Who Would You Save?

I recently ran into the old ethical question that pits the life of a pet and the life of a stranger against each-other. I’ve seen the question before, some time ago, and had forgotten all about it until I came across it again just today. Now I can’t seem to get it out of my head.

The ethical question, if you’re unfamiliar with it, takes many forms. Sometimes the set up is that your dog and a stranger are both drowning and you can only save one or the other. Other times, it’s a burning building with the same problem. I even saw one version where you’re approached by a freaking angel who tells you it will kill one or the other and you must choose which will be spared. Many times though, the question just skips the setup (as it’s irrelevant and people always try to use it to dodge the question anyway) and goes right to the dilemma at hand: If one or the other had to die, which would you save?

I’m inclined to think that anyone who would save a human stranger, be it an adult or a baby (as is the case in some versions of the scenario) really shouldn’t be allowed to have a pet. As I say this while having a pet, then you could, I’m sure, guess that I would save my dog.

Most people who choose to save a human will do so with the reasoning that a human, even a stranger, is more important than a dog. I disagree. People are more inclined to favor our own species, but we do so for emotional reasons. All values that we place on other species are entirely subjective. We tend to favor humans simply because we ARE humans. We have a bias in favor of the species that includes ourselves. If a dog could speak to you, it might very well have a contrary opinion, insisting to you that dogs are actually more valuable.

As for subjective values between species, I’ve certainly never seen dogs wage wars or commit genocide, so I find any claim that humans are better to be just a little bit flawed. And with a population of over 7 billion, humans are hardly an endangered species in need of preservation. I can’t find any objective rationale to favor the human over the dog (or cat, or what have you.) I don’t think that any life form is intrinsically more valuable than any other. All values we place, we place based on our own biases and needs. So I’ll put subjective values on species completely out of the way, ignoring that 1. I am human myself and therefore tend to favor humans, often without being conscious of it, 2. personally happen to prefer the company of dogs over that of humans anyway, and 3. acknowledge that the most horrific acts committed on this planet were (and still are) perpetrated by humans, whereas dogs are comparatively innocent as a species.

With cross-species value out of the way, I’m left with what is, to me, the real question: To whom do I owe the greater level of responsibility? If you’re not an animal lover and don’t understand what I mean, replace “your pet” with “your child” (or a child you are babysitting or is otherwise under your care.) When the scenario is your child vs. a stranger, few people would have trouble with the choice at all – they would pick their child. Sure, people would talk about subjective emotions, their bond and attachment with their child (as well as with their pet) and their personal vested interest in the child’s survival, and I don’t doubt that they mean what they say. But the real factor here is, or at least aught to be, responsibility.

This isn’t just a dog vs. a human scenario, it’s specifically my own dog vs. a human stranger. When I took my dog into my home, I was making a contract with her. She became my responsibility. It is therefore my duty to keep her safe and healthy, to love her and care for her, and to protect her and keep her happy. It doesn’t matter one bit that she’s a dog, she’s my responsibility all the same and in a way that no human being, who I do not even know, is, just as a child would be to a parent.

So I say again, anyone who does not save the pet should not have a pet at all as they do not take their responsibility seriously. Ask anyone who works at an animal shelter, and they will tell you that there is, sadly, no shortage of such irresponsible, speciesist people, who get a hold of animals that they then fail to take care of and renege on their responsibilities to.

This question isn’t just some absurd hypothetical, however. I actually have chosen my dog over other people. If you have pets that you take adequate care of, so do you, whether you’re aware of it or not. I’ve had my dog for less than a year, but I’ve spent quite a lot of money on her already. I’m not sure exactly how much money I’ve spent to her benefit, but it has to be on the order of a few thousand dollars by now. When I paid for Molly’s plane ticket, her veterinary care, her food, her toys, her training classes, my pet deposits, and so on, I was spending a great deal of money on a dog that I could have otherwise spent donating to charities that keep the world’s starving fed or could have gone to medical research and treatment or could have helped people pay their rent to stay off the streets.

Of course, I’m not thinking about any of this as I go through the checkout at the pet-store, but that’s still what I, and every other responsible pet-owner, is doing. People who spend money on their children are doing the exact same thing. How much money have you spent on your animal friends or on your kids? Do you feel guilty about it? You shouldn’t. I don’t.

Sure, I have, to a certain degree, a level of responsibility that I owe to every human being on the planet, whether I know them or not. I don’t deny this. However, it’s not the same kind of personal responsibility that I owe to my dog. I do still try to help my fellow human in any way that I can. I have done volunteer work and donate to charities that aid humans. But at the end of the day, if I had to pick between the two, I’d pick my dog over a stranger every time. Morally, it’s the only acceptable course of action that I see.

P.S., read this:  My Dog or Your Child? Ethical Dilemmas and the Hierarchy of Moral Value

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Posted on 2012/07/02, in Animals, Dog, Humanism, Molly, People, Speciesism. Bookmark the permalink. 50 Comments.

  1. Hey, there! We spoke on Twitter about this, and I wanted to let you know (once again) how much I agree with you. There was an idiot on the poll stating that human attachment to pets is “infantile.” What is infantile, I think, is how we view a hairless ape as more important than a dog just because we are hairless apes, too. My pets are my family and they get saved first!

  2. I have never seen that question before. Naturally, you would first try to save what you would consider to be family–in this case it would be the dog. The question I have posed is if a dog and a human needed rescuing, whom would you try to rescue first? Most people would naturally try to rescue the human being.

