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Treatment of animals - a reflection of cultural intelligence?

Reader comment on item: Resisting Islamic Law
in response to reader comment: Hypothesis for the reason for the anti-dog Muslim bias.

Submitted by jennifer solis (United States), Feb 26, 2008 at 02:07

Hello Doc Tater,

Thank you for your letter. Very interesting!

Wish I could see your Austrailian Shepherd/ Lab mix. How proud of him you must be. What a great example of the gift of this animal, the dog - him knowing, and your following, to the aid of someone who otherwise would have gone undetected. Hope the person in the car came out OK.

Mountain cur squirrel dogs, and their ability to "bark a squirrel out of a tree" - never heard of this! Sounds amazing. Wish I could see it. I read "Where the Red Fern Grows" as a child until the covers came off - it was the story of a boy and his two red-bone hounds hunting racoon. I grew up around horses, worked for different small ranches, and there were always all sorts of dogs. I remember a German Shorthair named Caruso that would point, though nobody taught him. He would bring you baby chicks, carrying them in his mouth, and gently place them in your hand, "peeping", unhurt. It was then the job of us kids to find the mother hen (out of dozens). Not to mention the dogs rounding up the sheep, alerting when a horse was "cast", etc.

Again, such a shame that Islam has the view that it does. I disagree with Islam 100%. But somehow Islam's attitude towards dogs stands apart; perhaps it is because the dog has no say in the matter. Just a one-sided hatred towards the animal, totally unjustified, in fact unquestionably proven false.

Regarding your "hypothesis" - facinating. Undeniably, advanced civilization and their treatment of animals is, collectively, historically one of respect and affection. This diametric opposition with regards to the "third world" is something I've often wondered about - why do the intelligent cultures show affection, while un-advanced cultures show cruel and unspeakably barbaric treatment? Africa tops the list. Sorry Oprah.

I enjoyed your comments, however "politically incorrect" some might view them as. You've got good points, and guts. Refreshing. Arabs would comment on their old habit of inviting their horse to stay in their tent, but what about Fido? And of course, India has their monkeys. But apart from "worship" or idolatry, your information makes good hypothesis.

I spent some time in Guatemala. First hand I viewed something totally foriegn to a typical American - a total lack of any societal affection for animals. I don't think it has anything to do with poverty, as some might argue. The poor could pet a cat and they don't. A few of the wealthy in these countries do own animals, as a sign of their wealth. They care nothing for them except for the status the animal provides (pure-bred this, pure-bred that). Echoes of Saddam and his zoo.

Again, I've often wondered about difference and rational between societies that enjoy dogs, all animals, treat them well, have empathy for them, and those that don't. You've given me quite alot to consider. Thank you! Off to read your letter again.


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