Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cruelty is a Universal Reality

Unless you've had your TV off for the past week and haven't been online in a while, you know the story about that crazy woman in Britain who tossed a cat into a trash bin while a video camera was recording. Irony that may only be so in my eyes: she's a bank employee.

However, here comes this Sullivan reader who puts the whole thing into perspective with a harrowing couple of stories about cruelty to children. Money quote:
Animals are just animals. Their suffering is not desirable, but it's also common. And not just at the hands of people, either. Cats play with mice before they kill them. Anything that's alive in the world today is capable of cruelty.

But also (tragically) common is cruelty to children at the hands of adults who may even be responsible for their welfare. This reader wants to put this woman's cruelty into perspective on the whole spectrum of cruelty to others. Fine. Let's just not be so blasé about it. I hate to use the Nazi meme, but that perhaps took the cruelty cake. Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees are dying in Darfur at the hands of their government, Rwanda had its genocidal episode, and Sarah Palin likes to shoot wolves from a helicopter. OK, so the Sarah Palin thing was thrown in there to piss off my conservative readers, but my point is that none of these episodes are worthy of being blasé. Neither, by the way, is tossing a cat into a "wheelie bin," even if one thinks that doing so is kinda funny.

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