  3. Love is love, and I think it is a horribly unfair question to ask of anyone–can we have a third option where we can save both? Damn….

    • Haha! I’m with you, Susan.

      Still, Julie, I thought your post was great, and I’d probably have to say the same thing: My cat(s) would come first.

      In a perfect world, I’d save everybody, but that’s just not possible.

  4. People are really terrible. I have been done so wrong by sexist, ignorant, stupid, intolerant people that I really could give a you-know-what what happens to humanity. I’d save the animals all the way. If humans are so smart, let ‘em save their damn selves.

  5. Interesting perspective. I agree with you: when my cat and I formed our relationship, I became responsible to him for his safety & happiness. Over the last 11 years, I have earned his trust and he has earned mine. Through many twists and turns of fate, we have been a constant in one anothers’ lives.

    My only concern would be this: my relationship with my cat is special to me. But a human’s relationship and contributions affect many more people. My cat is 11 years old. He will live, I hope, another 10 years, but probably not so long as that. A human has many more years to make an impact on many, many others.

    From the point of view of compassion for strangers who surely feel love just as deeply as I do, then: who should I choose? My beloved cat, who is valuable beyond measure to ME, to my partner, and to his buddy (my partner’s cat), or a human, who is valuable to their entire family, lovers, friends, neighbors, coworkers, classmates, etc?

    My cat, who is one of the BEST things in my life and my dearest friend, is not very likely to have much greater impact on the world other than as MY friend and companion. A human has the capacity for a great impact and could be a friend to many. Am I more valuable than many? Either way, someone is dying and their loved ones’ hearts will be broken.

    I think, instinctively and without a second thought in the moment, I would choose my cat, because I love him and I promised him I always would protect him. But I would question my decision forever after.

    • Julie Was Here

      When it comes to a matter as important as the very lives of beings, I don’t think that the emotions of hypothetical outsiders are of much significance. If I don’t think a strangers life is more important than my dog’s life, why would I think that a another stranger’s mere emotions are? To me, that would be like saving someone on the basis of how many people to whom they owe money who would not be paid were the person to die.

      I suppose that I would see fit to save the stranger if I happened to know that person was of some major significance whose death would have a serious negative impact on society. I would save President Obama (the country really needs him. Not that there is any reason either of us would ever be in such a situation. ((I’d leave Bush Jr, however.))

    • Very good points, and a lot of what you have said here is behind my own struggle with this question.

    • What an ambivalence!!!

  6. I would definitely save the dog (my cat actually). Humans are no better than any other species. Though it could also depend on what human it is, but I’d say overall I would save my cat rather than the human.

  7. I agree. If I had to make the choice between saving a dog or a stranger, I’d save my dog. Most importantly, my dog is my family and my responsibility, so I see that as no different a choice than between any other family and a stranger. On top of that, I know that the worst thing my dogs have done or are likely to do in this world are pee where they shouldn’t and chew on things that aren’t theirs. I don’t know the history or future of the stranger, and it’s possible they have a bad past or bad intentions for the future.. Lastly, my dogs are largely helpless. Only if the door were already open could they run out of a burning house; a human is more likely to be able to reach the door and open it on their own.

    • Well since someone you try to save is likely to turn around and sue you, I’d save my dog. Then I’d call emergency personnel to rescue the person. Helping people is a liability these days.

  8. Animals are innocent, and like Amandapoverseas says above, they can’t take as many measures to save themselves as a human can. They also may not understand, the way a human would, what is happening to them. I equate them with very young children.

    Ideally, I would save both parties, because I am an empath. If I were to witness another creature–human or otherwise–dying, it would take a huge toll on me. I believe all of us are equally valuable (animals and humans), so the impulse would definitely be to save everyone.

    That said, since I likely couldn’t, my cat(s) would come first.

    Great post!!

  9. This articles relativist rationale served to reinforce my humanistic principles. Whilst I can and have loved a dog more than a human being I would struggle to save a pet over even the most despicable of people. Having said that there is a line and therein is the problem. It’s different for everyone and there the fudging begins. Humans should perhaps be less judgemental or dismissive of the value of another’s over that of an animal. I would tend to agree that there are wider concerns apart from the personal closeness one might feel towards another species. Can such love be worth more than the human love another stranger might feel for the stranger one would sacrifice for example?

    • Julie Was Here

      On what basis is one animal, a human, more valuable than another species? That seems rather speciesist.

  10. I was going to reply ‘Guilty as charged’ but as in racist, speciesist implies hatred or a wish to be cruel. I desire neither in relation to animals. I also believe in animal rights but I do ultimately believe that humans should protect and support each other to survive as long as in doing so it is not to the detriment of the balance of all natures right to exist. Choosing to save a humans life over an animal is consistent with this.

  11. My choice to preserve human life over animals is not discriminatory as I do not intend to be unjust or detrimentally prejudicial towards them. This is as long as I strive not to exploit animal life unnecessarily. It is of no surprise that this is the case as I differentiate between human life and other animals on the basis that I am a Humanist not as a means to imply animals are inferior and therefore deserving of hatred or cruelty.

    Leading Nazi’s loved animals over and above people…… Goebbels said, famously, ‘The only real friend one has in the end is the dog. . .The more I get to know the human species, the more I care for my Benno.’ An extreme example of when human beings forget that to make a judgement on another human’s life is the thin end of the wedge. The German people were persuaded of the benefits of Nazism and all that it stood for through seemingly reasonable rationale put to them by the master of propaganda.

