Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Dogs die to teach Peru's soldiers how to kill.
December 23, 2002 1:37 PM   Subscribe

This is one the sickest, saddiest stories I've ever read on the net. Can anything be done to stop it, or is it wishful thinking?
posted by Macboy (99 comments total)

 
I'm sorry I couldn't read it. The picture made me literally shudder in anguish.
posted by vito90 at 1:40 PM on December 23, 2002


The pic is shocking, the story more. That is just so wrong. How can they do that?
posted by riffola at 1:47 PM on December 23, 2002


Big fucking deal. Dogs are dying, oh me oh my.

This is an army that has tortured hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people to death. That is where your attention should be.

What I find really sick and sad is that animals garner more attention and sympathy than human beings. What hope is there in this world? Geesh.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:48 PM on December 23, 2002


Well, the practice (of Peruvian soldiers culminating their machismo training by killing a tied-up pet dog by stabbing it repeatedly with knives and then - I'll stop there, for the benefit of those who don't want to have to read it) has been banned since August, so there's nothing to worry about any more, right?

Yes, this is horrible. Stopping it entirely, though, is probably wishful thinking. In a world where there are soldiers and their leaders who believe the torture and killing of their own people is a good idea, it's inevitable that there will probably be animals tortured along the way as well. It's just sickening to have to face it.
posted by yhbc at 1:50 PM on December 23, 2002


On preview, I think I'm saying about the same thing as fff, only in a less angry tone and without the "b.f.d."
posted by yhbc at 1:53 PM on December 23, 2002


I have seen footage of the Republican Guard branch of the Iraqi Armed Forces, who have a similar ritual, where a group of them tear a live dog to pieces as a bonding ritual intended to show how bloodthirsty they are to one another. I think it was even on Metafilter a while ago, for that matter. Rather brutal stuff, and I don't honestly see much point to it.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 1:53 PM on December 23, 2002


It takes "brave" men like that to murder women and children.

Oh, look-

Bush triples aid pledge to Peru
By Bill Sammon
THE WASHINGTON TIMES


LIMA, Peru — President Bush yesterday promised to triple anti-drug aid to Peru but warned that the new funds won't be effective unless Americans stop using the cocaine and heroin that originate in this impoverished Andean nation.
posted by 2sheets at 1:53 PM on December 23, 2002


Hmm...it says 'this is one the sickest', but the post says nothing about what 'this' is. Should I click the link? Golly...
posted by yonderboy at 1:58 PM on December 23, 2002


merry christmas!
posted by quonsar at 8:42 PM on December 23, 2002


Oh, let the anger out, yhbc. Come to the Dark Side!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:46 PM on December 23, 2002


Okay. That is the sickest. Congrats, quonsar, and Merry Xmas.
posted by yhbc at 8:47 PM on December 23, 2002


i couldn't really get past the first 2 paragraphs of the article. that combined with the picture just made me cry :(
posted by mabelcolby at 8:50 PM on December 23, 2002


but what a great picture. bad-great, but great.
posted by donkeyschlong at 8:53 PM on December 23, 2002


Nice touch that they make the soldiers keep the dog as a pet during training so they can bond with it before killing it.

But, if they really wanted to prove how brave they were, wouldn't they kill a dog that is not tied up, and wouldn't they forgo the knife in favor of hands and teeth? I mean if they can't even take a dog in hand-to-hand combat, what kind of killers are they really?
posted by willnot at 8:54 PM on December 23, 2002


quonsar, WTF? When vito says he shuddered in anguish (above) and when I say I'm fu**ing nauseous now, we're not kidding.

Not necessary, man. Not cool.
posted by Shane at 8:54 PM on December 23, 2002


also, that picture reminds me of this one, for ... some ... reason.
posted by donkeyschlong at 9:00 PM on December 23, 2002


Won't somebody please think of the puppies?
posted by Nelson at 9:00 PM on December 23, 2002


Maybe that was a comment on Macboy giving us a Xmas present, q? Or Peru's spirit of the season? I just didn't need to see the pic twice, is all...
posted by Shane at 9:01 PM on December 23, 2002


fff: it's not an either-or situation. Being outraged at inhumane treatment of animals doesn't preclude being outraged at inhumane treatment of people, nor does it imply that one has more sympathy for animals than for people. Most people don't have a finite amount of outrage, there's plenty to go around.
posted by biscotti at 9:07 PM on December 23, 2002


It's interesting that we can deal with the concept of people training to kill people, but when a dog gets killed, suddenly the crowd gets nauseous.
posted by websavvy at 9:09 PM on December 23, 2002


Shane, et al: Here I go standing up for quonsar (like he needs it). The link would only have been inappropriate if it were an in-line image that you couldn't help but see. Yeah, it's sick, but so was the original shot - that's the whole f'n point.

What you have to realize from this is not "oh, dogs are being killed." Yes, they are - every day, in horrible, torturous ways. What you should realize is that there are human beings so depraved that they think this is a good way to get into practice for slaughtering babies. Here on the computing machine, about the only thing we can do about that realization is to recognize the insanity in the world and poke some black humor at it.

