A new little friend

A new little friend

Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

November 1st, 2002, 9:52 pm #1

Warning! Off topic post, do not read if you get teary eyed just thinking about things like Ol' Yeller and Bambi.

This morning, I had a heartbreaking experience. (Also gut wrenching... literally)

This morning I found a fox on the front lawn of the house in which I am currently residing. A little red fox. Lying in a pool of his own blood, sick, probably dying. His tail has been cut off, and, his right front paw is horribly mangled.

People, some people, heartless sicko BASTARDS like to set clamp traps set with bait to catch foxes and they cut off their tails. Some times they take the whole skin. Mostly, it's just the tails. Some times they kill them out right, other times, like this one, they leave them alive for the time being, releasing them, leaving them to what ever horrible fate awaits.

I tried to get my wife to pick the little fella up, but, she got scared and sqeamish. It hurt like hell, with just having my stomach stitched back up, but, I hunkered down, covered him with a towel, and got him scooped up and carried inside.

He is on the back porch now, he yelps and whimpers a bit. And I gotta do the right thing. I called the wildlife foundation. They said that the best thing they could do was put him to sleep. With out his tail and a good working paw, he has little to no chance of survival out in the wilds. I was also reminded it is illegal to keep wildlife. I said screw you asshole and hung up. My vet friend will be out tommorow. My guess is, the paw will have to be amputated.

The little fella don't seem to want anybody but me touching him. He does not seem rabid, I am a little worried about that. Been being extra careful. Already got his wounds disinfected and cleaned up as best I could. Got him fed. I dunno how good it was, or, how much it helps, but, I have a high protien mix suppliment used to nurse wild baby birds back to health (I am licenced to do that and have done so on many occasions) I mixed it with a little cat food and a can of condensed milk. He seems to like it quite a bit, and, after eating two meals, has perked up considerably. He has been clubbed in the head I think (After somebody found him in the trap I reckon, they conked him silly to cut his tail off) and he has a huge knot above his left eye. His poor little head is so swollen he can barely open his eyes. He mostly just lays there, his breathing heavy and laboured. He has lost a lot of blood. There is a long trail of blood coming out of the woods and a big puddle of blood where he collapsed in the yard. I got him cleaned up a good bit too, got all the dried blood out of his fur. He yelps a bit when I touch him, but, so far, he has not tried to bite or nip. Not so strange to me really, as I seem to have this thing with animals. It's a proven fact I get along better with critters then people.

Not quite sure what to do, vet friend said he might know somebody who will take him in, make sure he has a good life, but, it would depend on whether or not they have an opening. If not... Well, there is no other option. I will not allow the poor little fella to be put to sleep just because some demented asshole disfigured him and ruined his life. So... I guess once again I might have to break some silly law and keep him, as if that would be a wise thing to do. Not sure what to do actually. All I know is, I will have to do the morally correct thing, and, that means choosing life above all other options.

I am not the violent sort... I don't like the idea of hurting other people, it makes me sick, but, I would like to see the jerks that do this sort of thing get their scrotum caught in a clamp trap and leave them to ROT IN PAIN like they deserve. Forgive me for my anger and wishing another human to suffer, but, I am quite enraged right now. It's one thing to hunt for food, it's another thing to remove certain animals for safety (Like snakes, but, I always eat anything I kill) but to sensesly kill something just for the pelt or the tail, that's just sick.

What would you do? Do the right thing and choose life, or, would you follow some stupid law and turn the critter in to have it's life ended? Would you be this angry?
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Joined: June 29th, 2002, 7:51 pm

November 1st, 2002, 10:20 pm #2

I think its so stupid what hunters do. I once nursed a cat back to health she still lives my other cats but thats not the same thing. But you know, it almost is
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Caos2
Caos2

November 2nd, 2002, 12:24 am #3

Warning! Off topic post, do not read if you get teary eyed just thinking about things like Ol' Yeller and Bambi.

This morning, I had a heartbreaking experience. (Also gut wrenching... literally)

This morning I found a fox on the front lawn of the house in which I am currently residing. A little red fox. Lying in a pool of his own blood, sick, probably dying. His tail has been cut off, and, his right front paw is horribly mangled.

People, some people, heartless sicko BASTARDS like to set clamp traps set with bait to catch foxes and they cut off their tails. Some times they take the whole skin. Mostly, it's just the tails. Some times they kill them out right, other times, like this one, they leave them alive for the time being, releasing them, leaving them to what ever horrible fate awaits.

I tried to get my wife to pick the little fella up, but, she got scared and sqeamish. It hurt like hell, with just having my stomach stitched back up, but, I hunkered down, covered him with a towel, and got him scooped up and carried inside.

He is on the back porch now, he yelps and whimpers a bit. And I gotta do the right thing. I called the wildlife foundation. They said that the best thing they could do was put him to sleep. With out his tail and a good working paw, he has little to no chance of survival out in the wilds. I was also reminded it is illegal to keep wildlife. I said screw you asshole and hung up. My vet friend will be out tommorow. My guess is, the paw will have to be amputated.