    By all means let’s love animals. I however am not going to be judge or jury over whether a fellow human being is worth saving over a dog even if I love my dog more or if in my judgement a fellow human is ‘undeserving’ of my help. I would never want anyone to make that judgement about me or any member of my family, friends, you or for that matter the rest of the human race. The moment we compromise another human beings right to exist on the basis of personal and by definition discriminatory and prejudicial value judgements we are in my view in very choppy and dangerous waters no matter how right we think we are or how justifiable in our actions others think we may be.

    • Julie Was Here

      Choose as you will. However, I see that you don’t understand what humanism means because it does not mean human superiority over all other species. Also, look up Godwins Law since you dedicated a sizable portion of your comment to committing that particular logical fallacy.

  12. I didn’t say I thought we were superior and I think I understand humanism probably as well as you do but we all have much to learn. As for Godwins law…… I was making a serious point which I stand by but I do take your point to a degree ;-) .Thanks for the discussion it got me thinking, I am wiser for it and it has not been time wasted, all the best.

  13. i’m sorry but i’m saving a dog in any day, whether it be a stranger or whether it be mine… as for humans? it’s a give and take thing… if they haven’t taken a bullet for me in any way, what gives them the right to expect something in return… not unless there were only a stranger and not a dog in the picture… but still hardly the answer would be “no”

  14. For many reasons, this apparently is a very simple ethical question for some of you Westerners to answer; you merely chose your pet’s life over your own kind.

    You answered this “old” ethical question in such a way, because, first and foremost, your life is somehow stable and you have the financial and “emotional” security to provide your pet its life. And, not to provide your pet its life and not to love your pet as you love yourself is beyond you. Furthermore, “you are so on your own”, your need is not in any way entangled with the social, financial, and “emotional” security of others like you. You do not care if a child vanishes so long as your pet is with you in your little world that you like to “secure” for yourself and your pet. By extension, your pet is so close to you than your kind, you care less for your kind as a result. But keep in mind that, without your ability to provide the essentials to your pet’s life, your commercially reproduced pet ceases to exist. That is; in most instances, you may not in any way acquire any pet if you cannot provide for it and have the means to buy it to start with. This part of my argument can be elaborated to incorporate cogent arguments, especially with regards to the commercialization of pets and their concurrent idealization. The evidence for this part of my presumption is found at ease from what is posted here.

    Secondly, if you are a person who value your own pet more so than any child, I fear to tell you this but I will tell you anyways; you may have an issue and you should do some kind of “soul searching”. Why do I say this? I say this, because, as I am typing, I cannot comprehend the fact that some of you are willing to save my pet over my nine years old daughter, and I find that to be extremely painful to ponder. Some of you are very sick people, and from from what I have read between the lines, you are willing to literally go to war to let my child vanish on your way to secure your pet. Of course, you may deem this part of my argument as nothing but emotional. But ask your pet if it can communicate with you with this kind of emotion and without any ambiguity. This may include everything, and you should be able to figure what, what I am implying in here. Some of you Westerners sometimes tend to do the eccentric, including abusing (“loving”) your own pet to do what it is not created to do for your own “emotional” satisfaction. I presume that some of you are guilty and I need not to elaborate on that.

    For now, my only question to you pet lovers is this: if you have a child and a pet, and God forbid but your house is inundated with fire, would you like me to save your child or your pet? Answer this question honestly and I will get back to you. Keep in mind the fact that you may have no child for one reason or another cannot give you the excuse to bypass this question. This ethical question is hypothetical, and you should bear this fact in mind and assume that you have a child.

    Honestly, I would have shared a great deal of my argument with you, but the fact that I am sharing my ideas with some potentially hostile persons to my nine year old daughter is making me sick.

    • Julie Was Here

      It is indeed a simple ethical question because it’s a question of responsibility. As I wrote in my piece, when I took on my dog, I was making an agreement with her. Her health, happiness, and life became my responsibility as I became her care-taker. To suddenly renege on that responsibility, especially for reasons of bigotry, is beyond disgusting.

      You say that I value the lives of dogs above that of humans. That’s not true. It’s just that I don’t automatically value humans over dogs. Why should I? That would be the bigotry called speciesism. But as I said, this isn’t a selfish matter of who I value more, it’s a matter of who I am most responsible for. Between my dog and a stranger, that would be my dog. If you would not answer the same then you do not deserve to be trusted with any pet at all.

      It not that I’m willing to save your pet over your child. Neither is any more my responsibility so it could go either way. I’d probably save whichever is most convenient, if I even stepped in at all. No, my point is that I would save MY dog over your child every time. You’d have to be pretty selfish to expect me to do otherwise, as if your responsibilities are somehow more important than mine. Saving your kid is your job, not mine. My job is saving my dog.

      You keep talking about commercialization, as if it’s relevant in any way. Indeed, I provide for my dog by buying things from the store. That’s also how anyone takes care of a child. That’s also how anyone takes care of themselves. So, what’s your point?

      You asked me what would happen, who I would save if I had a child and a pet. You say I can’t say that I don’t have children as an excuse. But, I say it’s not an excuse at all. I wouldn’t have a kid. You may not have noticed, but this is a childfree blog. We are people who have decided to NEVER have children because we don’t want them. I’ve even been surgically altered so as to make me physically unable to have children. Additionally, I look down on anyone that would forget their responsibility to their pets just because they had a baby. So your question is moot. I would not save my kid because I’d never even have one in the first place.

      A better question would have been to ask me if I’d save my cat or dog. I suppose the answer to that would be the same as the one that best fits your question. If I have two conflicting responsibilities, but can only fulfill one, it makes the most sense to pick whichever is easiest.