[/anger]
posted by yhbc at 9:10 PM on December 23, 2002


Yes, but do the Peruvians eat them after they finish? Guess who does?
posted by hama7 at 9:15 PM on December 23, 2002


Seriously, for all you "this is no big deal, cause humans are being killed elsewhere" idiots, the problem isn't that people care more about dogs than humans, the problem is that dogs are being hung up and tortured and then killed, which is fucking horrific. Have a sense of decency. If the article said humans, we'd all be appalled too. Notwithstanding, this is awful, and more than worthy of the horror and shock it has created.

Also, let's not forget that it's a basic human response to care more for the helpless; it's not that the life of a child is inherently worth more than the life of an adult, but we might all feel worse to hear of a child being slaughtered than an adult, in part due to the helplessness of that child; these dogs are equally helpless, if not more so, being by nature domesticated and loyal. This is apalling.
posted by jonson at 9:17 PM on December 23, 2002


Don't ever call me an idiot, [noun deleted at the last minute]. I'm just as appalled (spellcheck is your friend) as you, but I'm also trying to acknowledge that there is something here to talk about other than "oh the poor dogs".

If you think for a minute that I don't care about each dog that had to die like that, then [also deleted]. The fact is, people are being killed at an equal rate, and I care about each and every fucking one of them, too. That's why this is such a horrible story, not because it's got such a horrible picture.
posted by yhbc at 9:26 PM on December 23, 2002


I've noticed several people expressing anger that killing a dog mercilessly garners more outrage than the killing of people. I'm reminded of an image I saw on a website once; two pictures juxtaposed, one of a cat that had been run over, the other of a woman that had obviously died violently. The caption was "Which represents the greater loss of life?" The point was that I, and probably most other people that saw this site, felt worse about the dead cat. I think the sympathy lies in that animals don't have the understanding of death that humans do, and while killing a human is certainly more outrageous from a moral and legal standpoint, the fact is that animals do not know why it is they are being tortured and killed. That in itself will bring forth the tears, as it did to me when I first saw this story and the accompanying picture.
posted by ScarletSpectrum at 9:28 PM on December 23, 2002


The most horrific thing about this, to me, is that Peru's military is being taught to enjoy killing for it's own sake. They aren't being taught to slaughter the enemy, they're just being taught to slaughter. For the fun of it.

The war crimes and murders that will likely result from this kind of conditioning will make what happened to these poor dogs pall in comparison.
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:33 PM on December 23, 2002


there is something here to talk about other than "oh the poor dogs"

dude? wait, i thought this post was about cruelty to dogs.

May the guy in that picture be eaten alive by dogs who know no better.
posted by shoos at 9:37 PM on December 23, 2002


Nothing more than a FPT

(Front page troll)

What's the value of posting Shit like this from from fishwrap news sites on MeFi. Next time take it to Fark.
posted by Fupped Duck at 9:48 PM on December 23, 2002


For the record, nauseous is something that causes nausea, not the feeling itself.

"Macboy, that photo is nauseous. It makes me feel nauseated."

Sorry about this. But poor word usage makes me nauseous. :-)
posted by SPrintF at 10:01 PM on December 23, 2002


What's a fishwrap newsite?
posted by stbalbach at 10:11 PM on December 23, 2002


Poster 1: Hey everybody - the chef is pissing in the soup. Isn't that gross?

Poster 2: Yeah, that sucks and all, but you know the soup is made out of dead babies.

Poster 3: Come on, of course everybody knows it's horrible that soup is being made out of dead babies, but this is a thread about the fact that somebody pissed in the dead baby soup.

Yeah, ughm ... OK. Pissing in Soup is bad. We must stop these horible people who are pissing in the dead baby soup.
posted by willnot at 10:12 PM on December 23, 2002


Wrong though it may be, I feel more for animals and children than I do for adult humans. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that most people piss me off--I'm sure the feeling's mutual, and I'm okay with that.
I couldn't even read the article, because the picture made me sick--and how's this for hypocrisy: I'm am omnivore.

You see what I mean? People suck.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 10:16 PM on December 23, 2002


I'm curious of why some of you immediately jump to derail the entire focus of the post, that being cruelty to animals, to make a big deal of the fact that the peruvian army kills people too. Gee thanks I'd have never suspected they killed people too. But this post is about how they kill defenseless dogs.
posted by Eyegore at 10:25 PM on December 23, 2002


willnot:

That's a poor analogy. There's not some photo of another, much more horrible thing happening in this photograph that we're ignoring. It's a dog tied up for slaughter. That's the subject of the photograph.

Bringing in "but humans get slaughtered, too" is a non sequitur. I don't understand why every discussion of animal cruelty involves being chided with reminders of human-to-human cruelty. It's as if every discussion of, say, underhanded business practices had to be escalated with "but Pol Pot killed millions of his own people -- that was worse."

Why do you assume that people here are not intelligent enough to understand issues of scale? And why do people assume that compassion and outrage are finite goods that can't be squandered on anything but the worst atrocities?

And why do we who feel sorrow about cruelty to animals need these puritanical lectures, anyway? How about you put your considered opinions of exactly how other people should be allocating their grief in their proper place? (I'll be charitable and say it's your journals.)
posted by argybarg at 10:27 PM on December 23, 2002


There's a soldier in the picture too. The killing humans angle comes in because these soldiers aren't being trained to slaughter dogs. Slaughtering dogs is incidental to their true purpose which is slaughtering humans.

Sucks that the dog suffers, but in the scheme of things, I wish that a dog suffering was all that was happening in that picture.
posted by willnot at 10:43 PM on December 23, 2002


I wish that a dog suffering was all that was happening in that picture.

