Saturday, January 14, 2012

feral cats & dogs

Roger Ebert just tweeted a link to an article about America's 100 million feral cats and dogs.

According to this article, ironically, PETA apparently favors euthanizing these animals rather than sterilizing them.  They feel that a life on the street is "brutish and short," apparently also believing that life with humans is better.

This reminds me of a couple of things.

First, there was a trip I took in Richmond, VA to a plantation museum.  While we were touring, I noticed a book on one of the tables.  I asked the guide what the book was.  The guide told me what I found to be a fascinating tale.

The book had been written by one of the white women in the family after the civil war.  It was an apology for slavery.  Written in thick Black English, it purported to be the reminiscences of a former slave who longed for the past -- in other words, to be a slave again.  Apparently, this book sold rather well, several tens of thousands of copies, which was a lot for back then.

Now, I seriously doubt that the people buying that book were African American.  I cannot imagine that any self-respecting former slave would buy a nostalgic book, pretending to be written by a black person, but actually written by a white person, and claiming that slavery was wonderful.  I suspect that, like the author, they were white people, but white people who were fluent in Black English, because they had been raised by slaves.  

It strikes me as particularly ironic that this was probably one of the first, if not *the* first book written in Black English, and it is probably an important historical document in terms of what it says about the historical evolution of this dialect.

It also strikes me that these PETA people are a bit like the white woman who wrote the book.

The second thing I'm reminded of is a shaggy dog story.  It goes like this:

Once upon a time there was a wolf.  The wolf was starving to death in the forest.  It was winter, a hard winter at that, and game was scarce.

One day, in his wanderings, the wolf encountered a dog.  The dog was plump, sleek, and well cared for. The wolf asked the dog where he was finding food.

"Oh, my master feeds me," the dog replied.  "I love my master."

"Do you think your master would feed me as well?"  The wolf asked.

"Oh, I'm sure he would.  He's wonderful."

Then the wolf spied something and asked "What's that around your neck?"

The dog explained his collar.

The wolf turned around and went back into the forest and starved to death.

You know I've never had much sympathy or respect for PETA's point of view.  Their idea that death is preferable to life on the streets causes me to respect them even less.

No comments:

Post a Comment