      Here’s a question for you, if you have two kids but can only save one, which do you save?

      You’re selfish, hostile, and hilariously defensive. This may come as a shock to you, but this isn’t about you or your kid. The world does not revolve around you. My decision is not about you at all, and that’s exactly the point.

      • I am so sorry for inserting my argument as a reply to a child free blog’s argument.
        In any case, l will answer your question in a heartbeat, and your question is which one of my two children I save from danger? If I have your question right, the answer is very simple, and you will hear the same answer from any parent as well; I will die to save both.
        Your bent to ask this question is in and itself mesmerizing. For a person who chose not to have a child for one reason or another, it is simply beyond the touch of reasonable logic to come up with such a question. You might have relinquished your natural potential to reproduce a child with the intent that I have no business judging. Things that happen in nature happen for a reason. But remember, your choice not to have a child is dictated by your decision to do so, not by nature, unless you have another explanation. Nevertheless, I should tell you this; by relinquishing your natural potential to reproduce, you have also bypassed the natural experience of how it feels to have a child. The experience comes as pristine as nature can furnish it, and you have decided not to be endowed by nature to go through it. And here you are, wired with false equivalence to sing “pets are people too”. This is not logical. But what makes it even beyond the reach of any logic as well is the fact that you are using your choice of not to have a child, to avoid my last question to you, having to choose that whether I should save your pet or your child from your burning adobe. You chickened out big time. I will give you another shot and assume that you have a child and try to answer my question.
        You may be shocked to have found that your question is so simple to answer for a person with a child or children. Do not be shock because it is your decision not to have a child that is blinding you from envisioning it to begin with. Much like any parent, my response to your question comes with a perfect instinct to save my kids without choosing one over the other. I do not choose to save my pet over my child, and this does not mean that I will choose one of my kids over the other when it comes to saving them from certain death; I will die to save both. You see; there is that possibility for you to have lost this kind of natural instinct when you decided not to have a child. In fact, I would argue that it is likely the case and the evidence comes from your own writing. In your writing, you made sure that every reader gets your central point; and your central point was that you will anytime choose to save your pet over a “strange person”. This made me to believe that you are a sick person. Because I can see your harsh heart at work to let my “strange daughter” face an inevitable death to save your pet. And there is a fitting adjective for this kind of madness; inhumanity. Your rational for this twisted inhuman thought is sickening. Your rational and bases for saving your pet over any “strange” person is the false equivalence that you and others like you created between a person and a pet.
        I will save a person over your pet, and that does not make me anthropocentric. Because I am not out there to kill or harm other species on purpose to enhance some weird human interest. The reasons why I save a person like me and you over your pet are many. The person I saved may have children that she or he takes care as primary bread winner. He or she may be is caring for an old and sick parent who has taken good care of their children for decades by decades of hard work. He or she might have been depressed for one reason or another, and knowing that I care to save their life over your pet may made them appreciate that their counterpart, not your pet, is really their for them. You never know, in some instances, I and the person I saved may fall in love to have a family that cares for humans globally. And you know what; as a result, many pets may find a place that they call home. You see; if you are willing not to care for the “strange person”, these and other many opportunities to what we humans can possibly do will be lost. In the end, pets will have few places that they call home. Your bent to choose your pet over a “strange” human has a cumulative strategic disaster and you have no clue about it. I can go on and on explaining why I choose a person over your pet. I am just throwing at you scenarios that you can chew at ease. And by the way, I should add this; your pet produces nothing for him/her self. You are what produce his/her expense in his/her life. The way you produce your and your pet’s expense is done in collaboration with other humans like you; not dogs and cats. You can live without your pet but you cannot live without humans—that includes the “strange person” that you are willing to sacrifice to save your pet. Can you now see how twisted your love affair with your pet is?
        I guess; I have to elaborate on why your insistence to equate your pet with me and you is absurd. Your pet is a pet not a person. The history of your pet is not the same as the history of you and me. Unless you have forgotten what your teachers taught you, your pet came to be what it is after it was domesticated. You have done nothing to change that; your pet is still a domesticated animal with one exception. The one exception is that you do not take your pet hunting every morning. It is funny, it took a cross-breeding of some money making scheme for you to think that your pet is no more like it used to be. And now, according to you, your pet stands at the same pedestal with you but superior to “strange person” on the ultimate decision about saving a life. This is the ultimate in false equivalence, and it is likely to lead you to marry your pet; since I cannot see the end of your argument that falsely equates your pet with a person. As I stated earlier, you are one of those who claim that “pets are people too,” and who knows, you may end up marrying your pet if you have not done so.
        Your claim that I am not to be believed with domesticated animals had me smile, and I do not need to reply to that. Your claim that I am not to be believed with a pet is based on my assertion that I will save a person over any pet. If I am not to be believed with domesticated animals, then, by your same logic, you should net be believed with human-beings either; since you have asserted your willingness to save your pet over a “strange person.” Well; thanks for choosing not to have a child and I am hoping that you are not working with kids in any shape or form.
        It is so funny for you to call me selfish for choosing my nine year-old daughter over any pet. If loving and protecting my child over any pet makes me selfish, you have no idea what makes one selfish. The list is very long and it includes you; you are selfish and it is apparent from your life that you have narrowly tailored to first and foremost include you and your pet. I guess you are the kind of person who claims that your pet loves you unconditionally, right? I remember a reasonable person answering to such an over the head assertion with a question. “What choice does your pet has?” Your choice not to have a child may include among many other things not wanting to care for a child. A child by far needs highly committed selfless parents. Your commitment is only centered to your pet, and please weigh how selfish you are in contrast to a mother with six children and few pets. That is why I pray for my child to not meet your selfish soul as a “stranger.”
        BTW, I have a whole lot to say about how disparate your pet is from a person.

