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Friday, February 08, 2008

Cats and Dogs

Some people are dog people and some are cat people. I'm both. Or one of each. Or whatever. Growing up we always had a dog. But then as a married couple, me going to seminary, living in apartments, Julie and I decided to get a cat. Well, actually, a group of sixth graders in Alhambra, California decided to get us a cat, a kitten. Julie was their teacher and that was her going away present. And we have been cat people ever since. Now our household includes 2 cats and a Golden Retriever. Yesh, cats and dogs living together.

Somewhere I read a quote, I believe from C.S. Lewis, where he opines as to why God gives us animals for pets. Scientific studies show that pet owners tend to have less stress, lower blood pressure, and live longer. Having an animal can be beneficial for a person's physical and mental health. But the quote I'm seeking says something to the effect that God teaches us to be gentle and merciful through animals. In other words, if a man is able to have pity on a beast, it inclines him to being merciful with other people.

Of course, we know with the extremes of the animal "rights" movement today that loving animals and loving people do not automatically go together. They say that Adolph Hitler loved dogs. But the extremists aside, there may be a principle truth in the elusive quote nonetheless. At least the adverse is true. People who are intentionally cruel to animals, who take pleasure in the suffering of senseless beasts, are deeply impaired and are likely incapable of compassion. Most serial murderers and sociopaths have a history of tormenting animals before they take out their aggressions on other persons.

Does anyone know the Lewis quote I'm thinking of?

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2 comments:

Peter said...

Yeah, you've got to be right about cruelty to animals. There's a reason it's prohibited in the scriptures. Even the use of a magnifying glass on an ant hill should be discouraged. Then, we might want to add that one man's pet is another man's dinner. Many Asians, I'm led to understand, are dog people, if you know what I mean.

Don, the Rebel without a Blog said...

I like the little "yesh" you slipped in there. I take it you are a fan of the comic strip, "Mutts."

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