Your wish has been granted.
posted by shoos at 11:05 PM on December 23, 2002


The point was that I, and probably most other people that saw this site, felt worse about the dead cat.

Now that's sick.

Anyway, I thought the Thai elephant abuse story (can't find the link, saw it this morning somewhere) was worse.

What do some of you do, go around in happy oblivion concerning what goes on every day in the world? Anger is an appropriate reaction to this story; being too "sensitive" to deal with it is just...weak.
posted by rushmc at 11:08 PM on December 23, 2002


Hey, don't we raise turkeys in cages for the entirety of their sad, pathetic lives, feeding them a steady diet of antibiotics and steroids so they'd be too heavy to support themselves if we let them out. And we do this so we can eat gorge on their roasted flesh while toasting to holiday cheer.

That doesn't even bother me, really, but it's not better because they can't catch your frisbee. If you're outraged by one you should be outraged by the other. But only if there are pictures, I guess.

The most horrific thing about this, to me, is that Peru's military is being taught to enjoy killing for it's own sake. They aren't being taught to slaughter the enemy, they're just being taught to slaughter. For the fun of it.

That's the reaction I had, too.
posted by The God Complex at 12:12 AM on December 24, 2002


quonsar, WTF? When vito says he shuddered in anguish (above) and when I say I'm fu**ing nauseous now, we're not kidding.

Not necessary, man. Not cool.


Come on, quonsar is like our resident shock jock. You should have figured out that when quonsy* posts a link to an image in the vicinity of anything outrageous, there's trouble afoot.

*my affectionate pet name for the quons that I've yet to clear with him
posted by The God Complex at 12:16 AM on December 24, 2002


Uhm. If I stumble on a cat that has been a victim of roadkill, it'll sadden and disgust me for a little while, but I've learned to get over it quickly because in our car obsessed culture this is a common occurrence. On the other hand, if I stumble upon a dead person, I suspect that it'll haunt me for more than a few minutes. I also suspect that all the people who say they're more upset about seeing pictures of dead animals would probably have a similar reaction, except they're desensitized to seeing images of dead people from the media.

So, to summarize this debate: Killing animals is bad. Killing people is bad. There, we're all in agreement.
posted by Skwirl at 1:38 AM on December 24, 2002


The God Complex - I'm eating Sushi this Christmas! (poor fish...I really should eat turkey instead - lots of them, unlike the fish situation) or NO MEAT AT ALL (no! not that!) Industrial chicken and turkey grosses me out. On about 15 different levels. Mmmmmm........finger lickin' good!!

Quonsar - thanks, I needed a Christmas card! now, for that trip to Staples for some printer photo paper...
posted by troutfishing at 1:40 AM on December 24, 2002


Reminds me of the aptly named film "Dog Soldiers" (which is amazing, by the way)

I don't really understand the whole "we must stop these people" posts. How do you propose we stop them? The only feasible methods are some kind of trade embargo as I imagine trade is something quite important to a country like that. Still, we're judging another country by our standards. I would only expect a quarter as much uproar if this practice revolved around sheep, which, if true would be raw hypocrisy (oh, and if anyone would like to tell me why killing a dog this way is any worse than any other mammal I'd really love to hear it). Being, by constitution a catholic country, imagine if Peru's moral observations were heard as loudly as the USs or the UKs and they were up in arms about our baby-killing-by-contraception not to mention other things. Imagine outraged posts on some Peruvian news filter saying that the sale and use of condoms is disgusting and barbaric. The "might west" would laugh in their collective faces.

I'm not for a second saying I support this dog nonsense but there's more than a little western arrogance in this thread. The assumption that as good, white Christians we must have morals down pat (however badly they stand up to logic) is something that really gets to me.
posted by ed\26h at 1:45 AM on December 24, 2002


Come on everyone, only two more people have to chime in with righteous indignation, and then critical mass will be reached, and Something Will Be Done.
posted by planetkyoto at 1:50 AM on December 24, 2002


ed/26h - sociobiology would suggest that, in the common mind, political power equates with moral worth.
posted by troutfishing at 1:53 AM on December 24, 2002


re: "But they kill people too!"

Torturing animals is a proven gateway to torturing people. The ritualistic stripping of compassion to the weak can only lead to horror.
posted by nathan_teske at 2:05 AM on December 24, 2002


troutfishing... I've tried scanning your comment for sarcasm and it appears to be clean.

Were you serious then?
posted by ed\26h at 2:11 AM on December 24, 2002


Torturing animals is a proven gateway to torturing people

I'm afriad you're going to have to back that one up. It sounds disconcertingly vague.
posted by ed\26h at 2:14 AM on December 24, 2002


[mencius]

In ancient China there was a king. One day he saw a man leading an ox with a terrified look in its eyes.

The king stopped the man and asked, 'Why does this ox have such a terrified look?'

'This ox will be sacrificed and its blood used to consecrate a bell.'

The king felt pity for the ox and said, 'Let this ox go. Use the blood of a sheep instead.'

The man did so and the people all said that the king was greedy because he begrudged an ox.

Who could blame the people for thinking so?

Even the sheep will fear death with as much terror as an ox.

So what difference is there between the ox and the sheep?

The difference is that the king saw the ox but did not see the sheep.