The little fella don't seem to want anybody but me touching him. He does not seem rabid, I am a little worried about that. Been being extra careful. Already got his wounds disinfected and cleaned up as best I could. Got him fed. I dunno how good it was, or, how much it helps, but, I have a high protien mix suppliment used to nurse wild baby birds back to health (I am licenced to do that and have done so on many occasions) I mixed it with a little cat food and a can of condensed milk. He seems to like it quite a bit, and, after eating two meals, has perked up considerably. He has been clubbed in the head I think (After somebody found him in the trap I reckon, they conked him silly to cut his tail off) and he has a huge knot above his left eye. His poor little head is so swollen he can barely open his eyes. He mostly just lays there, his breathing heavy and laboured. He has lost a lot of blood. There is a long trail of blood coming out of the woods and a big puddle of blood where he collapsed in the yard. I got him cleaned up a good bit too, got all the dried blood out of his fur. He yelps a bit when I touch him, but, so far, he has not tried to bite or nip. Not so strange to me really, as I seem to have this thing with animals. It's a proven fact I get along better with critters then people.

Not quite sure what to do, vet friend said he might know somebody who will take him in, make sure he has a good life, but, it would depend on whether or not they have an opening. If not... Well, there is no other option. I will not allow the poor little fella to be put to sleep just because some demented asshole disfigured him and ruined his life. So... I guess once again I might have to break some silly law and keep him, as if that would be a wise thing to do. Not sure what to do actually. All I know is, I will have to do the morally correct thing, and, that means choosing life above all other options.

I am not the violent sort... I don't like the idea of hurting other people, it makes me sick, but, I would like to see the jerks that do this sort of thing get their scrotum caught in a clamp trap and leave them to ROT IN PAIN like they deserve. Forgive me for my anger and wishing another human to suffer, but, I am quite enraged right now. It's one thing to hunt for food, it's another thing to remove certain animals for safety (Like snakes, but, I always eat anything I kill) but to sensesly kill something just for the pelt or the tail, that's just sick.

What would you do? Do the right thing and choose life, or, would you follow some stupid law and turn the critter in to have it's life ended? Would you be this angry?
Forgive the foul language but why the fuck isn't anyone allowed to take care of a poor mangled, tortured wild animal? It's not like he's going to turn into a Godzilla and start eating people! You (and your wife) are the ones that are taking the risk! Nurse the small thing and give him/her a nice name :P

c2

PS: Luna is a nice name for foxes
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

November 2nd, 2002, 12:56 am #4

Where I live, you can get up to TEN years and up to 25,000 dollars in fines for keeping wild animals as pets with out a special wildlife licence. Sure, you can murder somebody in cold blood, and, with a little luck, you go to Perry for two and a half years, brown nose a little, and, get out on the Working Parole Program.

I have considered getting the licence, but, I remember all the headache and hassles it took to get my songbird rehabilitation licence. They actually penalize kind hearted citizens who wish to help out, costing them obcene amounts of money, endless paperwork and hoops, and, a bizaar need for a complete and total background check. I guess they don't anybody with black market ties selling songbirds to local criminals and making a bloody fortune at the birds expense, or some such crap. It is UTTER CRAP. Plain and simple. IIRC just the initial fee to get the ball rolling was over 900 bucks, and, this was a looooooong time ago, it's probably even more expensive now.

I don't want to name the little fella just yet, as I do not know if I will be keeping him for sure. If he can get a home with the rehab person that my vet friend knows, well, he is going to that place, plain and simple. He would be happier there, as I am told there are other foxes. However, space is limited. New spots come available regularly, as animals are rehabilitated and then used in educational programs to teach folks

What I want to teach folks is how not to do stoopid shit like what caused this whole mess in the first frigging place. I aint got no problem with people trapping animals they plan to eat, I find the method rather cruel, but, feeding your family is important. Hunting the animal down fairly is much more honourable. Believe me when I say this, hunting is vital down where I live for many families. Bagging a deer or two is what feeds the wife and kids through hard times. This is a very boonyish area. Backwoods. I find no fault with that. However, cutting off fox tails to make 10 bucks is just plain WRONG. Period. No ands ifs or buts. And having your horrible deed and it's consequences land in my front yard makes it even worse, as my wife is rather traumatized that some place out there, there is some sick twisted asshole that would do this to some cute cuddly fox... It makes her sick. Physically ill. She wont stop crying and it's getting on my nerves something awful.

I am one very irritated and angry little man at the moment.
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WarBlade
WarBlade

November 2nd, 2002, 1:41 am #5

Forgive the foul language but why the fuck isn't anyone allowed to take care of a poor mangled, tortured wild animal? It's not like he's going to turn into a Godzilla and start eating people! You (and your wife) are the ones that are taking the risk! Nurse the small thing and give him/her a nice name :P

c2

PS: Luna is a nice name for foxes
Beaurocrats like clear cut, black and white rules. It's easier for them to say "no wild animals without a permit" with a definite line drawn, than try to apply common sense to grey areas or run the risk of having some well meaning individual complain he/she wasn't warned before getting a nose clawed apart.
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Sirian
Sirian

November 2nd, 2002, 4:18 am #6

Where I live, you can get up to TEN years and up to 25,000 dollars in fines for keeping wild animals as pets with out a special wildlife licence. Sure, you can murder somebody in cold blood, and, with a little luck, you go to Perry for two and a half years, brown nose a little, and, get out on the Working Parole Program.

