lesula’s face. He looks so content and wise. I feel like if I stare into his eyes long enough, some great, deep truth will be revealed to me.
Or I’ll fall asleep with my head on the keyboard. One or the other.
Credit: All About Shar Peis
LTMC: When I saw this, I literally said “Oh mah gawwd” out loud with nobody in the room. Look at that face. I can’t say no.
The video below was posted by All Friends Animal Hospital, and shows what happened to a kitten after the owner used a common commercial anti-flea treatment to attempt to rid the kitten of fleas.
Watching this video was one of the most upsetting experiences I’ve had in awhile. It also reminded me of why most civilized societies tend to criminalize needlessly cruel treatment to animals: humans share enough in common with animals that seeing them suffer needlessly triggers feelings of compassion. What happened in the video above was an accident, but if a person did this intentionally and maliciously, we would probably view their behavior as pathological. It takes a certain detachment from one’s own humanity to be able to inflict suffering on animals for one’s own amusement.
But this brings up more complicated questions. For example: most of the people who shudder at this video probably also eat meat (myself included). Does that make them hypocrites? Why does it matter whether we inflict suffering on animals for fun or for consumption? Furthermore, is our empathy reserved only for species that we think are “cute?”
This was part of Peter Singer’s challenge: if the only basis for our empathy towards animals is our preference for a particular species, then human empathy towards animals is really just a sort of hollow narcissism—one that is reinforced by the infrastructure of modern society, in which most meat eaters never actually have to kill the animals that they later eat. Furthermore, humans don’t actually have to eat meat to survive anymore, so it is no answer to claim that we kill animals for our own survival.
In light of these facts, I’m not sure what the proper answer to Singer’s challenge is. The best response I’ve been able to come up with is that many of the animals who are bred for consumption wouldn’t have existed at all, but for their purpose as “meat” animals. So long as they are treated humanely, I can stomach the thought of them being killed for meat, so long as the killing is as quick and painless as possible.
On the other hand, I know that my thinking on this issue is inextricably tainted by culture. When I talk about “meat animals,” I’m really talking about cows, pigs, and chickens mostly. If I saw the kitten above being served up, I would be shocked and appalled. That would probably not be the case in other cultures, where eating cat or dog meat is not quite as taboo.
So do we all have an ethical duty to become vegetarians? I don’t know. What I do know is that the video above bothers me. And I feel like there’s a good reason for that. Or perhaps it’s just a product of the culture I was raised in, where cats are viewed as pets and companions rather than food. I suspect that maybe, it’s a little of both.
So this little guy decided to join me as I attempt to study Trusts and Estates.
It appears to be either a Signal Fly or a Picture-winged fly. I have zero entymological training so I can’t really say what the difference between the two is, though in the former case, the Rivellia genus appears to be a close match.
Anywho, he (or she) seems harmless. Perhaps he or she can help me memorize the rules for spousal elective shares during the probate of a will. That would be something.
LTMC: I could literally watch this gif all day. Look at that dog.
Danielle Fishel (i.e. the actress who played Topanga on Boy Meets World, for those unaware), recently lost her dog Anna after 13.5 years of companionship. Anna struggled with kidney problems in the second half of her life, and eventually had a stroke and kidney failure that required Anna to be down last night. In a heartfelt eulogy, Danielle describes their last days together:
Monday, January 7th was the last time she ate. Dog food, chicken, beef, eggs, peanut butter, and even [her favorite] cheese repulsed her. She started vomiting in the morning.We checked her kidney values and they had skyrocketed since September.We hospitalized her hoping that an IV with fluids and medicine might flush her kidneys out and give her the strength she needed to bounce back. She never did. My lioness’ body was shutting down and after all she had given to me, my final gift to her was relieving her of any pain. I held my angel in my arms last night and put her down. We were at home.She was wrapped in a blanket and all of my love.She was calm and at peace. She was ready to see me walk this world as an adult without her. I cannot imagine life without my little girl.
Anna, thank you for holding my hand for the last 13.5 years. We grew up together and became adults together. You taught me responsibility, selflessness, and so much more. I already miss your garbage breath, your incessant need for belly scratches, your impossibly soft fur, the sound of your collar as you walk across the room, your bark, your kisses, your snoring, and most of all, staring into your eyes and telling you “I love you,” over and over again. Your blanket will remain at the top of the couch and the left side of the bed will always be yours. Life will never be the same without you but you’ve prepared me well. I will go forward and be a lioness, just as you would have wanted.
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