Author Topic: vet bills - humane v. economic decision  (Read 22774 times)

hybrid

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Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #50 on: February 24, 2014, 11:15:28 AM »
I think that hybrid may have misspoke. I think that what they meant to say was this:
Yes, pets are part of the family.  Pets are not family "to me".
And here we get into discussion of the value each individual places on a particular life. It's not up to anybody on a forum (no matter how bad ass) to place a value on a life.

Personally, I wouldn't spend a dime on the majority of my relatives, but I haven't yet hit the limit on my pets. That is up to each person, and how much they value their pets, as well as the responsibility placed on them to ensure a good quality of life.

No, not at all, I wrote exactly what I meant. I fully get that people are very emotionally invested in their pets. It's not the same as the relationships we form with people, and the rules are completely different regarding how we treat pets vs. how we treat other human beings, especially our flesh and blood.

I get that some people have elevated the status of their animals to that approaching "parenthood" and "children", but as the owner of many pets and two adult children I am well aware of the myriad differences between animals you dote on and children you raise and nurture.  It is far, far from the same experience.   

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Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #51 on: February 24, 2014, 11:42:01 AM »
I think that hybrid may have misspoke. I think that what they meant to say was this:
Yes, pets are part of the family.  Pets are not family "to me".
And here we get into discussion of the value each individual places on a particular life. It's not up to anybody on a forum (no matter how bad ass) to place a value on a life.

Personally, I wouldn't spend a dime on the majority of my relatives, but I haven't yet hit the limit on my pets. That is up to each person, and how much they value their pets, as well as the responsibility placed on them to ensure a good quality of life.

No, not at all, I wrote exactly what I meant. I fully get that people are very emotionally invested in their pets. It's not the same as the relationships we form with people, and the rules are completely different regarding how we treat pets vs. how we treat other human beings, especially our flesh and blood.

I get that some people have elevated the status of their animals to that approaching "parenthood" and "children", but as the owner of many pets and two adult children I am well aware of the myriad differences between animals you dote on and children you raise and nurture.  It is far, far from the same experience.   
I suppose I can kind of see your point, but I'd still have to state that you are attempting to put your experiences on others, which was what I was trying to state above.

As far as the differences in relationships, I can agree: I like animals a lot more than I like people. Once again, that would be my experiences shaping this outlook. Along with the fact that flesh and blood mean absolutely nothing to me.

And I don't know that I would elevate my animals to "children", I just have a very high opinion of "pets".

As far as the "rules" being completely different, unless you are speaking about laws, are more like societal norms, and one thing I've never been accused of being is normal. :-)

Miss Growing Green

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Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #52 on: February 24, 2014, 01:13:40 PM »
Why is it that we, as humans, think that all other species of animals are inferior to us?  Why do humans "deserve" more care and better treatment than non-human animals?  Because we're better somehow?  Because we're smarter?  Because we're different?

How is this mentality and the justifications we make for treating non-humans animals as inferior beings any different than the same justifications that people once made for treating blacks different than whites?  Or for treating women differently than men?

Racism, sexism, and species-ism are all different forms of the same closed-mindedness and egocentricity that all humans suffer from to some extent.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 01:15:44 PM by Miss Growing Green »

hybrid

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Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #53 on: February 24, 2014, 01:58:30 PM »
Why is it that we, as humans, think that all other species of animals are inferior to us?  Why do humans "deserve" more care and better treatment than non-human animals?  Because we're better somehow?  Because we're smarter?  Because we're different?

How is this mentality and the justifications we make for treating non-humans animals as inferior beings any different than the same justifications that people once made for treating blacks different than whites?  Or for treating women differently than men?

Racism, sexism, and species-ism are all different forms of the same closed-mindedness and egocentricity that all humans suffer from to some extent.

So where to go with this?  OK, just for sake of argument I'll offer cats and dogs are the equivalent of humans because all species are equal.  So, since all species are equal, cats and dogs are also equal to worms and shellfish, right?  And since all species are equal worms and shellfish are equal to krill and plankton.