I have considered getting the licence, but, I remember all the headache and hassles it took to get my songbird rehabilitation licence. They actually penalize kind hearted citizens who wish to help out, costing them obcene amounts of money, endless paperwork and hoops, and, a bizaar need for a complete and total background check. I guess they don't anybody with black market ties selling songbirds to local criminals and making a bloody fortune at the birds expense, or some such crap. It is UTTER CRAP. Plain and simple. IIRC just the initial fee to get the ball rolling was over 900 bucks, and, this was a looooooong time ago, it's probably even more expensive now.

I don't want to name the little fella just yet, as I do not know if I will be keeping him for sure. If he can get a home with the rehab person that my vet friend knows, well, he is going to that place, plain and simple. He would be happier there, as I am told there are other foxes. However, space is limited. New spots come available regularly, as animals are rehabilitated and then used in educational programs to teach folks

What I want to teach folks is how not to do stoopid shit like what caused this whole mess in the first frigging place. I aint got no problem with people trapping animals they plan to eat, I find the method rather cruel, but, feeding your family is important. Hunting the animal down fairly is much more honourable. Believe me when I say this, hunting is vital down where I live for many families. Bagging a deer or two is what feeds the wife and kids through hard times. This is a very boonyish area. Backwoods. I find no fault with that. However, cutting off fox tails to make 10 bucks is just plain WRONG. Period. No ands ifs or buts. And having your horrible deed and it's consequences land in my front yard makes it even worse, as my wife is rather traumatized that some place out there, there is some sick twisted asshole that would do this to some cute cuddly fox... It makes her sick. Physically ill. She wont stop crying and it's getting on my nerves something awful.

I am one very irritated and angry little man at the moment.
there is some sick twisted asshole that would do this to some cute cuddly fox.

Why does the "cute cuddly" aspect matter?

If god looked after only the cute and cuddly whatevers, you'da been done for long ago, Doc. Right?

Your fox had a will to live. He crawled to the one spot where somebody would look after him. That's a pretty smart fox. And he's letting you care for him. Not that he necessarily has much choice, as he may be too weak to resist, but... yeah. I agree you won't ignore him, and god knows that, too, so go with caring for him and doing as much good for him as you can.

I know you feel justified in the anger, but it's not worth it. The fox is a living thing, and its suffering may seem irrationally unnecessary. However, I'm not so sure these folks intended cruelty. There's a difference between indifference and torture. If they turned the fox loose with the intent to see it suffer, for the "thrill" of dominating a little fox with that kind of "playing god", then yeah, they have some cosmic justice coming their way. On the other hand, you don't know for sure, and is it your place to leap to conclusions and pass judgement? They might have thought they knocked the fox out and that he'd bleed to death before he ever woke. You're entitled to your opinions about the "necessity" or lack thereof in taking the fox's tail, but I'm afraid that logically speaking, your position has all kinds of holes in it.

Is everyone who swats a fly or purposely steps on an ant a "sick twisted bastard"? If not, why not? Aren't those living things, too? Do human beings have the right to kill ANYTHING? Ever? If so, where is the line to be drawn and who draws it?

Hunting's OK for food, but not for pelts? So it's fine if they kill if they "have to do it" to eat. Well... really now. Boondocks or no, there are other ways to eat in this country today, so labeling hunting for food as "necessary" just because folks in your area tend to do it a lot, and have traditions of doing it, may be just a convenient "exception" in your mind. If folks worked harder, or picked up and moved to where there are more opportunities, they could eat in other ways. Isn't that true? "Necessity" is not clear cut.

The vegans at least are consistent. They view animal killing as wrong, period. No justifications, no convenient exceptions, no extra investment in the "cute, cuddly" species. They don't eat meat or any animal-involved foods (milk, etc), try to avoid using products that involved animals in their making, etc. I respect the consistency of that position, and I also measure my own views on the issue by that yardstick.

You portray this as a "clear moral choice". I don't see it that way. There are countless (COUNTLESS) living things on this earth that are suffering as we speak. Some of them are suffering horrible pain, most of it the result of the natural order of bigger things eating smaller things. Some are animals suffering at the hands of humans who are being intentionally cruel, while others are suffering at the hands of humans who are being indifferently cruel. Some of the suffering ARE human beings.

You can't help them all. You can choose to help some of them. The resources you spend on the wounded fox could go to some other cause. So then what? Are you going to look at everything in terms of "clear moral obligations" that in fact rely on pure circumstance? The fox has crossed your path. What's the REAL difference between that fox and any of the others who died out in the woods from the same mistreatment? Only that this one is closer. This one has found its way to your attention. Then what? You're obligated to rescue the ones that you notice, but free to ignore the ones you don't notice? Wouldn't the clear moral choice take you out into the woods every day hunting for wounded foxes to nurse? Even if you had to drag an IV bag with you and hire someone to carry enough towels, antiseptic and premixed cat-food nutrition?


You know, I put my cat down last year, Doc. My buddy of twelve years, I've talked about him with you a bit. I could have chosen to spend $1000 to have them cut off his jaw, then forcefeed pills down his throat for a while to keep him alive a little longer. Since I COULD HAVE gone to those lengths, by your standards, I'm sort of moral inferior, possibly deserving of a slice of your wrath. I had an animal killed. My pet, my choice. According to you, the only moral choice is life at all costs. One more thing on which we don't agree.

I don't see it as a question of "worth", nor as a question of rigid morals. It's a choice.