        • Julie Was Here

          Cop out. Don’t you think that most people would try to save the dog and the stranger’s kid if they could too?

          The main condition of the scenario is they only ONE can be saved. That’s what makes the dilemma a dilemma at all. As only one can be saved and you have refused to choose, you kill yourself and BOTH of your kids. Try to catch two rabbits and you’ll catch none. Three died senselessly when only one would have otherwise. Oh yeah, stellar patenting there. What shitty instincts.

          And since you brought it up, yeah, I’ve relinquished my potential to experience the true misery, drudgery, and waste that parenthood would be. I’d rather have a life of my own, than mindlessly follow the life-script to my detriment.

          I didn’t cop out if your question. Your question was impossible. I would never have a kid in the first place. I don’t particularly like kids, and certainly not enough to burden myself with one in the first place. Not only that, but I acknowledge the toll that having a kid would take on my dog and my responsibility to her – it just wouldn’t be fair to her, were I to become child burdened. That’s my answer. I would never even have a kid in the first place, let alone the need to save one.

          Ask me to choose between my cat and my dog, or between my dog and some kid I was babysitting at the time (not that I babysit anymore) and then you’d have an interesting dilemma. You’d have a legitimate conflict of responsibility.

          And responsibility is what this is about. As much as you bleat about emotional appeal, you are the one deciding based on irrational emotion, your petty, selfish whims, rather than on responsibility.

          You’re the one who thinks what you want is more important that what anyone else wants. Why should your whim be more important than what I want, or than my dog’s own will to live? I assume that you would save your kid over my dog, who is a stranger to you, or even over a strange child (a child who is a stranger – that’s what the term means, idiot,) but you don’t hear me bitching about it and calling you inhuman, like you do. Who do you think you are? News flash, you’re not special and neither is your kid. You’re not more important than me or my dog.

          So you save the human based in what they might do in their personal time? That person you choose to save might be a murderer, a rapist, or a thief, too.

          And the dog could be a seeing eye dog, a therapy dog, or just someone important in the lives of other dogs, cats, and humans. But is value really based in relationship to humans? Your speciesist bias is showing again. Dogs, just like humans, have their own value not related to others.

          And as for one choice being a disaster, that would e saving the human. It’s called OVERPOPULATION. You might have heard of it. It’s because of humans that so many dogs are without homes, not the lack of humans. Humans are just not nearly as important as your narcissism compelled you to pretend.

          And true, my dog doesn’t produce anything but joy and love. He doesn’t produce pollutions, like humans do, crime, like humans do, weapons, like humans do, hate, like humans do, drugs, like humans do, or war, like humans do. Humans destroy far more than they create. Compared to humans, dogs are pure angels.

          The origin of dogs is something quote amazing. Out of wolves evolved and animal that grew up among us, aiding us, as our perfect companion. They’ve adapted in so many divergent ways to suit their survival – it incredible. Human eviction is not nearly so interesting. We’re pretty boring, biologically, by comparison.

          Bitch, you’re do out of your mind it’s hilarious. You keep quoting “pets are people too,” but where did I say that? And I’m going to marry my dog? Lol have you just been trolling this entire time? I never said that pets are people, or more important, just that they’re not less important (I lack your human-centric bigotry!) And as I said, the question isn’t about arbitrarily imposing values of importance, it’s about responsibility. I owe a stranger nothing, and my dog everything.

          You would not give a pet what you owe, what your promised when you adopt it, your protections and love. That is why you don’t deserve to have a pet of any kind – you’re too irresponsible to actually take care of it, but would stray it in an instant for your narcissistic worship of the species you happen to belong to. THAT is sick.

          And if thus not bad enough, you expect other people to forsake their own responsibilities to their pets just to save your kid, as if what you want is more important – THAT is what makes you selfish.

          Oh, and one more thing. Although caring for a dog IS selfless, always, caring for your own kid (not adopted) NEVER is. You breed for your own petty, narcissistic whims and don’t even seem to care that the child you force into existence will inevitably suffer and die as a result of your selfish actions. Yeah, your nine year old will die one day and it will be your fault for making her exist in the first place. Don’t pretend to be selfless. You fool no one bit yourself. And as for caring for her in the mean time, you get no points for that. It’s your fault she needs anything in the first place – you OWE her that.

          • “Cop out. Don’t you think that most people would try to save the dog and the stranger’s kid if they could too?”

            I have answered this part of your question by stating that I will save the “strange person” over your pet anytime. Unless you are on something; I merely told you that I will choose the “strange man,” knowing quite well that I have only one choice either to save your pet or the “strange man”. I repeat; I will choose the “strange man” over your pet. And this does not make me anthropocentric.

            Your position is so feeble you needed to change your “ethical” question, by diluting it from a choice between your pet and the “strange person” into a choice between which one of my two children I save in case of an inevitable death.

            You running here and there for cover. You are still using this false equivalence of equating your pet with your car and your pet with a child or a “strange person.” For me, there is no choosing between my children, and your diluted conundrum is nothing but a thin cover. If only one child is to be saved, there no choice to begin with for a parent who is naturally bent to save his children equally. Besides, by now, it should be apparent to you that I am not an American or a person of Western origin. I have a culture and tradition that is unlike yours. Your culture and tradition has the bent much like you and treats the individual with twisted sense of glory. Your selfishness has its roots in your Western culture. My culture and tradition emphasizes family, community and the greater society at large to subsume the self-interest of the individual. And hence, I have no friends as selfish and as twisted as you are.