Therefore people = dogs = worms = krill.

Yeah, no, sorry, can't follow that line of thought.  I must be a specieshwhatever you call it then, because as much as I like my cat I in no way think of it as an equal.  It's an animal that gets doted upon (far more than any cat deserves, really), but my equal?  Nahhhhh.....

Roses

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Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #54 on: February 24, 2014, 11:55:40 PM »
Why is it that we, as humans, think that all other species of animals are inferior to us?  Why do humans "deserve" more care and better treatment than non-human animals?  Because we're better somehow?  Because we're smarter?  Because we're different?

How is this mentality and the justifications we make for treating non-humans animals as inferior beings any different than the same justifications that people once made for treating blacks different than whites?  Or for treating women differently than men?

Racism, sexism, and species-ism are all different forms of the same closed-mindedness and egocentricity that all humans suffer from to some extent.

Miss Growing Green, I love your post but can you really not see the difference?  Let's do an extreme hypothetical since I sort of see what you're saying that way:  There is a toddler in some godforsaken country starving to death (actually there are millions and growing every day).  You could sponsor their trip to a center where they'll be fed, cared for and schooled, for say $1000 a year (it can actually be a lot less).  Lets say you do that for 10 years = 10K.  That was the price for the heart surgery and other procedures that my friend/coworker had done for her cat (who got much better but then died 2 years later, not that this is the point). Now, this is a wonderful compassionate woman who later became a social worker and dedicated herself to helping people.  At the time she hadn't yet had children and referred to her cats as children.  She wasn't making much money and lived a frugal lifestyle (other than the cat stuff).  I'm sure that she would have loved to sponsor a kid like that but never would have dreamed of it because her budget didn't allow it.  But when it came to the cat she felt she had no choice.  I know you're going to say it's not a choice between one or the other but why not?  Why are we so desensitized to the suffering of other human beings?  But at the same time put more and more emphasis on domestic pets?  It's like Hybrid says below,  does the earthworm and the ant count?  What about rats?  Should we be like the Jains in India that sweep before every step so as not to squash an insect?  Personally I would love for all animals to be treated fairly and humanely and I am outraged when they aren't.  I'm a (former) vegan for this very reason.  I'm also a PETA supporter and PAWS volunteer (I help rehabilitate injured wildlife prior to their release back into the wild - birds that fell from nests, squirrels hit by cars, etc).  I also treat my kitty like a queen, but if she needed 10K surgery I hope that I would have the strength to not do it and give that money to a child in need instead.  (Needless to say I wouldn't let her suffer, but have her put down).  So you see, I do look at it as an either or proposition.  Money is finite for an individual person, even one of great means.  And in a way so is our compassion.

smalllife

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Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #55 on: February 25, 2014, 05:22:25 AM »
Can we at least agree that humans tend to put themselves above everything else on earth (see: destroying the earth, damaging ecosystems, etc.)?  There's no real reason behind that other than a frontal cortex and superiority complex.  That is the point, not that we should save the krill because they are also living creatures . . .  although treating all living creatures as at least on the same scale as humans would probably go a long way to rebalancing our planet.

hybrid

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Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #56 on: February 25, 2014, 07:19:51 AM »
Can we at least agree that humans tend to put themselves above everything else on earth (see: destroying the earth, damaging ecosystems, etc.)?  There's no real reason behind that other than a frontal cortex and superiority complex.  That is the point, not that we should save the krill because they are also living creatures . . .  although treating all living creatures as at least on the same scale as humans would probably go a long way to rebalancing our planet.

Well of course we prioritize humans first. That's part of the point of this thread. Everyone has finite resources, and where to draw the line with a pet is one of those difficult, unpleasant things every pet owner deals with.

Treating animals humanely is a noble and worthy goal. And given we have the capacity to recognize what we are doing to the environment (unlike, say, an overabundant deer population that destroys its habitat with its overgrazing and is completely oblivious to the fact) we do have a responsibility to be accountable for our collective actions.

