Friday, March 02, 2007

What money can't buy

Since we moved into this house, I've noticed a dog running around the neighborhood who looks exactly like Numi, only a bit smaller. Yesterday I finally asked the guard whose dog it was and what was the story there. He told me that she belongs to the family down the street, who had her mother, but then had to "perderla" (which literally means "lose her," but in this sense in means "dump her") downtown because she was so crazy (so that's the source of all my problems with Numi!) about two years ago. We got Numi a little over a year ago, which would make her the dumped dog's daughter. The morons decided to keep one of the dogs, thus the one I see running all over the neighborhood, who has also just had a litter of puppies.

I'm not sure where to start on this one. How asinine it was to dump the poor dog off in the first place rather than take her to one of the several shelters in the country? The fact that Costa Ricans use the word "lose" makes it sound so much nicer, as though they had no hand in the animals' disappearance. It's sort of like, to me, saying you had to "put a dog to sleep" instead of "euthanize a dog." Let's call a spade a spade, people. To dump an animal and expect them to somehow take care of themselves is a shitty, immoral thing to do. I have such a low opinion of these people now, compounded by the fact that they not only dumped their dog's mother, but that they are too stupid/ignorant/cheap to get the other one spayed and stop this cycle of overpopulation. Look, we live in what is considered here in CR an "upscale" neighborhood, a gated community in the hills of Ciudad Colon. Not too many people can afford to live here. Our neighbors own about 25 acres, all walled in, and come and go via helicopter (there is much speculation on who owns the property -- two celebrities from the U.S. are popular possibilities). Our next-door neighbors are selling their house for US1.5 million. I'm not saying this to brag (far from it, we can barely afford to live here and have, in fact, just signed a contact on a new house downtown for a lot less). I'm saying this to make a point that money buys neither compassion nor brains.

I have joined the education committee for a local animal welfare group in the hopes that I can make a difference in these animals' lives. Esposo has said that I should stop complaining and do something, so that is exactly what I intend to do. I think there is limited possibility to change an adult's mind about the abuse they have been perpetuating all of their lives on innocent creatures (especially since this is a Catholic country, and Catholisim preaches that animals neither go to heaven, nor have souls, the fact that humans are animals notwithstanding). But children are a different matter. The other day I was talking to a 7-year-old girl about why I'm a vegan (she asked, I don't go around preaching to everyone I meet, but she wanted to know, so I told her the truth). A few days later, I saw her again, and she told me that she wanted to stop eating meat. I asked her why, and she said that she loved animals and didn't think it was right to eat them. It's such a simple matter to a kid: it hurts when you throw rocks at a dog, so let's not do it. It's wrong to "lose" a dog; dogs do have feelings and there are ways to take care of them and ways to hurt them. Anyway, I am excited about being on the education committee, getting information about pets to children and starting to change things around here. It all starts with the kids.

1 comment:

  1. I admire that you have the courage of your convictions.