I could have chosen to EXTEND my cat's pain and suffering. I did not. I kept him while he suffered through the cancer, not knowing exactly what was wrong but knowing that he was failing in health. I nursed him around, held him more, appreciated what I knew was the last of my time with him. Then when he showed me that his suffering was growing unbearable and that he lost the will to eat, lost the ability to endure without it really driving him crazy, I made a choice for him that he could not make for himself: to exit quickly. I don't see that in moral terms. It's a choice.

Like where you choose to spend your money, this is just another choice. There is no "right" answer. One way values the length of life more. The other values quality of life more. Is a few more moments of life worth ANY amount of pain and suffering? I don't think so, but that's just me.

The will to live is like any other drive. There is an element to the body itself that chemically, electrically causes urges. If we are of the spirit, we can see value in overriding the body's urges at times. For example, in not being led around as a man by a certain bodily appendage with "a mind of its own". If there is such a thing as an inappropriate urge of that sort, or of a "right" choice to defy that urge, who is to say there is never an appropriate time to defy the urge to live? The choice should never be made lightly, but it should not also be dicated to you.

You can love the fox by nursing it. You can also love the fox by killing it. It all depends on what you choose to value the most. That may run counter to what you've been taught (which may involve the idea that all choices can be boiled down to right vs wrong, when in fact there is such a thing as the greater of two goods and the lesser of two evils), but have you really thought it through?

Forget the "moral" choice here. Even choosing to ignore the fox and leave it to fend for itself could be a moral choice. How? If the cost for you to do any of the options presented to you is higher than you should be paying. What if the fox IS rabid and you or your wife gets bit? Then where would you be? And again, if you spend $1000 on a wounded fox, you are choosing the fox over any other number of choices to help those in need. I don't see how you'd be morally corrupt to let the fox die, and choose instead to put your resources to other things.

In my humble opinion, you CHEAPEN the value of your choice to cast it in the light of being predestiny, with only one "right" option and this being like a pop quiz from god that you either pass or fail. If that were me in your shoes, I may or may not make the same choices as you, but I would do it as a CHOICE. I would choose to nurse the fox, choose to end its suffering, or choose not to interfere. Whatever, I would choose, and take all the responsibility for the choice onto my own shoulders.

You've been presented an opportunity to learn more about yourself here, Doc. About what you choose, and why, and what you think it means, and... perhaps, how what it may really mean can differ from what you have always thought.

The real moral dilemma here for you, Doc, is not the fox at all. It's the whip. It's your sense of being justified in righteous anger, to pass judgement on others, to set them up as your opponents so you can wade in and give them Hell.

You're running out of chances on this lesson. Are you sure the fox didn't volunteer (in a cosmic sense) to suffer this fate and end up at your doorstep? I mean, this one message must be pretty important to god if He would allow a fox to be mangled like that and then inspire the poor thing to crawl right to your door just to hand you one more chance to choose differently here. Hmm? And if you pass up THIS chance to leave that whip alone, how much more blunt will the opportunity have to be next time to try to be more plain to you?

Nurse the little fellow -- it's what you want to do, and there's nothing wrong with that in my book. He certainly deserves care. He's a living thing, cute or not. That's good enough, even if you want to spend big buckaroos on him. Your money, your time, your house, your right to choose. But don't use the little guy as fuel in your lifelong issues. I ask you to pause a moment to reflect, rather than just to react, and consider that god's plan in this event may be more about you than about the fox.


- Sirian
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Joined: November 21st, 2001, 1:08 pm

November 2nd, 2002, 5:23 am #7

and he said it far more eloquently and clearly than I am capable of doing.
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 4:29 pm

November 2nd, 2002, 6:21 am #8

there is some sick twisted asshole that would do this to some cute cuddly fox.

Why does the "cute cuddly" aspect matter?

If god looked after only the cute and cuddly whatevers, you'da been done for long ago, Doc. Right?

Your fox had a will to live. He crawled to the one spot where somebody would look after him. That's a pretty smart fox. And he's letting you care for him. Not that he necessarily has much choice, as he may be too weak to resist, but... yeah. I agree you won't ignore him, and god knows that, too, so go with caring for him and doing as much good for him as you can.

I know you feel justified in the anger, but it's not worth it. The fox is a living thing, and its suffering may seem irrationally unnecessary. However, I'm not so sure these folks intended cruelty. There's a difference between indifference and torture. If they turned the fox loose with the intent to see it suffer, for the "thrill" of dominating a little fox with that kind of "playing god", then yeah, they have some cosmic justice coming their way. On the other hand, you don't know for sure, and is it your place to leap to conclusions and pass judgement? They might have thought they knocked the fox out and that he'd bleed to death before he ever woke. You're entitled to your opinions about the "necessity" or lack thereof in taking the fox's tail, but I'm afraid that logically speaking, your position has all kinds of holes in it.

Is everyone who swats a fly or purposely steps on an ant a "sick twisted bastard"? If not, why not? Aren't those living things, too? Do human beings have the right to kill ANYTHING? Ever? If so, where is the line to be drawn and who draws it?

Hunting's OK for food, but not for pelts? So it's fine if they kill if they "have to do it" to eat. Well... really now. Boondocks or no, there are other ways to eat in this country today, so labeling hunting for food as "necessary" just because folks in your area tend to do it a lot, and have traditions of doing it, may be just a convenient "exception" in your mind. If folks worked harder, or picked up and moved to where there are more opportunities, they could eat in other ways. Isn't that true? "Necessity" is not clear cut.

