Saturday, April 2

The inhumanity of it all

Two articles put recent events in perspective, first...

The Associated Press
Posted March 19 2005, 7:14 PM EST
(South Florida)IMMOKALEE -- A fourth-generation rancher who said he ran out of money to buy feed for his livestock has been charged with 120 felony counts of animal cruelty, authorities say. Michael Lee Swails, 47, of Immokalee, was arrested Thursday in connection with the discovery of dead, dying or severely malnourished cows on his ranch last year.

He said had lost his job, got overwhelmed and didn't know what to do even though he said he was a fourth-generation cowman, officials said. In March 2004, Collier County Sheriff's deputies and Domestic Animal Services officers went to the Immokalee pasture on a tip.
So we understand the relative value of a human life is less than 120 cows. And then there's...
ASSOCIATED PRESS
April 1, 2005
SANTA FE, N.M. – Scooby got his due yesterday, as the governor signed into law a requirement that antifreeze have a bitter taste to deter dogs from lapping it up. Scooby, a golden retriever from Bernalillo, an Albuquerque suburb, had to be destroyed in 2003 after drinking the poisonous liquid. His death prompted an Albuquerque city ordinance a year ago, and now the statewide requirement.

"Scooby's Law is now official," Gov. Bill Richardson said at a ceremony in his office. The law will protect not only animals, but also children who may be tempted to drink the sweet-tasting but highly toxic substance, the governor said. Witnessing the bill signing – with his forepaws resting briefly on the big marble table – was 4-month-old Dukes, a black-and-gray bundle of puppy energy rescued from an animal shelter and owned by Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez.

Chavez said the new law means lives will be saved, "and that's as good as it gets in government." As New Mexico joins Oregon and California in mandating the manufacture of bitter-tasting antifreeze, Chavez also said he is confident that a federal Scooby's Law will one day be enacted. Animals drink antifreeze that has leaked out of cars, been dumped in open areas or left out purposely by people trying to poison them.

Republican Rep. Kathy McCoy, the bill's sponsor, lost a dog to antifreeze poisoning, "and it's an excruciating death and something no dog should ever have to go through," she said.
Seems to me that last line is a little familiar. I guess the terms "dog" and "human" are interchangeable. Some say people live like dogs and some call them as much. Would that we had as much compassion for them.

Friday, April 1

Timing is everything

Pope John Paul II has lost consciousness and is suffering a further deterioration of his heart and kidney function, but the Vatican denies reports that he has died. Italy's Sky Italia satellite television broadcaster quoted Vatican sources saying the pontiff's brain and heart still are functioning.

The Holy See said earlier today his breathing "has become shallow." Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the pope's Vicar for Rome, told a congregation including Italian government officials and diplomats the pope's faith "is so strong and so full ... that he is already seeing and touching the Lord."

Seems to me no coincidence that this would come on the heels of the Terri Schindler passing. This juxtaposition reminds me of the Princess Diana and Mother Teresa deaths coming within days of each other. I can't help but think that God orchestrates things like this to send a message, or at least to cause us to pause and think.