Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Helping animals is self-serving

You guys asked so here it is - this guy just responded.

He wrote back to say that he understood and appreciated compassion and kindness but that they are misplaced. He said that cats should not be fed because it is interfering with nature, and that if crocodiles and elephants were to be fed, this would be problematic. He felt that every animal should look after itself. He feels that animals should not be kept indoors or in a sanctuary, or a farm, or in any way harmed or mistreated. He also felt that while feeding the cats stops them from scavenging, they are abandoned by people and this does not solve the problem.

He also said that people should help other people, whether they be deprived, hungry, sick or oppressed.

He kept reiterating that Mother Nature must take its course and that sometimes, it can be cruel like in the case of earthquakes and tsunamis, but that the best way to respect animals is by not feeding them.

He also said the woman was self-serving and that the desire to do good is no different from any other desire. He said that that people like her think they are doing good but doing harm.

I wrote back to say that firstly, cats aren't quite crocodiles or elephants, since they share an urban environment with us. Having said that, I said that the reason a lot of animals are going extinct is precisely because of human beings. I pointed out that we are encroaching on their territories, driving them out of their natural environment, and in many cases, cutting down their food sources. I said that we don't have to look far - the macaques for example are being seen more often as their homes get encroached upon.

Secondly, I pointed out that cats are living with us in their 'natural environment' which is the community about is but there really isn't anything very natural about it at all. The housing estates and urban areas that we see around us weren't even here a century ago but cats (and people too) have had to adapt. I'm not sure what nature there is in that sense.

I also pointed out that abandonment is a problem - that cats are living indoors and are suddenly put out on the streets. There isn't anything very natural about that either.

Since he never elaborated on whom he is helping, I asked him about that. I was curious to know what his criteria for helping people was - which category was most deserving of help?

I also said that using his analogy that nature can be cruel, then we really shouldn't BE helping people who are say, tsunami victims or victims of an earthquake. Also using his analogy we certainly should not be helping people in places with famine - after all, Mother Nature has clearly shown those areas cannot grow food, so we should, using his line of reasoning, let them starve to death.

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24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He sounds like this guy

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5078800.stm

A millionaire who felt that humans that were old, weak, dumb and would be culled in the wild are now surviving and "polluting" the human gene pool. Hence his aim to create a superior race....

12/6/07 6:32 PM  
Blogger eslina said...

It is not more important to help humans than animals for one good reason: helping our environment (considering it as our entire ecosystem) is helping us. Could we say that stopping deforestation is less important than saving a human life? No, is just that the latter is a more direct way to accomplish the same goal, for the first has a positive long term effect in our preservation (and why not salvation). At the end, we are all connected and helping animals, helping keep nature’s balance, will unequivocally benefit us. We cannot entirely focus at saving or improving human life because that would be the same as only watering the garden’s most beautiful flower without fertilizing the soil beneath it.

12/6/07 7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not take it a step further and say that all charity is basically self serving because we expect something back in return?(Be it praise, social acceptance or simply a sense of fulfilment)Do politicians not give big sums of money to charity in return for votes? Do celebrities not perform 'charitable' stunts in return for popularity? Who really, can claim to do something altruistic simply for its own sake? Perhaps this person needs to do a little introspection. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

12/6/07 7:27 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

eslina - a very good way of putting it :)

Anonymous - a very good point too. And at the end of the day, if help needed is rendered, that may be the most important thing!

12/6/07 7:34 PM  
Blogger budak said...

by his own definition, if the desire to do good is no different from any other desire (and he seems to imply that this desire itself is self-serving), why bother help anyone at all, be it people or animals?

he has no understanding of 'nature', wild and domesticated animals, and much less the harm that humans have done to them (and ultimately ourselves) directly and indirectly.

essentially, his 'reasons', besides being grounded in ignorance, just sound like those of a person consumed by his own prejudice (against animals). Why single out animal carers when they are many more people out there who don't spare even a mite of time, effort or money on either creatures or fellow humans?

12/6/07 7:37 PM  
Anonymous long tail said...

Dawn, no amount of explanation will help him. Think he is insane.
I have counselled some very negative, confused minds and trust me, they see evil in every good deed. He is simply mad.

12/6/07 10:27 PM  
Anonymous gabrielle said...

i agree with long tail. he has a mind of his own & nothing will help his sickened soul.