The vegans at least are consistent. They view animal killing as wrong, period. No justifications, no convenient exceptions, no extra investment in the "cute, cuddly" species. They don't eat meat or any animal-involved foods (milk, etc), try to avoid using products that involved animals in their making, etc. I respect the consistency of that position, and I also measure my own views on the issue by that yardstick.

You portray this as a "clear moral choice". I don't see it that way. There are countless (COUNTLESS) living things on this earth that are suffering as we speak. Some of them are suffering horrible pain, most of it the result of the natural order of bigger things eating smaller things. Some are animals suffering at the hands of humans who are being intentionally cruel, while others are suffering at the hands of humans who are being indifferently cruel. Some of the suffering ARE human beings.

You can't help them all. You can choose to help some of them. The resources you spend on the wounded fox could go to some other cause. So then what? Are you going to look at everything in terms of "clear moral obligations" that in fact rely on pure circumstance? The fox has crossed your path. What's the REAL difference between that fox and any of the others who died out in the woods from the same mistreatment? Only that this one is closer. This one has found its way to your attention. Then what? You're obligated to rescue the ones that you notice, but free to ignore the ones you don't notice? Wouldn't the clear moral choice take you out into the woods every day hunting for wounded foxes to nurse? Even if you had to drag an IV bag with you and hire someone to carry enough towels, antiseptic and premixed cat-food nutrition?


You know, I put my cat down last year, Doc. My buddy of twelve years, I've talked about him with you a bit. I could have chosen to spend $1000 to have them cut off his jaw, then forcefeed pills down his throat for a while to keep him alive a little longer. Since I COULD HAVE gone to those lengths, by your standards, I'm sort of moral inferior, possibly deserving of a slice of your wrath. I had an animal killed. My pet, my choice. According to you, the only moral choice is life at all costs. One more thing on which we don't agree.

I don't see it as a question of "worth", nor as a question of rigid morals. It's a choice.

I could have chosen to EXTEND my cat's pain and suffering. I did not. I kept him while he suffered through the cancer, not knowing exactly what was wrong but knowing that he was failing in health. I nursed him around, held him more, appreciated what I knew was the last of my time with him. Then when he showed me that his suffering was growing unbearable and that he lost the will to eat, lost the ability to endure without it really driving him crazy, I made a choice for him that he could not make for himself: to exit quickly. I don't see that in moral terms. It's a choice.

Like where you choose to spend your money, this is just another choice. There is no "right" answer. One way values the length of life more. The other values quality of life more. Is a few more moments of life worth ANY amount of pain and suffering? I don't think so, but that's just me.

The will to live is like any other drive. There is an element to the body itself that chemically, electrically causes urges. If we are of the spirit, we can see value in overriding the body's urges at times. For example, in not being led around as a man by a certain bodily appendage with "a mind of its own". If there is such a thing as an inappropriate urge of that sort, or of a "right" choice to defy that urge, who is to say there is never an appropriate time to defy the urge to live? The choice should never be made lightly, but it should not also be dicated to you.

You can love the fox by nursing it. You can also love the fox by killing it. It all depends on what you choose to value the most. That may run counter to what you've been taught (which may involve the idea that all choices can be boiled down to right vs wrong, when in fact there is such a thing as the greater of two goods and the lesser of two evils), but have you really thought it through?

Forget the "moral" choice here. Even choosing to ignore the fox and leave it to fend for itself could be a moral choice. How? If the cost for you to do any of the options presented to you is higher than you should be paying. What if the fox IS rabid and you or your wife gets bit? Then where would you be? And again, if you spend $1000 on a wounded fox, you are choosing the fox over any other number of choices to help those in need. I don't see how you'd be morally corrupt to let the fox die, and choose instead to put your resources to other things.

In my humble opinion, you CHEAPEN the value of your choice to cast it in the light of being predestiny, with only one "right" option and this being like a pop quiz from god that you either pass or fail. If that were me in your shoes, I may or may not make the same choices as you, but I would do it as a CHOICE. I would choose to nurse the fox, choose to end its suffering, or choose not to interfere. Whatever, I would choose, and take all the responsibility for the choice onto my own shoulders.

You've been presented an opportunity to learn more about yourself here, Doc. About what you choose, and why, and what you think it means, and... perhaps, how what it may really mean can differ from what you have always thought.

The real moral dilemma here for you, Doc, is not the fox at all. It's the whip. It's your sense of being justified in righteous anger, to pass judgement on others, to set them up as your opponents so you can wade in and give them Hell.

You're running out of chances on this lesson. Are you sure the fox didn't volunteer (in a cosmic sense) to suffer this fate and end up at your doorstep? I mean, this one message must be pretty important to god if He would allow a fox to be mangled like that and then inspire the poor thing to crawl right to your door just to hand you one more chance to choose differently here. Hmm? And if you pass up THIS chance to leave that whip alone, how much more blunt will the opportunity have to be next time to try to be more plain to you?

Nurse the little fellow -- it's what you want to do, and there's nothing wrong with that in my book. He certainly deserves care. He's a living thing, cute or not. That's good enough, even if you want to spend big buckaroos on him. Your money, your time, your house, your right to choose. But don't use the little guy as fuel in your lifelong issues. I ask you to pause a moment to reflect, rather than just to react, and consider that god's plan in this event may be more about you than about the fox.


- Sirian
Well.

Ugh.

Ugh ugh.

