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Micheal Vicks, Animal Abuse and the Native View of Animals

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Joined: 17 Mar 2007
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Location: New York City

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 6:47 pm    Post subject: Micheal Vicks, Animal Abuse and the Native View of Animals Reply with quote

I'm not going to rehash the Michael Vicks case. We all agree (except the millions of people in the world that gamble on dog fights, cock fights and horse races) that animal abuse is wrong.

His case made me look a lot deeper at the American domcult's relationship to animals and how it differs from our Native view.

The biggest difference between the Indian view and the Yonega view is that we believed animals had equal rights to the land. We were not raised to think that the earth was created for humans alone, and that we had the right to eliminate any other living thing that got in our way. We thought in terms of taking what we need, and leaving something in return, even if it was a bit of tobacco or a prayer. We didnt think in terms of clearcutting forests. We hunted animals for food, there were some we domesticated. There were times that we had to kill a rabid animal who had become a danger to the tribe, but killing was generally for food or clothing. We had no "sport killing" or sport fighting. We had no "trophy kills" to take an animals life to prove to others that we killed the biggest.

Instead, as far as possible, we lived in harmony with our animal brothers and sisters. We often saw them as teachers. From Yona the Bear we learned strength, and about certain healing herbs. From the Wolves we learned about the unity of the clan, and the strength that comes from working together. There was no doubt in Native people that the world was big enough for us all.

The Yonegas came with their minds full of Biblical notions of man's God-given job to dominate nature; as well as the fairytales of their youth where evil wolves ate their little pigs and Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother. They prized their hunting dogs, and the cats who kept their mice away, and their caged birds. They had performing bears. They had oxen to pull their plows. Animals who worked for them, entertained them, could be used for adornment, or who could be eaten, had a place in their world.

Little has really changed in the Yonega's connection to the four-legged, the swimmers and the flying ones. We have PETA, a group that fights for animal rights. They've sprayed paint on the furs of the rich. They also came into my booth when my family used to sell Native Arts and Crafts at a flea market. They saw a shield of painted leather trimmed with rabbit fur and began to lecture me. I waited until they finished, and then I told them about their grandparents who almost exterminated the buffalo for sport; and the deer and beaver from our Cherokee mountains and valleys; and how today the Yonegas are not only slaughtering hundreds of thousands of cows for their McDonalds burgers in this country -- but now encourage the destruction of the environment in South and Central Native American countries to raise cows and chickens for McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken (which timidly has changed their name to KFC as if that changes who they are and what they do.)

PETA should be demonstrating and marching daily, not just for the slaughtered cows and chickens, but for the buffalo and wolves here being exterminated because they compete with American ranchers for land to survive on; not to mention the Indians who are being displaced, or having their lands polluted so that the Yonegas can continue to enrich themselves by animal slaughter.

The sanctioned animal slaughter does not end with killing animals for food. PETA and other animal shelters kill many thousands of animals a year. They take in stray animals, and mostly animals brought in by owners who no longer want them. There is a limited time that they keep them - perhaps a couple of months. If they are not adopted within that time they are "euthanized" -- "put to sleep" let's call it what it is.... KILLED. - to make way for the next batch of animals brought in.

This does not include the other sanctioned animal slaughter, which is for laboratory animals. Mice, monkeys, dogs and cats are used for testing -- tests that are often useless, since we share few diseases with these animals, and, with all respect to the theory of evolution -- we're just not the same species. What happens to these blinded, crippled or dying animals after the experiments are over?

The final shocker was a trip to a local ASPCA last year to "adopt" a pet, a cat for my mother in law. She was having trouble with mice but besides that, she lives alone (by choice) and we thought a cat would be a good companion. She wanted an orange tabby and we found one, about a year old, that reminded my husband and I of a cat we once had.

Aside from the hefty "adoption" fee, and the box we bought to carry him home in, we had to show ID so that our name and address could be typed into the chip that was embedded in his head!! At that point we explained that the cat was for our mother, and we were told that she had to come in with her drivers license.

I waited while he went to pick her up, and talked with others there to adopt, those who adopted but wanted to see a vet, and those who were hoping to find missing animals. I was advised not to mention that my mother had a "mice" problem... it might be assumed that she didn't like cats and just wanted a mouser. Those with pets were all happy with their choices, and then two young men joked with each other about the animals never having sex.

This was one of the moments in life where the Indian view and the Yonega view of life seemed so far apart, that there could be no compromise. One or the other view has to win out, either we choose the Native American way of life and the wish to live in harmony with the earth and others on it, or we choose the Yonega way of domination and death.

The idea that those who "love and protect" animals can decide that they must all be spayed, even the kittens and puppies, that they should never have sex, give birth, raise their young, is to me, inhumane. I do not believe the reason that is given, "to save them from freezing to death or starving". I believe that its because, like traditional Native peoples of the world, they make life inconvienient for the dominant societies.
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Uncle Sam

Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now spaying cats and dogs is wrong??
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