(read the full text here)

[/mencius]
posted by cup at 2:22 AM on December 24, 2002


Am I the only one who thinks that posting a link with no further description than "this is the sickest, saddest thing I've ever seen" hasn't one damn thing to do with compassion and everything to do with a perverse enticement? Give me a break. "Ooo, everybody look, here's something reeeeeeally sick and disgusting!"
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:47 AM on December 24, 2002


Torturing animals is a proven gateway to torturing people...
I'm afriad you're going to have to back that one up.


ed/26h: My memory isn't what it used to be, but I do recall FBI profiler John Douglas saying in Mindhunters that one (of many) commonalities in serial killers was childhood torture of small animals.
posted by Tacodog at 2:54 AM on December 24, 2002


Maybe thats the sickest thing you've ever seen but I've seen much worse. Check out the videos at rotten.com and stileproject.com. Now thats some sick stuff.

As far as animal crulity goes, I gotta wonder if stabbing an animal to death is worse than starving it to death as far as suffering goes.

Oh, btw, the sites I mentioned have things such as frying live kittens and burning pigs alive. Wonderfull stuff for the hollidays.

Worst thing I think I've seen was a picture on rotten.com of a little boy with his jaw ripped off. The worst part was that the caption said that it was done as his mother watched for the purpose of torturing her.
posted by Photar at 4:06 AM on December 24, 2002


Well, it's obviously unpleasant n' all, but 'one the sickest , saddiest [sic] stories I've ever read on the net'? I think not.
Not much of a bravery test though, is it? Oh look at me, I can kill a tied up dog with a knife. What practical applications does that have against a platoon armed with assault rifles? Unless Peru is restricting its military activities purely to stabbing tied up dogs. Maybe they found out the dogs were spies or something.
posted by RokkitNite at 4:21 AM on December 24, 2002


hey calm down, in a bullfight a bull is also tortured and killed brutally, and the crowd, as in the rome empire, delights with the slaughter.

i think we’re missing a point. human cruelty.

once someone thinks that they’re killing for a good cause, they’ll start enjoying the killing.

in a bullfight they think it’s art, so they do it and enjoy it. the peruvian army think it’s training, so they do it and enjoy it. the aztecs thought that human sacrifice was imperative for the continuity of the universe, so they did it and enjoyed it. the nazis thought they were cleaning europe from jews, so they killed jews and enjoyed it. the japanese army thought that slaughter was the way of occupation in nanjing, so they slaughtered and enjoyed it.

homo homini lupus

history tells that the nature of killing in the human may not be so disgusting after all…
posted by trismegisto at 5:27 AM on December 24, 2002


An oft repeated Vietnam-era story (this version from here):
"Something similar happened in the sixties once. Some Yippies made a public announcement that they were going to napalm a puppy in protest of the vietnam war. Thousands of angry people showed up to kill them, but it turned out they werent going to napalm anything, it was just a publicity stunt to point out the horror of Vietnamese villagers (and, one has to assume, many of their village animals) being napalmed by our government on a daily basis. Naturally nobody gave a crap about that and the crowd dispersed, grumbling."
posted by beagle at 5:38 AM on December 24, 2002


homo homini lupus
posted by trismegisto at 5:44 AM on December 24, 2002


Please don't tell me I'm the only person who laughed when I saw the picture. I love dogs, I have three of my own, but still....
posted by vbfg at 5:55 AM on December 24, 2002


Some comments made me think about what M. Moore has been heard to say not too long ago: that when his first movie came out, people were horrified by a scene showing a rabbit (i think!) being violently killed, but everyone seemed to think that the next scene, showing an afro-american man being killed by cops, was perfectly normal (i.e. no one came up to Moore saying 'oh my god, this scene showing this guy getting killed was awful', but more like 'Oh my god, this poor little rabbit! How dare you put that in a movie?'.
posted by Sijeka at 6:08 AM on December 24, 2002


Yeah, that Mandy Moore is one smart cookie.
posted by Samsonov14 at 6:41 AM on December 24, 2002


Willnot has it exactly right:if they were real soldiers, they'd be locked up in a room with a rabid pitbull (untied, of course) and we'd see how good they really are. This is so barbaric and anti-Christmas words fail me;plus it teaches soldiers to be torturers, not warriors. In real combat you fight, as opposed to slashing away at a defenseless victim, animal or otherwise.

ps:trismegisto bullfights are just as grotesque and primitive. Nobody's entitled to nurture sick excuses in order to kill.
posted by 111 at 7:25 AM on December 24, 2002


There could probably be a similar post on how cows and pigs are treated by ranchers and farmers.

The truth is, in nature, animals probably die an equally, if not more, cruel and dismal death. But that's okay, because it's preserving the ecosystem, and the order of the food chain.

The point is to know the line between killing an animal for food and killing an animal for pleasure.
posted by mfli at 8:00 AM on December 24, 2002


mfli - the line is between killing an animal out of necessity, and otherwise. No animal needs to die for any of the (Western) people on this thread. We have plentiful access to healthier, more eco-friendly choices. If you're killing an animal "for food" and don't actually need the animal for food, that's killing for pleasure.