While you might be correct on some levels for some of the things you said, there may be more looking into this then needed. Then again, maybe not. It's a can of worms really, pure and simple. Ugh.

Cute and cuddly or no, life is a good thing, as is the continuation of life. Yes, I kill the various copperheads and cottonmouths and water moccasin snakes around here. Is it justified? Well, on the simple level, maybe. It seems so. In the bigger picture, who knows? Those critters pose a real threat. To children. Farm animals. Goats, chickens, dogs. Other folks. I guess it boils down to the greater good. Oh boy, that really opens up a can of worms eh? Shall we go there? Is the life of a child or a goat or a cow or a person worth more then a snake? Well, I dunno. Snakes make for good eating, lowers the food bill a bit with fresh meat, and, lets face it, hospitals and funerals aint no fun and are mighty expensive. My ideas? There aint no clear cut answer... Or maybe there is and maybe I am a bit to country dumb to see it.

In the most simple boiled down terms, it landed on my front lawn and therefore, the issue was forced on me to deal with. It would not matter if it was a fox, a person, or even something that somebody might think was really icky like a bat. I would feel some sense of obligation to do something, lest I go around feeling like a total shit for doing nothing at all. And that is my general philosophy on these sorts of issues, much like my running of the homeless shelters and such. I provide the facilities. If something comes to me, I feel some obligation to do something about it. Those are the things I can control, and, therefore, deal with on some level. The things outside my sphere of influence, well, those are things out of my reach, therefore, somebody elses obligation to do the right thing.

As for your cat, that was the responsible if somewhat painful thing to do. Cat lived a long full rich life, and, you provided care within the limit of your available resources. When those resources expired, you did the best with what you had and made the choice from there, a tough choice, but, like any other choices, it had to be made. It would have been far worse to do nothing. When asked if you could do more, I am sure you could honestly say no... Not with your available options and resources, therefore, you did the morally responsible thing.

As for the folks around here that hunt, well, I guess you would have to live here. Most folks aint educated enough to have a better job where they can afford to live where there are better resources and have more options. Some people choose to live a simpler life. Some seek a more satisfying path. Like me for example. When I had my old house, I smoked my own meats for preservation. I made my own cheeses. I baked my own bread. I made my own jams, jellies, and preserves. I canned quite a bit of my own food. Does that make me stupid for not going to the store and buying those things? I have a Ph.D and am financially secure for the rest of my life, so, I must have some measure of brains and some bit cash stored away... So why on earth did I not go to BiLo or Publix or Winn Dixie and just buy everything my heart desires premade? Why did I hunt? Why did I keep pigs and cows for a while and slaughter them when I needed meat? Well, I have my reasons. Most folks think I am some country dumb hermit. Let them think that. Let those ignorant types go to their wonderful supermarkets... Meanwhile, I will be at home with my superb smoked ham and home made cheese on freshly baked home made sour dough bread. Or let them think I am an ignorant twit for taking in some poor fox that stumbled into my yard. People are free to think what ever they wish. As am I. Not saying that you think this Sirian, but, there are those that probably will. I just might be some dumb hick that pisses off of the porch... But we backwoods types have a certain decency that I find lacking the moment I step into some civilized place like the supermarket.

I know I might be rambling here, hell, I am rambling, but, while I am on the topic of supermarkets, how many folks actually feel grateful to see all that food? Lemme guess, most folks see all that and probably have trouble deciding what to buy, what's the best, and, never give one thougt to what it's like to go hungry or even have food in abundance. Or worse still, just what size of a load they would drop in their pants should one day they go to the supermarket and find it empty. How many people depend on others making even the most simple of foods, bread and the like, for them... I feel for those folks... I really do. People go to the store and see shrink wrapped unrecognizeable meat, just an object really, and never once actually think of the animal that gave it's life so that others might eat and allowing life to go on. Stores are TO clean and sterile. They take all of the experience out of what it means to live, to eat, to continue life and see the value and feel the gratitude of what we really have. Now, somebody goes out and slaughters a cow, butchers it, carves out all those cuts of meat themseles, they suddenly gain a new prospective on how things are... Preprepared stuff in the stores ROBS people of this wonderful experience. Should there ever come a day when those resources are not there, lots of folks suddenly going to be in a world of doodoo.

And it boils down to foxes I guess. What it means to have the power to both take life, to continue life, and, preserve life that it can go on. We should never take unless we can give back. I take meat. And I eat it. You can't grill it till you kill it. For my own morals, I should offer something in return for the abundance offered up to me, and, here we are, back on the fox issue. Here is my chance to offer something, anything, even something so small, insignificant and meaningless as the life of one little fox. Maybe balance is the word I seek here. God saw fit for many lives to be lost so that I, and many others might eat. Eat flesh. Consume what at one time was alive. Here is a chance to have mercy, to restore life, to offer something of value in return for all those blessings bestowed. I guess that is where my anger stems in the senseless act of somebody brutalizing this poor critter. That person, whomever it was, was nothing more then a selfish taker... Probably offering nothing in return.

Is it justified that I take life? Is it right I kill the venomous serpent that threatens the life of so many more? Is it a question of balance? To preserve life? On the same hand out in the middle of freakin nowhere where those snakes can do little harm to anybody or anything, I have actually stopped the car inspite of much protesting to go and remove them from sunning them selves on the road so they don't get run over and killed. It's my neck on the line there... One bite, one nibble, and, hell, I might as well cash in my chips. When there is little harm that snake can offer to others, I risk harm for my self so the snake can continue on his life. To others, is probably meaningless. (Folks, DO NOT do this... I have been handling deadly dangerous snakes since I was a boy still in my single digit age) Does any of this even make sense to anybody but me? Probably not.

