Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When Is Animal Cruelty Acceptable?

I like animals. I really do. And I do not like to see them mistreated. Take for instance this recent case where a British circus owner was convicted of several cruelty crimes against an elephant. Elephants are big creatures, and in the wild could probably hold their own. But this particular elephant is in captivity, is 58 years old, has arthritis, and has two legs tethered to the ground at all times. So it really is defenseless, meaning that the person who mercilessly beat it with a stick and repeatedly kicked it (caught on hidden camera) is a sadistic idiot and should be punished.

And then there may be incidents that set off anger when there is no criminal activity whatsoever. Take the recent hunting trip in Wisconsin where some out-of-town hunters broke an unspoken rule when they shot an albino deer. Killing the deer was not against the law, as albino deer are not protected in the state of Wisconsin. And the deer was reportedly not a true albino deer either. But the locals had agreed amongst themselves not to kill the creatures because of their aesthetic appeal and their rarity. The scorned culprits quickly fled from the town, leaving the locals to grieve the loss of one of their beloved creatures and to seek other ways of protecting the rare indigenous animals.

Still, sometimes animal-lovers take their cause a little too far in trying to protect animals that do not need to be protected. Take the recent case in Florida where a woman was hunted down like someone on the Most Wanted List. Local news channels broadcast her picture in order to hunt down the dirty rotten female scoundrel, and she now faces hefty fines and jail time. What was her crime? She rode a manatee. Yes, I said a manatee. I know, I did not know what one looked like until recently either. So, here is what a manatee looks like.

And here is what a woman riding a manatee looks like.

The woman rode the manatee in September, but she was not arrested until this past Sunday while she was working at Sears. The capture came just days after Thanksgiving. She had probably even given thanks for the manatee-riding experience on Thanksgiving, and look what it got her: a citation for violating the Manatee Sanctuary Act, which states: "It is unlawful for any person at any time, by any means, or in any manner intentionally or negligently to annoy, molest, harass, or disturb or attempt to molest, harass, or disturb any Manatee."

I would be arguing as her attorney that the manatee did not file a complaint, and it is merely speculative to suppose that the woman in any way annoyed, molested, harassed, or disturbed the manatee. She rode on its back for goodness sakes. Can't a woman and a manatee have a little fun together?

Which brings me to my point in this blog. There is one particular creature that I have no problem disposing of, whether or not it is considered cruelty. In fact, in the last few days we have disposed of four of them in our house. That's right, it's those furry, stinky little mice, the creepiest of unwanted guests. As the weather gets colder, the nasty critters come inside to warm their icky little bodies and search for crumbs -- of which there are plenty in my kitchen no matter how hard I try to keep it clean.

So here's to the inventor of the mousetrap. If they ever make it a crime to kill these pests, I will gladly do the time.
Number 4 and counting...

Shameless Advertising:
Spare me the "humane" mousetraps. Mice are not "human," so the faster they die the better!
It would take all day to set and empty all 72 of these traps, but if it works, I say the more the merrier!

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