Today’s post Up on the Woof is about a subject that I have found very disturbing over the past eighteen months or so. I would like my readers, whom I consider to be an intelligent and thoughtful group, to weigh in with their thoughts in the comment section below. I’m quite certain you will have an opinion and that it will be worth sharing. Here goes:
When I grew up in the 1960’s (yes, I really am that old), I referred to my teachers and friends’ parents by their last names. My teachers were Mr. Nosse and Ms. Stout, not Ken and Audrey. As a youngster, my friends’ parents were Mr. & Mrs. Margulies, (I still don’t know their first names!). It was the proper way to show respect to elders. It drew a line in the sand to distinguish who was in charge and who wasn’t.
My parents and teachers were allowed by law to spank me if I got out of hand, and although that seldom happened, the threat of it was enough to make me behave. The music of the times was top 40, Motown, heavy metal and psychedelic music. I spent more hours outdoors playing than I did indoors watching television. I received a top-notch education: 8 years of Catholic school and 4 years in one of the best public education systems in the country. The video games I played as a young adult were Pong, Pacman, Donkey Kong and Asteroids. This wasn’t just my experience…this was the typical experience of kids growing up in the 60’s and 70’s.
I’m sure you are wondering what this has to do with dog advocacy.
Stories about animal abuse come across my desk every day that would make your hair stand up. More stories than not contain the phrase “Officials say it’s the worst case of animal abuse they have ever seen.” Stories of pets that have been starved, shot, stabbed and beaten abound. But the most popular method of animal abuse over the past twelve months was dousing a live animal with an accelerant and setting it on fire. Yes. You read that correctly.
Think about that for a minute.
Setting a live animal on fire.
Can you think of anything more horrific? More brutal? More wrong?
What kind of people have it in them to do such a thing; so callously, so coldly, so easily – with such blatant disregard for another creature’s pain and suffering?
Sit down, because the answer is a doozy.
The abusers setting live animals on fire are young people between the ages of twelve and twenty-five.
Something has gone terribly terribly wrong. What has happened in our society, in our homes, and in our schools that has turned out young people who are capable of these acts? What does that mean for the future of our world, and more importantly, how do we fix it?
I told you about my own experience during my younger years at the top of this post for a reason. We all know that children born between 1987 and 2000 had a wholly different experience than the one I outlined. Do the differences in any of the points I mentioned have a bearing on how these youth process information and fail to develop empathy?
Let’s open up a forum for discussion here. Please weigh in…