            No matter how hard you try to stretch you pet loving passion, the choice between your pet and any child is not commensurable to the choice between two children. Stay out of your persistent false equivalence.

            The following are your own quotes and they mirror to a degree you deeply held detest to your own kind. You sound as if you and your pet can survive this world if need deems it proper; right? You are just a very selfish and strange person.

            “And since you brought it up, yeah, I’ve relinquished my potential to experience the true misery, drudgery, and waste that parenthood would be. I’d rather have a life of my own, than mindlessly follow the life-script to my detriment.”

            “I didn’t cop out if your question. Your question was impossible. I would never have a kid in the first place. I don’t particularly like kids, and certainly not enough to burden myself with one in the first place. Not only that, but I acknowledge the toll that having a kid would take on my dog and my responsibility to her – it just wouldn’t be fair to her, were I to become child burdened. That’s my answer. I would never even have a kid in the first place, let alone the need to save one.”

            I rest my case; you have come clean; you are so selfish indeed. All you care is about you. And most likely, the fact that you “care” for your pet is for your own sake; I aver.

            • Julie Was Here

              Maybe I’m not being clear enough, or maybe you just have a reading comprehension problem (given your repeated incidences of putting “strange X” in quotation marks as of it was improper, I suspect the latter.)

              The question was never about you choosing between a stranger to you and my dog. I don’t know where you even got that. Seriously, pay attention. We already know your narcissism would compel you to be biased towards the thing most like yourself- another human.

              What I called a cop-out was your insistence in dying while failing to save either kid. Either you don’t understand what makes the dilemma a dilemma at all, or you would actually want you kids to die and would like to join them.

              I’m running for cover, you’re the one who would rather kill yourself and your kids than pick one to save (you’re a shitty, unfit, irresponsible parent who should not have been allowed to breed.) I’ve answered quite directly. Between my dog who I owe, and a stranger who I don’t, I’d save my dog every time. I’ve been pretty clear about that.

              You keep bleating about a “false equivalence,” an I’ve mostly let it go before. But joe your dishonesty and hysterics are getting old. I never made a false equivalence. Not once. You made that up. What I’m not doing is making a false assumption of superiority, as is your fallacy. Get over yourself. You are not nearly as important as you think you are.

              I don’t care what primitive, self-worshipping culture you’re from. There I no excuse for your selfishness, narcissism, or hubris. Despite your petty ego, your and your kids are not anymore important than anyone else.

              I value my family. My dog IS my family. Out of the kindness of my heart, I adopted her – it’s not the narcissistic self-love you have for your personal copy you made or your amusement. It’s not my fault my dog exists and has needs, but I attend to them still knowing that she can only repay me with love. THAT is selflessness, you self-centered fool.

              You think Im selfish, for following through on my own responsibilities. Yet you think that other people should renege on their own responsibilities and shoulder your burdens, as I you’re just that damned important. You forced a new being into existence, your daughter, knowing that as a result of your petty whim, she will inevitably suffer and die. Look into your daughter’s eyes. Every time she is hungry, sad, or in pain, that’s YOUR fault. She will suffer and die, all because it suited your pathetic ego. And that’s still not enough for you, you want others to suffer as well. You are the epitome of selfishness, you disgusting breeder.

              • I came back to this blog to see if the discussion had developed…………………..’you disgusting breeder’………….abusiveness doesn’t win the argument and as interesting as some of your points may be you are one very angry woman Julie. I would save you over my beloved pet no matter what and as much as that might stick in your craw your friends and family might be glad that you were alive to live another vibrant day. It would be for them that I would save you. This I would do for anyone known to me or not.

              • Julie Was Here

                Oh, silly me. I forgot that only disgusting breeders are allowed to use insults in place of arguments, and everyone just has to allow that and never return the favor. Silly me, I keep forgetting that breeders are so fucking special.

                Also, you’re an irresponsible fuckwit not fit to be trusted with any pet.

  15. Very interesting!

    Of course, the question was not about me choosing between your pet and the “strange person.” The question is about you, choosing to save your pet over a “strange person” from an inevitable death. I have answered this specific question in detail to the point of calling you inhuman. Go back and re-read my answer and I do not have the time to elaborate or clarify it for you again.

    The point is still about you, for having chosen to take such an inhuman “ethical” stance–though you are still a human-being to a noticeable degree. My evidence is simple. Your adamant bent to save your pet over any “stranger” shows how many “strangers” you are willing to sacrifice for the sake of yourself, a twisted human. Your desire to save your pet, not the “strange person,” is based on mere assumption that your pet wants to be saved by you from any apparent death. This assumption is not strong enough a bridge to lead you to the conclusion to save your pet over a “strange” person. You may ask why? My answer is simple: you do not even know for sure that whether or not you pet wishes to be saved; you have no proof, and you will have no proof until your pet is scientifically reproduced to reveal the fact that it wants to be saved. Come to think of it; what ever “love” that your pet is showing you now may be is the trick that it employs to get what it wants while wanting to die in a second to avoid your disgusting company. Admittedly, I have no proof for this either. I am just ridiculing you for assuming what your pet wants. Your pet may or may not want to be saved; there is no proof.

    Your so called dilemma if any is tailored to fit your own argument. you see; the dilemma of having to choose either of my children is not tantamount by any measure, except by madness of some sort, with the dilemma of you having to choose between your pet and a “strange person.”