What's funny, I guess, is that we all seem to share this realization that a) a few dogs being tortured and killed = something awful, b) we can't do much about it, c) billions of animals we eat for food are tortured and killed needlessly (if you still lack that realization, click here) which d) doesn't bother us only because we don't have to look at it, and e) something can be done about it. All it takes is a significant number of people changing their habitual behavior patterns and refusing to support (i.e. fund) the systematic torture and killing of animals. But most of us don't get to that last step. Fine, but I wonder who has the balls to at least acknowledge that "my allegiance to my own personal habits is more significant than my disgust at cruelty, waste and overall inhumanity."
posted by soyjoy at 8:05 AM on December 24, 2002


The story was certainly unpleasant and horrifying, but not as sickening as the display of cynicism and downright rudeness and depravity of some of the posters here.

My opinions of some people on this forum have definitely changed. And I would say irreversibly.

The only reasonable reaction to this is "This is awful and should not be allowed". Anything else is a red herring and not germane to the discussion.

I mean, if a discussion of a 10 year old girl being raped by a man came up, would your only response be that one time a 8 year old girl was raped by 2 men so she should quit her bitching?

How does the "cruelty one-upmanship" add anything to the discussion?

Yes, people die violent grisly deaths everyday. I mean, duh, thanks for the news flash. But what in Christ's name does it have to do with this?

Absolutely nothing.

The type of people who would see nothing wrong with this or would try to simply wave it away by saying "this other bad stuff happens too" are repugnant to me.

I've enjoyed many of the debates that have taken place on this board. But, threads like this reveal the true colors of what appears to be about 1/2 the posters. And it brings into serious question any discussion had with them previously. I mean, how can I take someone's opinion on intellectual property rights seriously if they think it's hilarious a dog being tied up and tortured and mutilated?

This level of childish, immature, depraved and vile behavior basically invalidates anything said by those people in other posts.

Being jaded and spiteful to this level is not cool or hip or attractive. You are not impressing anyone. It is revolting and you should be embarrassed by it.

The comments this has spawned have actually shocked me. Trying to relate this to other military training and the slaughtering of animals for food is the workings of an intellectual midget. Yes, tying a baby up to practice on it would have been "worse". But, does that mean that the current situation is somehow okay then? Because it "could be" worse"??????

God, the entire thing is infuriating. The fact that generally intelligent and educated people could feel otherwise is really quite a surprise to me. I don't know that there has ever been a simpler issue to reach a consensus on.

Tying something up and slaughtering it for the fostering of bloodlust should be safely regarded by civilized society as "bad". There should be an easily-reached consensus on this. Whether that "something" is a dog or a baby is of no consequence.

My mother always taught me that you can tell a great deal about a person's character by the way they treat children and defenseless animals.

And what I've seen here is not pretty. Not pretty at all.

On preview: mfli: All that I am personally familiar with is the slaughter of beef cattle. They are killed via a piston through the brain that causes basically instantaneous death. Is it pleasant? No, a cow died for my food, it's unfortunate. But, to equate to this story beef cattle would have to be hung on hooks still alive while they kicked and mooed being butchered alive.

Jesus Christ people, the difference is not hard to see.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:07 AM on December 24, 2002


But, to equate to this story beef cattle would have to be hung on hooks still alive while they kicked and mooed being butchered alive

Uh, yeah. That's exactly what happens, more often than not, Ynoxas. Ready to do something about it?
posted by soyjoy at 8:17 AM on December 24, 2002


once someone thinks that they’re killing for a good cause, they’ll start enjoying the killing.

If you follow that line of thinking, every war veteran should be a spree killer. Nice logic.
posted by jonmc at 8:25 AM on December 24, 2002


couple things...

many years ago i had a friend who had been a green beret. he told me that the final test was a wilderness survival exercise where he was dropped off in the everglades with a knife and a puppy. there was a designated pick up point many miles away. he was to survive, keep the dog alive, and make the pickup point by the appointed hour. at that point he was told to kill the dog.

bullshit? can anyone confirm the truth of his story?

if true, was this "elite force training" learned by the peruvians at the school for the americas?
posted by aiq at 8:28 AM on December 24, 2002


Soyjoy: I, unlike you most likely, have actually stood in a beef slaughterhouse during production. [irrelevant discussion deleted]

But, once again, this has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. We are talking about if it is bad to tie animals up and mutilate them FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF FOSTERING BLOODLUST.

The only reason I responded to this is because it is something I have first hand knowledge of. But good job trying to derail yet again. I hope you feel better about things.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:34 AM on December 24, 2002


Who's derailing what? I think it's already been established through previous exchanges in this thread that what we're discussing is institutionalized, needless cruelty to animals and what can be done about it. Unlike all the posts that merely wring hands over pointless cruelty, I put on the table a possible answer to "what can be done." It's not the only answer, but it is certainly relevant here.

As to standing in a beef slaughterhouse, oh, OK, I guess your experience for however long you were there trumps decades of documentation from journalists and slaughterhouse workers themselves.

Face it, folks - the animal doesn't care why you're doing it. It doesn't even care that what's happening is totally unnecessary. It only cares that it's being tortured to death. You can either continue to fund that, or not. Your choice.
posted by soyjoy at 8:47 AM on December 24, 2002


aiq: That wouldn't surprise me a bit; anybody have any info?

