This little bird is singing pretty with his Coronoa.
But this isn't always how we treat animals.
Some absolutely revere their animals as integral parts of their family or faith--as pets, they may be loved and cared in nice homes, and as source for milk, dung, and tilling, they may even considered sacred as in Hindu India, or for sacrifices on the Temple alter in Judaism.
I've seen dogs picked up after and wheeled around in baby strollers, while in the Movies like "Meet The Fockers," Jinx the cat is exalted for doing her deed in the toilet, the same one used by the family.
One colleague told me how she had to run after her dog cleaning up all over her house, when it was sick and had a bleed out of its butt--yeah, ick!
And I remember learning about how in Nazi Germany, dogs would walk on the sidewalk, while Jews were forced into the gutters.
On the other side of the animal coin...
We have animals sickeningly and inhumanly confined and caged in tiny spaces; starved or fattened; pepped up on antibiotics, and clubbed, electrocuted, given lethal injections, shot and cut up.
Animals are used for food, fur, and even so-called fun from cock fighting to bull runs.
Further, animals are used for research in everything from new medications to abusive studies in mind control and even punishment.
Animals have also been used for horrific torture of POWs where masks were attached to victims faces and a fire would heat the other side and force the rodent locked inside to burrow into the faces of their victims.
Similarly, in Nazi Germany, gruesome studies were conducted on humans by sewing live cats into the stomach of victims.
In more positive ways, animals have been used to locate everything from disease to the implements of war--from dogs being used in identifying human diseases like cancer and tuberculosis to giant rats used to locate land mines.
Also, animal products are used in many life-saving medications.
I found the remorse of an animal experimenter today in the New York Times to be refreshing, and those who choose to become vegan or disavow the use of fur and other animal products to be noble, as long as they accept that others may feel different.
When the experimenter in his guilt thinks about the tables being turned, he imagines aliens coming to Earth and abducting and conducting experiments on us humans...oh, he seems to go, now I know how it must feel.
Guess he didn't think to walk in that chicken's shoes before...
While to carnivorous animals, we are just another piece of beef in the food chain, other domesticated animals can be "man's best friend."
Killing an animal for survival is one thing, and where people draw that line can vary quite some--for example, how badly does Kim Kardashian need another fur to keep her warm?
But pure abusive and sick treatment of animals for amusement, profiteering, or psychotic ends is wrong, period.
Animals are not people, but they are G-d creatures and sentient, and they should not be harmed or pained just because some of us like to act like animals too. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)