Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Dumb & Dumber

Looking through the News today, I was torn between two stories both begging comment.

Firstly, there was the British tourist up in the Northern Territory who has managed to get lost twice in a week, which has cost the taxpayers of Australia a great deal of money and man-hours searching for him. I'd like to be generous toward him and say something like, "These things can happen", but somehow I just can't bring myself to do it. What I will say, instead, is that the man is an idiot! A bit harsh, I know, but look, Fundamental Rule Number One of bushwalking says "Don't do it alone". Not to mention, be prepared, have the right equipment, have a good map, take plenty of food and water, etc, etc. It seems that this moron has failed in every single important respect, in an area of the world where even locals die of exposure from the slightest mistake. That he was found the first time within shouting distance of town, and didn't even know it, is pathetic. Let alone the fact that the second time, police rang him on his cell phone after his hotel reported he was missing again, and he acknowledged he'd been lost for 4 days. So why hadn't he used his phone to call for help? One day without water in that desert means it'll be your last one. Perhaps he was just too embarrassed, but the expression "dying of embarrassment" isn't meant to be taken literally.

Outback Tourist Rescued Twice in a Week

Secondly, one of the cows of the Heazlewood's, Latrobe, Tasmania, is to be given an artificial leg. Apparently, she (the heifer) was "very brave after the accident" and seemed to be "asking us to do something to help her… she also does seem to miss the leg and often acts as if she has a phantom leg there." Reality check, people. "She misses the leg?" No, she's just a dumb animal who doesn't know it's even gone. She has no capacity for rational thought at all. While dedicated animal husbandry is a Good Thing, you're obviously going a bit far. Cows don't talk, and can't ask you anything; they aren't brave, stupid, dynamic or morose, and they don't have immortal souls. Ascribing human emotions and actions to animals is, in my opinion, the first sign of madness. Don't get me wrong, I'm an animal lover and have pets of my own. I even have cows. It brings me joy and peace to feed and protect them, but their response is only instinct. If one is injured, I with great sadness have the vet put it down, because that's the humane thing to do. Your 'animal lover' status is a total pretense, because if you had one ounce of love toward the animal, you'd know it was cruel to keep it alive in the state it's in, let alone strap a false leg to it, all for your own financial benefit because you don't want to lose a good breeder.

The Australian - Theresa's no longer out on a limb

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