This capacity does in fact make us superior to the species around us, we have awareness and they do not. We have an obligation to live up to that the best we can. The fact that we have much work to do yet does not diminish our potential for greatness.

smalllife

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Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #57 on: February 25, 2014, 07:31:18 AM »
Can we at least agree that humans tend to put themselves above everything else on earth (see: destroying the earth, damaging ecosystems, etc.)?  There's no real reason behind that other than a frontal cortex and superiority complex.  That is the point, not that we should save the krill because they are also living creatures . . .  although treating all living creatures as at least on the same scale as humans would probably go a long way to rebalancing our planet.

Well of course we prioritize humans first. That's part of the point of this thread. Everyone has finite resources, and where to draw the line with a pet is one of those difficult, unpleasant things every pet owner deals with.

Treating animals humanely is a noble and worthy goal. And given we have the capacity to recognize what we are doing to the environment (unlike, say, an overabundant deer population that destroys its habitat with its overgrazing and is completely oblivious to the fact) we do have a responsibility to be accountable for our collective actions.

This capacity does in fact make us superior to the species around us, we have awareness and they do not. We have an obligation to live up to that the best we can. The fact that we have much work to do yet does not diminish our potential for greatness.

I don't see the "of course" about it.  It seems like an of course only because our culture and society in the past two to three hundred years has changed the framework from being a part of the earth to the earth being our collective resource.    I think our brains make us different, but no better than any of the other species, even if we do have an out sized ability to affect the world around us.  Given that this resource driven framework has nearly destroyed the ecosystem balance, I try to be mindful of not perpetuating it needlessly.  While medical care for pets fits into this discussion, it also frames my views on medical care for humans, preventative care, food, etc.  Probably getting a little off topic for this thread . . .

MrFancypants

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Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #58 on: February 25, 2014, 08:07:51 AM »
Why is it that we, as humans, think that all other species of animals are inferior to us?  Why do humans "deserve" more care and better treatment than non-human animals?  Because we're better somehow?  Because we're smarter?  Because we're different?

How is this mentality and the justifications we make for treating non-humans animals as inferior beings any different than the same justifications that people once made for treating blacks different than whites?  Or for treating women differently than men?

Racism, sexism, and species-ism are all different forms of the same closed-mindedness and egocentricity that all humans suffer from to some extent.

I'm not sure how you could ask the initial question and expect an honest response when the last statement you make in your post shows extreme judgement of people who might answer honestly.

I think most of us pet owners here understand that when you take in a pet, you have agreed to honor certain responsibilities.  But if you've ever known somebody who has been in the situation where they had to come tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket for medical bills for a loved one, I'd like to think that you'd agree that doing the same for a pet would be.....  insane. 

What's ironic here is that you're suggesting that pet ownership potentially be so expensive that nobody would be able to afford to keep one, meaning that the pet population as a whole would suffer because nobody is willing to go bankrupt to fight poor little Fluffy's stage-4 cancer diagnosis the same why the would with their own offspring and as a result would never consider taking in a pet.....  meaning that they would all go to shelters and be put to sleep as they piled up.

Not only that, but some of the worst pet owners I've ever known treated their animals like people.  The lack of discipline made these animals painfully annoying to be around.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 08:11:37 AM by Mykl »

Miss Growing Green

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Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #59 on: February 25, 2014, 09:07:53 AM »
I think people are confusing the value they put on things (personal value) with the intrinsic value of things.

Roses, I read your example, and you are basically saying that it is inappropriate to spend $10k on a cat's bills when there are starving kids out there you could save with that $10k.  Unfortunately, you could make that argument for almost anything.  Why should you spend $10k on your own child's college education when that same $10k could save the lives of starving children in another part of the world?  It's not because your child is superior to other children, it's that you personally value his life more than the others.  Intrinsically though, all children should be equal, and cherished, and deserve the right to life, liberty and happiness.