Ynoxas: Thanks for the rant. I'm with you.
posted by languagehat at 8:52 AM on December 24, 2002


i don't think it's bloodlust as much as degredation. if you make someone ashamed of what they are, they're much more likely to do what you want. in that way, yes it's related to other military training. it's a lot more extreme than making people do things that are obviously pointless until the collapse, but the principle is pretty much the same.

as for assessing the morality of the incident in itself - either extreme (claiming irrelevance or outrage) is simplistic. you have to both acknowledge that this is digusting while also remaining aware that, in doing so, you are being manipulated by whoever managed to get this horrific image rather than any one of countless others to your attention, and that you are dealing with information without any kind of supporting context.

in a sophisticated media-driven world you have to wonder, for example, whether this story was pushed by a sl or mrta sympathiser hoping that criticism of the peruvian army will help their cause. i'm sure most peruvian soldiers are pretty "normal" people, just as most cows are slaughtered in "reasonable" conditions. is it any more inhumane to be sceptical of this story than the pamphlets handed out by militant animal-rights supporters? if you're going to put effort into preventing an atrocity - when most of us spend our lives ignoring this kind of thing as much as possible - is it sensible to choose the target based on what the editor of the telegraph thought most suitable for titilating his(?) readers?

if i'm pushing "irrelevance" side rather than the "outrage" that's only because (1) i think ynoxas has made a good case for outrage and (2) i suspect it's difficult not to feel outrage - apparent callousness might well be frustration at feeling such anger while being aware of the problems above.
posted by andrew cooke at 8:53 AM on December 24, 2002


I speak for the lobsters...
posted by LowDog at 8:54 AM on December 24, 2002


So, to summarize this debate: Killing animals is bad. Killing people is bad. There, we're all in agreement.

CORRECTION: Killing animals is bad. Killing people is worse.
posted by rushmc at 8:55 AM on December 24, 2002


At least nobody's using this thread to grind their favorite axe...
posted by Ty Webb at 8:56 AM on December 24, 2002


Fine, but I wonder who has the balls to at least acknowledge that "my allegiance to my own personal habits is more significant than my disgust at cruelty, waste and overall inhumanity."

good point. when i read the story and saw the picture i was immediately horrified as i always am when i hear stories of animal cruelty. otoh, i have no problem whatsoever sitting down at my local mcd's and gorging on a big mac because in my mind, i'm not eating an animal that was killed for wasteful consumption; i'm eating a slab of 1/4 lb beef.

CORRECTION: Killing animals is bad. Killing people is worse.

yeah, from humanitys pov.
posted by poopy at 8:57 AM on December 24, 2002


bullshit? can anyone confirm the truth of his story?

I don't know if this is true. But I do have a close friend that is a navy SEAL. From what he's told me they specialize in three areas, two of his are medic and sniper. In the final phase of medical training a goat is shot, they then rush over and must keep the goat alive for a certain period of time - ostensibly the time it would take to medivac a wounded soldier. Training for a different purpose, yes, but I imagine they wouldn't hesitate to use animals in other exercises. The point is to remove emotion from killing. I'd rather my son not become a SEAL or Green Beret, but these individuals have their purpose and the long established methods for training them are a little difficult to stomach - even more so when they are ripped out of context.
posted by rotifer at 10:02 AM on December 24, 2002


The reason why they're doing this is clearly to teach the soldiers not to let their emotions get in the way of what they must do. That's why they let the soldiers bond with their animals first. It is probably an effective, if brutal, way to achieve this. Also, it forms a rite of passage that unifies the men. It also drives home the horrors of war (in fact, it will actually be worse than that) and helps to weed out those who just can't take it. Notwithstanding the cruelty involved, if your goal is to create an effective fighting force, you could probably do worse.

The United States' military's approach to this problem is to create technology that allows our soldiers to kill without ever having to see the enemy's all-too-human face. It's a good thing our way is so much better; otherwise, we wouldn't have an excuse to act all morally superior about Peru's use of the less expensive dogs to do what we spend billions of dollars to accomplish.
posted by kindall at 10:02 AM on December 24, 2002


CORRECTION: Killing animals is bad. Killing people is worse.

No.

Such acts are equally wrong by any reasonable and compassionate standard of ethics.

On this Christmas Eve 2002, this thread and many posters well represent the world so many would countenance....soldiers training to war by spearing living animals.

This is the world. Have faith.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 11:00 AM on December 24, 2002


Such acts are equally wrong by any reasonable and compassionate standard of ethics.

Not if you value consciousness, self-awareness, reason and intelligence above mere biological existence.
posted by rushmc at 11:38 AM on December 24, 2002


So, to summarize this debate: Killing animals is bad. Killing people is bad. There, we're all in agreement.

CORRECTION: Killing animals is bad. Killing people is worse.


CORRECTION: Killing animals is bad.

That's what the story is about. Anything else is a non sequitur; as to why it was introduced -- you'd have to ask the poster in question.
posted by argybarg at 12:17 PM on December 24, 2002


That summarizes the story, argybarg, not the debate.
posted by rushmc at 1:05 PM on December 24, 2002


rushmc,

"Not if you value consciousness, self-awareness, reason and intelligence above mere biological existence."

D'oh!

I mean you no offense, but I knew someone would get themselves in trouble behind that kind of assertion sooner or later.
Since the pontificating has begun in earnest, I'd very much like to know how you intend to prove that humans are exclusively "intelligent" and sentient. Jesus, I'd even be interested in seeing a solid argument for a universal standard by which to prove the intelligence and sentience of beings--that does not rely exclusively on the human frame of reference.
I think you should try, if you've got that kind of time--but your odds of pulling it off are somewhere in the neighborhood of nil.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 1:07 PM on December 24, 2002


[fark]

Everytime you kill a puppy, God masturbates.

