Saturday, July 24, 2010

Trees Getting Damaged? Arrest the Pit Bull!

Unless I am confused, Pit Bulls are not legal or moral agents. They do not actually stand trial, hire a defense lawyer and plead their case. They are not free agents capable of voting or buying a lottery ticket. They cannot purchase alcohol when they turn 21 or drive when they turn 16. They do not take themselves to the vet or pay the food bills. They do not leash themselves and go on walks nor do they make the bed or clean the clothes. While they are most assuredly deserved of moral consideration, they are incapable of creating and maintaining a legal or ethical system of behavior or thought. No offense intended, but Pit Bulls are dogs, not some complex alien species that can build airplanes and skyscrapers.

Which is why I'm baffled by this news article title, "Pit Bulls blamed for Fair Haven tree damage" in which Pit Bulls are accused of chewing on trees.

Of course, no one has seen the Pit Bulls bite the trees or the swing set. They've just heard about it. Failure to fact find at its most absurd.

The Pit Bulls, if they are the ones responsible for chewing on trees (TREES, not people), did not make a conscious effort to seek out these particular trees to chew on. If they were loose, it is doubtful they made a conscious and active choice to single out these precious trees and mutilate them. If they were leashed, it is unlikely they made a beeline for the trees, thinking to themselves, "I am Pit Bull, how may I fuck up your day? Ah! A tree, that should do it!"

No, IF the dogs chewed on the trees, they were under the control and the responsibility of some legal agents called human beings. The people are responsible for the actions of their dogs, not the dogs themselves. A dog sees chewing on a branch or tree as a game, something fun and enjoyable. They don't understand that the branch or tree might be important to some human being. If they are encouraged by the people they respect/love/fear, they care even less about the tree-huggers who will eventually only accuse the dogs of a human crime.

And with the journalistic integrity of a nematode (no offense to the 'tode), the editors of this article thought it fine and dandy to frame the discussion such that the dogs are accused of a crime, that it is dogs who are responsible for the destruction of the trees and neglect to mention that someone owns those dogs. That the dogs won't stand trial for destruction of property and tree murder.

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