That is what equality means, after all, isn't it?  All people deserve the right to life, liberty, and happiness, because we're all equal, right?  I argue that all animals deserve that same equality.  No, I'm not saying we give horses the right to vote, the same way we don't let toddlers vote.  But if our actions purposefully or cruelly take away anothers' inalienable rights, then that shouldn't be allowed.  I extrapolate this to pet ownership- if you are taking the responsibility of guardianship of an animal, you take on the responsibility of protecting and defending their rights until their death. 

Are there gray areas? Sure.  What about an animal who was on death row but gets saved at the last minute by a poor couple that can afford its food, but no medical bills?  When that animal gets sick and they put it down are they criminals?  No, of course not.  There is a problem with the system- a huge pet overpopulation driven by human irresponsibility which leads people to commit even more irresponsible acts- a self-perpetuating negative cycle.  I don't know what the solution is, but I do know that if everyone started taking pet "ownership" more seriously, the problem we be much diminished.

And in response to a few direct questions/comments:

Can we at least agree that humans tend to put themselves above everything else on earth (see: destroying the earth, damaging ecosystems, etc.)?  There's no real reason behind that other than a frontal cortex and superiority complex. 

Completely 100% agreed.  and well said!


 I know you're going to say it's not a choice between one or the other but why not?  Why are we so desensitized to the suffering of other human beings?  But at the same time put more and more emphasis on domestic pets?  It's like Hybrid says below,  does the earthworm and the ant count?  What about rats?  Should we be like the Jains in India that sweep before every step so as not to squash an insect?  So you see, I do look at it as an either or proposition.  Money is finite for an individual person, even one of great means.  And in a way so is our compassion.
Roses, you're right, it is a choice between one or the other.  It's just that the choice you make doesn't mean that one group is more or less intrinsically valuable than another.  Couples in China have killed their own female babies in hopes that their one child could be a boy.  Because they made that choice, does that mean girls are inferior to boys and should have fewer rights?  Like I said above, ALL creatures deserve the right to life, liberty, and happiness.  So yes, earthworms, ants, great apes, whales.  I don't think that we should all be like the Jains in India, there should be a line somewhere, but the place where the line is now (for the majority of the world) is cruel and unjust.

Why is it that we, as humans, think that all other species of animals are inferior to us?  Why do humans "deserve" more care and better treatment than non-human animals?  Because we're better somehow?  Because we're smarter?  Because we're different?

How is this mentality and the justifications we make for treating non-humans animals as inferior beings any different than the same justifications that people once made for treating blacks different than whites?  Or for treating women differently than men?

Racism, sexism, and species-ism are all different forms of the same closed-mindedness and egocentricity that all humans suffer from to some extent.

I'm not sure how you could ask the initial question and expect an honest response when the last statement you make in your post shows extreme judgement of people who might answer honestly. 
...
What's ironic here is that you're suggesting that pet ownership potentially be so expensive that nobody would be able to afford to keep one, meaning that the pet population as a whole would suffer because nobody is willing to go bankrupt to fight poor little Fluffy's stage-4 cancer diagnosis the same why the would with their own offspring and as a result would never consider taking in a pet.....  meaning that they would all go to shelters and be put to sleep as they piled up.


Mykl,
I'm sorry, but the initial question was meant to be rhetorical.  I truly didn't think there was another answer besides the one I provided.  If anyone has a real, justifiable reason for why we, as humans, are better than everything else, I would love to hear the explanation.

You're kind of on to something there with your assessment of pet ownership being too expensive for anyone to keep pets.  I think that pet ownership is *very* expensive, but that 99% of all pet owners never see the true cost of owning pets.  Unfortunately, the millions of starved, abused, homeless and euthanized pets that suffer each year pay the cost, while our pocketbooks get protected.
Just like 99% of people never pay the true cost for the goods and service they use- the earth does in the form of mass pollution.  A worldwide carbon market would help solve this problem.  Some might say, "with what you're suggesting taxes on foreign goods would be so high I would never be able to afford fancy Japanese electronics again!"  Well, sadly, yep.  That's the true cost of doing business.