12/6/07 10:39 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

budak - very true.

long tail and gabrielle - well I'll keep trying for a while more at least :)

12/6/07 10:46 PM  
Blogger budak said...

speaking of crocs, here's the fate of a baby crocodile in Singapore, thanks to illegal fishermen:

http://rafflesmuseuminternship.blogspot.com/2007/05/was-saying-to-yc-other-day-that-we-had.html

13/6/07 12:07 AM  
Anonymous Ada said...

funny theory that this guy have..if he LOVE nature for every animal, he should forgo his property and live in the wild..ya - no house, no car, no anything... no food at all as he can find food himself from the wild trees, hopefully. after all, he think that all animals can find food themselves...man are also animals in the first place.

13/6/07 12:09 AM  
Anonymous long tail said...

This guy is either an entry level philo student or just a plain mean adult. Extreme stupidity to believe killing as a way of biological progress.

He shamelessly undermined all morality.

He can't empathise, blind to suffering and dare condemn God given love and compassion given by stray feeders to the community cats.

Extreme stupidity to believe ' only deaths from a genocide scale could few progress .' He is sick and in need of spiritual cleansing.

13/6/07 12:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't get suck into his dungeon of demons, his world is one of hatred. Compassion is never misplaced if suffering is eliminated. Who says you are more worthy than the birds and beasts in the sky? You could perish tomorrow and be nothing more than dirt.

He must be an arrogant fool and a trouble maker for society.

13/6/07 12:54 AM  
Blogger EJ. said...

Help is help. Why be so calculative in whom to help and whom not to help. Too much time spent pondering and nothing get done.
Just follow your heart!

13/6/07 5:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This human being is so urbanly detached from Nature that he has a totally distorted perception of the purpose of his existence. Perhaps his view reflects that of many other people like him who live in the Singapore-well and the world is what he sees from the bottom of the well.
This arrogance is the cause of the rapid destruction of this planet because we think the rest of the beings are left to Nature but we superior human beings can havoc unreined!
I hope the person reads all the comments here, then put aside all his arrogance, take a holiday to a real "nature" place and then sit in the quiet of being surrounded by trees, insects, animals and ponder....and hopefully regains the feeling of inter-connectedness..
Sad sad sad...

13/6/07 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haiya, ask him to go fly kite lah. b0h leow. what a sorry waste of time he is.

13/6/07 8:53 AM  
Anonymous ck said...

and not to mention a sorry waste of a living creature sucking up valuable food and resources that can be used to help some other animals more deserving.

13/6/07 9:05 AM  
Anonymous auntie p said...

Oh gosh! Could he be the guy who chose to opt out of the meagre $1 a month deduction from his salary for the CDAC (donation)? Coz he sounds just like him.

13/6/07 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good work Dawn, will lookout to your futher update.
Agree with longtail too, i've come across excessively negative people who see only evil in all deeds good and bad. He just want to be heard and have you agree on his viewpoint which is the only right one on earth. This kind of person's deeply unhappy, they know something is wrong somewhere but obstinately not agreeing its they themselves.
Cats are domesticated,cared by human for generations, not nature wildlife unless you are talking about us feeding lions or tigers.
Expect some more ping pong, good to get this published for public awareness too.
koratmao

13/6/07 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many decades ago, a colleague remarked to me when she heard about my involvement with stray cats, she said, "Why waste your time. Tien Sheng Tien Yang (heaven creates heaven takes care)"
I told her why didn't her mother just left her naked in "nature" and let Heaven takes care her?"
But such people will not hear what they do not want to. They make us realise how fortunate that we are not blind like them.

13/6/07 5:59 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Carrying all these arguments to the extreme none of us should ever do anything again because heaven, or fate, or someone should take care of it.

13/6/07 6:05 PM  
Anonymous anti-stupidity said...

If he were a handicap baby, he would be put down during Hitler's natural extermination program.
So for the brave who would save him from the furnace of Dachau be considered self-serving?

Is his natural world devoid of compassion and joy?
He is someone who tries to sound smart, talks rubbish and contributes nothing. O yes, attention seeking as well.

13/6/07 11:43 PM  
Blogger Hai~Ren said...

The pain... the pain... Aieee make it stop...

14/6/07 12:01 AM  
Blogger VeganCatsg said...

Read ST Online Forum dated 16-06-2007
Volunteer experience changed preconceptions of mentally ill kids

"I remember when I decided to volunteer at a school for the mentally disabled. It was a definite first for me, but instead of encouraging words, I remember people saying how unpredictable mentally handicapped people could be. They said how aggressive they might get and that if I really wanted, why couldn't I just volunteer with 'normal' people, who would be much easier to handle?"

I remember in my course of study I once did a write-up on Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and I remember him saying, in effect, that Singapore society is kind-hearted and gives anchorage to everyone - even those less equal among equals.

16/6/07 9:19 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Very interesting - thanks Vegancat!

16/6/07 10:32 PM  

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