    Your choice to save your pet over the “strange person” is what reveals your inhuman gesture toward your own species. And I should add, your whole argument is an overblown rational not to be anthropocentric. In your earlier reply, you claim that you have never said “dogs are people too.” One has not to say it loud or otherwise to assert a stance. Although you did not write “dogs are people too,” your whole argument tacitly boils to assert that you have done so. You see; you need not to put every and any assertion that you are aware of in your writing; there is what is called an unstated assertion. But now you have stated your assertion clearly; you are indeed for “dogs are people too” mantra by merely claiming that your pet is your family to you. And no wonder that you are such a “civilized” person.

    Your assumption about my “…primitive, self-worshiping culture…” is very telling about what kind of a person you are. If any, your assumption about my culture tells me that you value your culture more so than you value the culture of others. I know you have no clue; but your own positive value for your own culture is indeed the bases for your central argument to be flashed head first into the toilet soup that you cooked out of your shitty argument. You see; your whole argument is relativist for assuming that humans are not necessarily “valuable or better” in contrast to your pet. In your doggy world, humans, especially “strange humans” do not warrant a life-saving human gesture by a pet owner. According to you, this is so because the pet owner is convinced that he/she has the “contractual agreement” to save his/her pet over a “strange person.” Talk about madness; this is what you have stated in your earlier replies and it mirrors how far a twisted logic can be stretched thin beyond repair.

    As I have stated earlier in my replies, you are human and cannot live in any other setting without humans abutting the boundary of your life. To a greater or lessor extent, I know that you are now living a doggy-life, but it does not mean that you cannot readjust to fully live among us humans without your pet that was reproduced as a result of money making scheme to drain you wallet and your brain. This money making scheme is also what has drained the natural inclination in you to save the “strange person” from an inevitable death. And for this reason, you are so inhuman and even have the nerve to assert your doggy self between me and my daughter. In your doggy world, the value that I give my daughter is not that disparate from the value that you give your dog. Wake up, a dog is not equal a child. Quit your relativist argument based on nothing other than false equivalence.

    On many points, your own reply, I think, more so than my argument has made it clear to readers how feeble a person you are. In any case, thank you for sharing your take. For sure, you have made me a better human to seek out the”strange person” with the intent to bond with her or him to better the world. Thank you for making me an even stronger environmental activist to save the world of animals and humans. You should be happy for this outcome since your pet is nevertheless an animal.

    I hope you understand that I do not hate for your dog per se, but I do not however like pet owners, who by their twisted relativist argument are making this inhuman claim to save their pets over the “strange person.” At the end of the day, it is a must; you need to live if your pet is to live. By deduction therefore, if you are willing to sacrifice billion “strange persons” to just save your pet for your own selfish sadistic will, you will end up depriving a dog from becoming a pet.

    In conclusion, I have few questions and I hope you would not mind answering them candidly. God forbid, but, will you eat your own pet if it saves you from hunger that will kill you if you do not do so? What do you think about people, who by tradition, culture and or other reasons, eat dogs not only to survive but as a matter of preference? What are your takes about the natural instincts that both animals and humans readily manifest?

    Thank you so much!!!

    • Julie Was Here

      You are the inhuman one. You are irresponsible, disgusting vermin. I’d sure as well safe a hamster over your worthless ass.

      Hey retard, you keep falling back on your speciesist bigotry, your racism as an excuse for going back on your promises. How many fucking times do I have to tell your dumb ass that it’s a matter of RESPONSIBILITY? Why is it that responsibility is such a foreign concept to you that you can’t even seem to comprehend it? Instead you keep bleating about dogs not being people, in apparent response to something that NO ONE EVEN SAID! I hope you really aren’t representative of your culture, for they would have to be backwater as fuck if irresponsibility, narcissism, bigotry, and greed, as you represent, is the norm.

      As for culture, dumbass, YOU are the one who brought that up, not me. You’re the one who claimed some kind of high-ground on the value of family. Ironically, you seem to think that only YOUR OWN family (which you wouldn’t even save yourself it it meant choosing between two of your own kids,) is of any value, and it’s wrong of me to value my own family (yes, my dog IS family. Dogs are NOT toys, accessories, or decorations. She is a living thing which I must be responsible for.) YOU are the one who gets so buthurt that I would not sacrifice my own family for yours (even as you admit that you would not do the same for mine,) that I would not abandon my responsibility in order to shoulder the burden of the responsibly that you fail to uphold yourself. Who the fuck do you think you are?

      And yes, you ARE irresponsible. Rather than save either of your own kids, if that was the dilemma, you would kill them ALL, in addition to yourself, rather than fulfill your responsibility to either. Some family value that is. I should kill my own dog to save the kid who you’re not even willing to save yourself. I feel real sorry for you daughter to have you as an example.

      Let’s talk about responsibility a bit, since it’s a matter beyond what your selfish ass can understand. If it came down between your kid, and a stranger (by the way, stranger does not need to be quotation marks, dumbass,) which do you save? If it came down between a kid you were babysitting and a stranger, which then? Are you able to wrap your feeble mind around this whole responsibility concept yet? Probably not.

      I’m living a “doggy-life”? Are you completely retarded? Do you have any idea how idiotic you sound? Hey, bitch, I already mentioned the deal with overpopulation, didn’t I? Yeah, over 7 billion people on this planet is plenty, in fact, it’s more than this planet can sustain. Each new person is a DETRIMENT, not a help, to the rest. And by the way, 150,000 people die EVERY DAY, and you probably don’t even notice the difference. And anyway, yes, I COULD live without other people. Not as comfortably, but it could be done, because I’m not a worthless, dependent idiot unable to do anything for myself, as you seem to be.