MrFancypants

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Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #60 on: February 25, 2014, 09:30:02 AM »
Mykl,
I'm sorry, but the initial question was meant to be rhetorical.  I truly didn't think there was another answer besides the one I provided.  If anyone has a real, justifiable reason for why we, as humans, are better than everything else, I would love to hear the explanation.

You're kind of on to something there with your assessment of pet ownership being too expensive for anyone to keep pets.  I think that pet ownership is *very* expensive, but that 99% of all pet owners never see the true cost of owning pets.  Unfortunately, the millions of starved, abused, homeless and euthanized pets that suffer each year pay the cost, while our pocketbooks get protected.
Just like 99% of people never pay the true cost for the goods and service they use- the earth does in the form of mass pollution.  A worldwide carbon market would help solve this problem.  Some might say, "with what you're suggesting taxes on foreign goods would be so high I would never be able to afford fancy Japanese electronics again!"  Well, sadly, yep.  That's the true cost of doing business.

What you're suggesting is the exact opposite of the message you intend to deliver.  Because pet ownership is more expensive than what 99% of people are willing to pay, that we should round up all animals in concentration camps (animal shelters) and murder them holocaust style all in the name of treating them like equals?  I don't know if that's what you intend to say, but that's what you're actually saying.

You may look at me with disdain because I will not sacrifice as much to save a pet as I would a human, but if the animal I've adopted gets 10 good years of life in a loving home and then has to be put to sleep because the costs of care become too great when it becomes sick....  that's 10 more years of life than it would have had if I had simply passed on the animal to begin with because I knew that I couldn't afford to write a blank check to the vet to keep it alive for as long as possible.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 09:35:37 AM by Mykl »

Miss Growing Green

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Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #61 on: February 25, 2014, 09:38:38 AM »
Mykl,

Like I said in my last post:

Quote
Are there gray areas? Sure.  What about an animal who was on death row but gets saved at the last minute by a poor couple that can afford its food, but no medical bills?  When that animal gets sick and they put it down are they criminals?  No, of course not.  There is a problem with the system- a huge pet overpopulation driven by human irresponsibility which leads people to commit even more irresponsible acts- a self-perpetuating negative cycle.  I don't know what the solution is, but I do know that if everyone started taking pet "ownership" more seriously, the problem we be much diminished.

I never suggested that there be a mass-killing of all domesticated animals...  I did say that the current system is pretty f'ed up, and it would take a whole team of economists and other fancy people to work out a plan that would be feasible to fix the mess that it is now.  I'm not implying that I know what the specific best course of action is now that we're so far in over our heads, just that what we're doing now (as a people) isn't working and it isn't right.

Hijinks

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Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #62 on: February 25, 2014, 10:09:03 AM »
Kristin - Regarding your dog's fatty lump, if you haven't had it removed yet, I would honestly leave it as is. My dog is nearly eleven, and he has gotten quite lumpy over the past couple of years. We did consider removing the lumps initially, but they don't bother him. In the end, we decided we didn't want to put him under and have him cut open for what would essentially be a cosmetic procedure. Plus, I think those types of lumps have a tendency to grow back even after being surgically removed. Now, if your dog is constantly biting at the lump or it appears to bother him, that's another story. Our solution has basically been to keep our dog's coat a tad longer so the lumps aren't visible. :)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 02:06:35 PM by A&R »

Breaker

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Re: vet bills - humane v. economic decision
« Reply #63 on: February 25, 2014, 10:14:02 AM »
Hi,

Good for you for making the decision to take care of your animals.  They will pay you back in many ways.  Not the least of which is to keep you entertained with their antics.

TIP:  If your pet needs long term or very expensive prescriptions.  Get a written RX from your Vet and take it to Costco or some other cheaper pharmacy.   All of them will fill Rx for pets. 

Jan