[/fark]
posted by falameufilho at 1:17 PM on December 24, 2002


Not if you value consciousness, self-awareness, reason and intelligence above mere biological existence.

So where would you rank killing the severly retarded on your moral scale?
posted by timeistight at 1:26 PM on December 24, 2002


Why should human life be valued above animal life? (not to say that animal life has no value or deserves no compassion relative to it's status: just saying there IS a difference!)

Human dignity distinguishes man from animal. Human dignity is rooted in the capacity to understand -- via reason as a natural, ontological, transcendental, and fundamental concept. Human beings possess the ability to use it, and yet it is greater and more basic than us.

See section 3 below, particularly.

Reason can be defined in itself, in its use, and in us.

1. Reason in itself
In itself reason is the laws of thought. These are:
i) The law of identity: a is a
ii) The law of non-contradiction: not both a and non-a
iii) The law of excluded middle: either a or non-a

2. Reason in its use
i) Reason is used to form concepts, judgments and arguments, which are the forms of all thoughts.
ii) Reason is used as a test for meaning; meaning is more basic than truth – if a law of reason is violated there is no
meaning and wherever there is meaning reason is being used.
iii) Reason is used to interpret (give meaning to) one’s experience in light of one’s basic beliefs.
iv) Reason is used to construct a coherent world and life view.

3. Reason in us
i) Reason is natural: It is not cultural or conventional; it is universal, the same in all persons at all times.
ii) Reason is ontological: It applies to being as well as to thought – there are no square circles and no uncaused events.
iii) Reason is transcendental: It is authoritative and self-attesting; it cannot be questioned but it makes questioning possible.
iv) Reason is fundamental: It is basic to other aspects of human personality; its use is the source of man’s greatest good and its denial is the source of man’s deepest misery.
posted by razorwriter at 2:13 PM on December 24, 2002


Reason as a property singularly found in humans, eh?

How do you explain the fact that my dog, Riley, spontaneously figured out how to triangulate the use of a full length mirror to watch me from across the room--as in, he's staring into the mirror and wags his tail when I wave at him?

For a recently documented case of animal reason, how do you explain this?
posted by Tiger_Lily at 3:00 PM on December 24, 2002


As to "dignity" argument, I again refer you to the experience that almost all of us have had with pets. Almost all of us have had the occassion to scold our pets with a dissaproving tone (sans aggression) that appears to have a shaming effect on them. If there's no sense of being "dignified", why then cower in what looks to be shame?
posted by Tiger_Lily at 3:10 PM on December 24, 2002


For a recently documented case of animal reason, how do you explain this?


Quite simply -- it's really the soul of a Dead Rock Star
posted by willnot at 3:22 PM on December 24, 2002


why then cower in what looks to be shame

I was with you up to here. They cower because it's submissive, they're showing you that they accept your position of dominance over them, whether there's any shame involved or not is guesswork and likely anthropomorphising. I agree with the main thrust of your argument, though.
posted by biscotti at 4:14 PM on December 24, 2002


I'd very much like to know how you intend to prove that humans are exclusively "intelligent" and sentient.

I make no claims of exclusivity. It's a question of quantity and proportion.

So where would you rank killing the severly [sic] retarded on your moral scale?

Depends upon the individual's cognitive level. If they are at the level of a dog, then equal to a dog; if they are at the level of a sponge, then equal to a sponge. You score no points for simply "being human," since there is no "soul." Note, however, that I don't promote the killing of sponges, dogs OR humans. I'm simply acknowledging the relative level of loss in each case.
posted by rushmc at 4:44 PM on December 24, 2002


biscotti,
I see your point--I should've articulated my point more carefully. There may be a better way to illustrate the presence of "dignity" than I mentioned, but that's the one that came first to mind.
I tried to address the dominance issue by pointing out that the disapproving tone, delivered without any hint of the threat of physical danger, is often sufficient in changing the outward behaviour of an animal. But, the same can also be said of humans. The only reason I can identify that "shame" occurs in humans is because we share a common language and they're are able to tell me that their altered body language is indicative of this emotional/psychological state. Where the inability to communicate among people occurs--I make an inter-species equivalent of anthropomorphic logic when I assume that this human (with whom I have no way of conversing or verifying that we've correctly understood one another) who appears to be ashamed is, in fact, ashamed.

We make these assumptions all the time about other humans - but find it illogical to extend the courtesy to beings around us, which seems deeply flawed to me.

rush,
In order to determine quality/quantity one needs first to determine a universal standard - yes? In order to do that, we'd need universal perspective - yes? The argument you present is fatally flawed - even with the concession on exclusivity.
posted by Tiger_Lily at 5:03 PM on December 24, 2002


The reason posters introduced the 'non sequitir' of 'killing humans is worse' is because the post says 'This is one the sickest , saddiest stories I've ever read on the net'. It sets it up at the pinnacle of a hierarchy of atrocities. Killing dogs is not the worst that war gets.
I agree that any loss of life, especially when it is so mindlessly brutal as this is chilling and quite simply should not be allowed to happen. But it is entirely legitimate for posters to place this story into some kind of reasonable context in what have been generally well-intentioned (although sadly ineffective) attempts to stop this thread descending into a 'who can be the most outraged' competition.
I wasn't personally shocked by the picture, though I feel the actions it portrays are repugnant. I think what some posters on this thread are cheesed off about is people's selective indignation.
posted by RokkitNite at 6:43 PM on December 24, 2002


Excuse me. I've got some emotions I'd like to invest. Can any of you help me?
posted by Opus Dark at 7:24 PM on December 24, 2002


One of the sickest, saddest, most scandalous massacres in human history. How can we let this go on? Can anything be done?
posted by sophist at 8:17 PM on December 24, 2002


This discussion is very upsetting. For the first half people were talking about how anyone could bring up the fact that killing humans is bad, since clearly there was a picture of a dog beng tortured, and I suppose thinking about things other than what is photographed is not acceptable.