Life, in any form, veggie or animal, is a wonderful thing. You should not end life unless you can offer something in return. If you plan to rob an apple tree of it's future offspring, to eat the tree's reproductive organs for crying out loud, at least offer something in return. Plant a few seeds. (Yet another point where vegos don't seem to have it all together... It's wrong to kill and eat an animal, but, it's perfectly ok to rip what is basically a vagina off of a living thing and eat it for your own continuation... And I am the sicko for eating meat.... ooookay... Somebody rips my reproductive organs off to eat with out killing me first, I would be very very angry... Probably angry enough to maim you in return if I could)

Ok. It's 1 am. I will get off my soap box now. Thanks for the thought provoking post Sirian, forgive my disjointed ramblings.
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Sirian
Sirian

November 2nd, 2002, 8:31 pm #9

While you might be correct on some levels for some of the things you said, there may be more looking into this then needed. Then again, maybe not. It's a can of worms really, pure and simple. Ugh.

No matter your age, it is always worth pausing to take a fresh look at your beliefs, see what you have there, and poke and prod them a bit in search of leaks.

You volunteered up a list of reasons and rationales for your choice. So I bounced back with a look at that from another angle. I don't expect it to cause you to alter anything whatsoever about your relationship with the fox. Just that you are one eager puppy when it comes to having issues to rail against, and a lot of that stress is wasted energy.

"Giving back" in exchange for taking life is, in my understanding, a basic tenet of native american spirituality. The idea is around other places, too, but that's where I know it from best.

My version of the concept is not so specialized, though. I don't tie the responsibility to "give back" to the notion of taking life. I tie it to the notion of living life. I also don't view it as obligation, but as opportunity. As you know (somewhat), I have my own ideas on spiritual matters.

Now unless you invite me to hush up (which you actually did once, but then changed your mind) I plan to keep shining attention on this element (the whip). On the up side, I did not notice you using it much in regard to your recent operations. I believe you still think you're at your best and most effective when you lash that thing around and make a lot of noise with it, but as you may know by now, I see your successes coming in spite of that, not because of it. You have an enormous pool of love and compassion and courage locked in there, which I see as the true and only source of your personal power. You tap into that in all sorts of ways to all kinds of effects, which usually blows past the rough edges to do plenty of good. Usually. That's pretty much how I also see myself, with my mix of results and the inescapable conclusion that all the damage done in passing comes only when I lapse into temptation to crack my own whip around. Sometimes it takes a no-nonsense approach to get results, but that's too easy to confuse with the blunt force approach. They are not the same, and I hope to see you realize that at some point, and be able to tell the difference.


That person, whomever it was, was nothing more then a selfish taker... Probably offering nothing in return.

There it is again. The presumption. Yeah, could be, but you don't know for sure. Do you? So... are you ready to cast stones?

They took the fox's tail. They apparently had a reason to attack the fox: for its tail. You may not agree that that was just cause to harm the fox, but foxes get into livestock in some cases, carry diseases sometimes. I'm not saying it's wrong to value the fox, but it's not a no-brainer. Speaking strictly from the sense of the fox's perspective, the fox doesn't care whether or not they had reason. The fox was living its own life, and was hostilely attacked to have its life ripped away for its body parts to serve some function to some other life form. Well, if that's bad, why should the reason matter? And what does the fox CARE as to whether or not the person(s) who did that to it "feel remorse" for it. They still chose to do it, and it's done now. Selfish takers or devout spiritual folk who prayed before, during and after the event, what difference does that make to the fox?

The fox feels pain. It bled. It suffered. That is something you and I can relate to, because we also bleed and suffer, and we know it's unpleasant. The "golden rule", directly or indirectly, leads us to identify with the fox, to question the rightness of our own actions or those of others who did things to the fox we would NOT want done to us.

On the other hand, that fox is also a taker. He has killed to eat. He may even have killed more than he truly needed, or killed for sport, or "practice". If the fox had a rabbit in hand (don't know if foxes eat rabbit, but for the sake of argument) would you then berate the fox? Attack him? Try to save the rabbit? If you do so, would you not be choosing the rabbit over the fox? Would it not also be good to choose the fox over the rabbit, and let the fox have his meal, even if the rabbit suffers?

You might say that the fox only takes what it needs, and maybe that is true, or maybe not. I have seen some animals, including "cute" ones, do things that harmed other animals without any "need" to do so at all. Most of that was instinctual behavior, but "instinct" is just a fancy word for behaviors that animals consistently choose to carry out. They CAN and DO choose, since it is possible to get them to choose other things either via threat or greater temptation.

The fox, though, you cannot reason with. You can reason with a human being. Or... can you? Some folks are pretty stubborn critters.

All I'm saying is, you support some taking of life as appropriate while you berate others. There's a whole lot of the guilt thing in there. "Give back", why? To "repay the debt" of having "taken"? While that makes a great deal sense in one way, it doesn't in another. The humility of recognizing that life is not yours to take is a worthwhile ideal. Yet it comes into conflict with some value to be gained in the taking of life, in some situations. Just walking on the grass, you trample and injure living things, almost certainly with indifference. You pissing off the porch... is that onto patches of dirt (uninhabited by crawling things), or out into the grass and other plants and possibly onto some bugs and such too? How far are you going to go with the golden rule? Is the golden rule big enough to fit, or does your relationship with other forms of life require more discernment than to try to treat them all as you would like to be treated?

Something you said about not wanting to feel like crap for letting the fox die bugs me a little, too. Guilt is only sorry assed emotion. Guilt is not conscience, it's a specific subset of anger. Conscience is the voice inside that urges you to take positive action, to do the "right" thing. Guilt is what you feel when you are angry at being pressured to do something you don't want to do. That pressure may come from within you, remember things you've been taught or recognizing that you have ignored your own conscience, but it is NOT your conscience, and it's the world's worst motivator. When people do things to get out from under the gun, to escape guilt (self-imposed or externally imposed), it is always begrudging.

You seem a little conflicted over this. You don't plan to keep the fox, don't even seem to want it as a pet. You DO seem to want to help the fox, for the fox's benefit. You do seem to like the fox, and care about it. Maybe you'd be more happy to try to keep it if not for the law raising the stakes on you. Maybe not. I'm not even sure that you yourself are wholly clear on why you are taking care of the little thing. The only clear reasoning I've understood is that because it came right up to you and caught your attention, that it became your responsibility and from there you don't see as you have any choice. You'd feel guilty if you didn't help it. That's one reason to help. Is it the bigger reason? Or is the fox itself the biggest reason? And if the fox is the whole reason, they why even mention the guilt? Is the fox an expense (of time, health risk, money) that is more than you really want to bear? And the guilt the only thing tipping the scales to its favor?

Now that you've gotten to know this fox, shown it some love and developed some bonds with it, I don't imagine you'd turn it out. You made your choice. I just want you to realize that you really do (did) have a choice.

Now as for raising your own livestock, you have clearly not treated those food animals as equals. You felt you had the right to kill them for the meat. How are those who felt they had the right to maim the fox for its tail any different? They MIGHT be different if they intended cruelty to the animal, and deliberately went out of their way to increase its suffering, or even if they were careless and inattentive in minimizing its suffering, but the evidence shows no signs of the former, and may or may not support the latter. For the sake of argument, assume they just took the tail and left the fox for dead. How is THAT taking "selfish" and yours not? Heck, they took only what they needed and left the fox to fend for itself, by which it has managed to survive a bit longer. You out and out killed your meals. You can choose to value a decorative foxtail less than a few meals, but a case could be made for seeing it differently.

Maybe you're right, and the fox trapper is callous. He placed no value on the fox and its life, only on taking something. Does that qualify him for contempt? To be lowered in status to criminal? Shall we hunt him down and hold him to account? What would qualify as justice for the fox?

People are WAY too quick in this world to pick up any available excuse for dehumanizing other folks. You have had a long life of "legitimate reasons" to view other people that way. Sometimes you've opted out of that vicious cycle -- the fellow who shot you, whom you went to visit in prison stands out as an extraordinary example of that -- then other times you are ready to get riled up and into militant mode at the drop of a pin. Your "greater jihad" in this balancing act is something to watch, I must say. You are as complex as complex gets. That's a good thing, I think. Far too few folks ever make a serious effort to reform their own faults, but you do. You care. You try to do the right things, the best things, to do better, to learn. You wear it on the sleeve and like to talk it over with us. You like that, even if it sometimes creates those "ugh" moments for you. :p

The reason forgiveness is so important and so valuable has little to do with the wrongdoer. It has to do with YOU, as victim or observer, to choose not to continue the cycle. Every criminal who ever lived could point back to some wrong they suffered as justification or excuse for their behavior. We have too much of that in our society, and if we don't escape it, our future will suffer. But part of the reason we have too much of the excuse-making is BECAUSE we have too much of the dehumanizing judgement. We have a world full of folks ready and willing to cast the first stone over almost anything. That's the simple solution to our problems, but it doesn't actually solve anything. All it does is stroke that part of us that likes to dominate.

You can care for the fox (or not) without cracking that whip, without rendering that cruel judgement. You aren't hurting the fox trapper with your anger, and if you DID do so by tracking him down to punish him, then you'd be the one in the wrong. Either way, the only way for you to win in this scenario is to put down that whip. Now... I mean it. Put it down. Frown a bit, grumble, say "ugh" and curse me out, but... put it down.

Ah! There. Now smile. Pet the fox, say a kind word to the wife, or something else pleasant, and relax.


- Sirian
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Caos2
Caos2

November 3rd, 2002, 10:11 am #10

I believe that we humans always see ourselves in everything we find (living or not).

When Doc saw that dying fox in his backward, he probally thought that, in some way, he was the fox (who here never felt injuried and left to die?). He saw in the fox a reflection of him in a moment where he felt helpless and that's why I believe he nursed it.

About the giving and taking back part, we humans are flexible, we can't draw a line (well, a straight line) because our morals and beliefs are always changing.

We are not black and white, we are various shades of gray. I am going to quote Greg Graffin now:
"We set up the world in terms of black and white, and yet we're gifted with the ability to see shades of gray. But that ability sometimes hinders us. It hinders our progress, it hinders our success, but it makes us more human, and more compassionate. But, unfortunately, the world we set up for ourselves is not always based on compassion. And that, I think, is the ultimate human dilemma".

c2
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