      But sure, let’s pretend for some completely moronic reason that I really DO need other people, every single one, even strangers, and it would really be a big fucking deal to me personally if a stranger happened to die. That’s a stupid, selfish reason to abandon responsibility! Would you let your kid die and instead save someone who owed you money? Who am I kidding, you don’t want to save your kid anyway. You want other people to do that for you.

      And no, I wouldn’t kill my dog to eat it. Would you kill your kid for food, you sick fuck? If I was starving, I might eat my dog if it was already dead – but I’d eat a dead human in such a situation too. I just wouldn’t kill either for that purpose. If you would, you need to repeat your “inhuman” accusation into a mirror.

      You are the worst humanity has to offer.

  16. OOOPS! I meant to say to say “I hope you understand that I do not hate your dog per se…”

  17. You are a horrible person. There should be a test to see if a person should be allowed to own a pet or not, yes. But you know what? There should be a test to see if you are allowed to BE a human too. You do not qualify, sorry. You are egoistic, inhuman, hateful and I am appalled to see that you and people like you can think like this. I’d still save you over ten on my dogs, then tell you to fuck off.

    • Julie Was Here

      So I’m not fit to be human, and yet you would still betray those who you have a contract to protect for me just because you’re far too narcissistic to do any less for a member of your species?

      You disgust me. Don’t get any pets. You’re not mature or responsible enough to be entrusted with their lives.

      • If you can say I am not fit to have pets, I can also say you are not fit to be around humans. I’d happily do anything for a pet, but I could never live with letting a person die.

        • And also, you think that the loss of your dog would cause the same grief as someone losing their loved one, that is fucking disgusting, false and insulting to any and all human relationships ever.

          • Julie Was Here

            What makes you so sure it wouldn’t? And more to the point, what makes you think that grief is relevant in any way?

            • Thank you Nimz. Julie should resolve some troubling issues before drawing a contrast between two nonparallel natural creatures. Her pet is a pet no matter how much she labors to imbue it with human characteristics of social, economic and political/philosophical…etc life.

              • Julie Was Here

                I see another illiterate has arrived. You could at least pretend that actually bothered to read the post. You just embarrass yourself otherwise.

              • Julie, you have grown anemic and very hostile…please re-read your own blog. The following is part of my argument a while ago that made you swirl into hostility

                Your claim that I am not to be believed with domesticated animals had me smile, and I do not need to reply to that. Your claim that I am not to be believed with a pet is based on my assertion that I will save a person over any pet. If I am not to be believed with domesticated animals, then, by your same logic, you should net be believed with human-beings either; since you have asserted your willingness to save your pet over a “strange person.” Well; thanks for choosing not to have a child and I am hoping that you are not working with kids in any shape or form.

                It is so funny for you to call me selfish for choosing my nine year-old daughter over any pet. If loving and protecting my child over any pet makes me selfish, you have no idea what makes one selfish. The list is very long and it includes you; you are selfish and it is apparent from your life that you have narrowly tailored to first and foremost include you and your pet. I guess you are the kind of person who claims that your pet loves you unconditionally, right? I remember a reasonable person answering to such an over the head assertion with a question. “What choice does your pet has?” Your choice not to have a child may include among many other things not wanting to care for a child. A child by far needs highly committed selfless parents. Your commitment is only centered to your pet, and please weigh how selfish you are in contrast to a mother with six children and few pets. That is why I pray for my child to not meet your selfish soul as a “stranger.”

              • Julie Was Here

                Blah blah blah. Wire again when you’re literate. I’ll give you a hint: I never said you would be selfish for saving your kid!

        • Julie Was Here

          So you’re plain lying when you say you’d do anything for a pet. Lying is typical of your ilk.

          Did you know that you’re a bigot?

          • I’d do anything for a pet, feed it, care for it and save it’s life to the best of my abilities, but in a situation when I must choose between it and another human being, I will always save the human first. The loss of a dog does not even remotely equate to the loss of a person for someone else. I would obviously try to save both should a situation arise, even if I already knew the outcome. I am not a bigot when I am not possibly an active cause of their death, and the only possible outcome is that only one can live . I am not prioritizing a woman vs a man or white vs black. It is a human vs a dog. I think you’d want me ro save your mother, father, brother or sister over my dog, and so I will. Unless you hate them, and if that’s the case I’d understand where your thoughts come from and your slight hate for humankind. You so easily dehumanize other people because they are strangers or because they are different.

            • And by your twisted logic, I could just as well save my pet goldfish (assuming it couldn’t swim somehow) because I can love it as much as you love your dog, and who are you to say otherwise. Maybe my pet ant? Where do we draw the line? Because if you say that not all animals can be loved the same as your dog, you are prioritizing some species over others just as well. Brb, gonna see what my pet oyster is up too.

              • “…gonna see what my pet oyster is up too” summarizes the gist of our argument. Nimz, you are brilliant!

              • Julie Was Here

                Don’t flatter yourself. You don’t have a real argument to make. You’re just having a tantrum because your ego demands it.

              • Julie Was Here

                You didn’t even bother to read the post did you? It’s not about emotion, dipshit. It’s about responsibility.

            • Julie Was Here

              Oh yes, you sure are a bigot. You assume humans are superior and more valuable. That’s speciesism. And narcissism.

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