Killing people is not unrelated, it is not a non-sequiter. It is not like saying, "Don't worry about jimmy dying because there are millions of people dying in Africa". The people killing the dogs are training to kill people. The piss-in-soup analogy is entirely valid.

That's a poor analogy. There's not some photo of another, much more horrible thing happening in this photograph that we're ignoring. It's a dog tied up for slaughter. That's the subject of the photograph.

Indeed, there is no photo, and if you need a photo in order to care I'm sorry.

Wrong though it may be, I feel more for animals and children than I do for adult humans.

It's not wrong, but if you were to act on those feelings I would say it's irresponsible. I would try and change those feelings.

In the later half of the discussion people seem to care about whether killing an animal is morally equal to killing a human. I suppose this is because they feel they must justify not thinking about the mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons, union workers, and democratic revolutionaries that will be just as brutally slaughtered by the trainees of the camps as this dog in the smartly-captioned image.

The distraction, that you can't tell whether an animal is intelligent or not, is a false dichotomy. As rushmc said, it's a matter of degree. Intelligence is on a scale. You then say any scale relies on the human frame of reference. Indeed all perception relies on a human frame of reference. Invalidating all perception is not an acceptable argumentative tactic. Behavior can be objectively looked at, problem solving abilities, which even you are so quick to point out. Your dog can use a mirror, I am glad for your dog. I, also, can use a mirror for things much more complex than watching you wave. Can we not extrapolate that I have the greater level of intelligence even though we do so with our own minds? I think so. The loss of a mother for her child is greater than the loss of a dog for its puppy. How do I know? Based on observable behavior.
posted by rhyax at 11:31 PM on December 24, 2002


I'm waiting for the Compassion Worthiness Chart (with illustrations), and hopefully it will include columns which suggest appropriate sobs-per-minute, tears-per-minute...and some eye-redness target swatches would really be helpful...

'Cause you know, compassion, like any emotion, should be quantifiable and controllable and everything. I mean, isn't emotion a by-product of intellect?
posted by Opus Dark at 1:38 AM on December 25, 2002


"The heart is forever inexperienced." --Thoreau
posted by rushmc at 5:27 AM on December 25, 2002


The only reasonable reaction to this is "This is awful and should not be allowed". Anything else is a red herring and not germane to the discussion.


Well, that would make for a pretty boring discussion, now wouldn't it.

---

Anyway, just to throw a little more fire unto this debate, I would say the intelligence of whatever's being killed is irrelevant. Human beings should not kill other human beings. Human beings should not cause other human beings to suffer. It's just a good policy. The more people who follow it, the less people suffer and die.

On the other hand, we cannot communicate with animals and make the same kinds of deals. Nothing is going to change a lion or monkey or elephant's propensity to kill us, why then should we apply our morality to them, if it cannot be reciprocated in turn? (without respect for bio-diversity issues, of course. We don't want to wipe out monkeys or elephants)

Anyway, seeing the dog strung up there is gross to me, but only in an esthetic sense -- I don't find it morally repugnant at all -- and even then, I don't find it that gross.

A lot of people get angry when stories of animal abuse are proffered as the zenith of perversity because it's ridiculous, and it ignores. greater crimes in the world.

Being jaded and spiteful to this level is not cool or hip or attractive. You are not impressing anyone. It is revolting and you should be embarrassed by it.

Well, I think it's hip. So there

God, the entire thing is infuriating. The fact that generally intelligent and educated people could feel otherwise is really quite a surprise to me.

I guess I slept through the class where they taught us to love animals and look at things emotionally rather then logically.
posted by delmoi at 8:03 AM on December 25, 2002


Please don't tell me I'm the only person who laughed when I saw the picture.

God, I hope so. But I doubt it. Get help.

Anger is an appropriate reaction to this story; being too "sensitive" to deal with it is just...weak.

I only wish we could spar a few rounds so we can define "weak," rushmc.

It's official: I don't think I can take part in MeFi anymore without calling someone an asshole. I'm just glad I stayed out of this discussion till after the holiday.
posted by Shane at 4:03 PM on December 27, 2002


Blegh
posted by Berend at 5:13 PM on December 28, 2002


So where would you rank killing the severly [sic] retarded on your moral scale?

Depends upon the individual's cognitive level...I'm simply acknowledging the relative level of loss in each case.


Good catch on the typo, rushmc. I guess that ups your "level of loss" vis-à-vis mine.
posted by timeistight at 8:57 AM on December 30, 2002


« Older 2002: The Year in Pictures - as collected by Reute...   |   Tis the season to give pardons... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments