A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Thursday, 18 August 2011
A YOUNG LIFE CUT SHORT
“Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals love them. But those who respect their natures and wish to let them live normal lives, love them more.” - Edwin Way Teale
We heard a rather distressing news item this morning on the news. A four-year-old girl was fatally mauled by a pit bull terrier, which rushed into her house and killed her while she was clinging to her mother’s leg. This happened on St Albans, one of Melbourne’s Western Suburbs, which are traditionally denoted as “working class” and “disadvantaged”. This may seem to be beside the point, but these suburbs often are bad-mouthed (and sometimes even by people who should know better, like politicians!) and all sorts of social ills are supposedly incubating in these locales.
In any eventuality, the sad case of Ayen Chol in one that is independent of location and class. A small child had her life cut tragically short and her death was horrible, with her last minutes in agony as the dog lunged at her. The animal, which belonged to a neighbour, wandered into the Chols’ house at about 8 o’clock yesterday evening, attacking the child and her cousin aged 5 years. The mother of the girl and Daniel Atem, a cousin aged 30 years, tried to get the dog away from the 5-year-old child, which was attacked first. They managed to save this older child, but the dog then lunged at Ayen who clung to her mother’s leg.
The dog tore the girl away from the mother, mauled her and caused her to die. The dog then slunk away and its owner came and took it away. The child’s father was overseas, working in the Sudan. The scene discovered by the police must have been horrific. The mother of the girl would have been inconsolable as she looked at her dead girl’s mutilated and bloody body and knowing that she had been there and unable to save her daughter’s life.
The State Government was motivated by this latest attack to announce that it would end an amnesty on dangerous dog owners and would allow Council staff to enter properties and destroy the animals. State government records of attacks show that between January and March a total of 721 people were attacked - meaning bitten, chased or harassed. Debate in parliament is expected to centre on whether the Crimes Act should be amended so that owners of killer dogs should face consequences similar to culpable drivers who can be put in gaol of up to 20 years.
The name “pit bull” for these dogs comes from fighting in pits. They are thrown in a pit with another dog and the two of them fight to the death. They are bred for fighting and their killer instincts tend to be preserved, even if cross-bred. If these killer dogs see something like another dog or a cat or a small child, move quickly they attack it with an instinct to kill. That some people choose to not only keep these dogs but also encourage these killer instincts in them is a sad fact of the human psyche. Animals are animals and they rely on instinct to motivate their actions. Humans have a brain and can think, they know right form wrong, they have intellect, emotions, a moral sense. That they can counter all of these and function in an inhuman way is perverse, criminal and amoral.
The dog in this case is acting as animal acts, and should not be blamed. It is an animal that acts out its animal instincts on which its survival hinges. The owner of the dog is the one to blame and if the lawmakers do the right thing, he should be the one to pay the price that justice should exact for the death of a little angel.
maul |môl| verb [ with obj. ]
(Of an animal) Wound (a person or animal) by scratching and tearing: The herdsmen were mauled by lions.
• Treat (someone or something) roughly.
A tool with a heavy head and a handle, used for tasks such as ramming, crushing, and driving wedges; a beetle. DERIVATIVES mauler noun ORIGIN: Middle English (in the sense ‘hammer or wooden club,’ also ‘strike with a heavy weapon’): From Old French mail, from Latin malleus ‘hammer.’
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.