Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Pets Against Starvation

What a cute little puppy! Here, kid, have a bone.
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Without getting into the morality or ethics of it, it's a pretty sure bet that Americans are more moved by the sight of an animal in peril than they are at images of their fellow human beings in distress.

Let's face it. When encountering a homeless kitten--the wide frightened eyes, the mussed fur, the plaintive mewling--many people have a visceral "Aww, poor thing" feeling in their gut. On the other hand, when seeing impoverished third-world citizens on television infomercials--skeletal limbs jutting from thier grotesque potbellied torsos, flies infesting their eyes, mouths and open sores, bare-chested mothers whose breasts hang loose and flat like empty paper sacks--we're likely to switch the channel in horror, or watch in slack-jawed, apathetic revulsion.

Each year in America, animal shelters euthanize tens of thousands of unwanted puppies and kittens. Each year in Africa, tens of thousands of people die from starvation. Far more manage to survive, only to face a life of hardship, ignorance and hopelessness.

For the bright and cynical reading this, no, I am NOT suggesting that we ship our excess animals to impoverished nations for consumption.

I propose that these animals, which would ordinarily be killed, be shipped to Pets Against Starvation distribution centers in the third world. These animals would arrive fully sponsored by benefactors in more developed countries. The sponsorship fees would be used to feed, clothe and shelter both the animal and its new owner, and if sufficient, be used to provide medicines and education. Each month, the owner would bring the animal back to the distribution center so that Pets Against Starvation can verify the health of the pet, and if it is in satisfactory condition, disburse to the owner his monthly rations.

Aid being contingent upon the well-being of the animal, the owner has incentive to care for it. The welfare of the animal being contingent on aid provided to the owner, the animal-loving benefactor has incentive to maintain his sponsorship.

In short, animals may benefit from care, companionship and not being euthanized. The impoverished may benefit from food, companionship and not starving to death. And we westerners can feel good about ourselves, having saved an animal without having our carpets ruined, and having saved a third-world wretch from poverty without having to endure looking at him.

Guncrazy, Apr 02 2004


       I believe it's not so much that the humans prefer to help animals other than themselves. But rather, they find cute things appealing and are more willing to aid those. I mean, if there's a cute homeless babe plaintively mewing for help, I'll bet that she can get at least as much help as that cute homeless kitty. The modern japan humans seem to understand this. Look at their kawaii society.
Aerythes, Apr 03 2004

       Tell me if I got this right - this is a plan similar to an Oxfamish sponsor-someone-in-a-developing-country deal, except they get a pet along with it? And they keep up their end by taking care of the pet. Is that the idea?
waugsqueke, Apr 03 2004

       They have to feed a pet when they are starving? Fido is for lunch.
Nitehawk, Apr 03 2004

       This is a disturbing perversion of things that I'm still trying to wrap my mind around....   

       and [l3lackEyedAngels], what the hell are you babbling about?
zigness, Apr 03 2004

       The state of scociety.
my-nep, Apr 04 2004

       // hymlick manuver //   

waugsqueke, Apr 04 2004

       Heimlich manouevre, darling.   

       As for the idea, what is it, like, long-distance petminders ? You send your waste animals to a country with an overburdened economy and then pay the people for looking after them. They don't deserve to be fed simply because they're human, only because they're looking after your dog. Considering that it's probably the US's fault that the people are in that state anyway, it amounts to worse than arrogance to then send them your unwanted pets as some sort of consolation prize. ' yes, we're robbing you blind, but here, salve my conscience by looking after this ball of fur and I'll feed you.' What the *expletive of your choice* ?
blueturtle, Apr 04 2004

       // Considering that it's probably the US's fault that the people are in that state anyway, //   

       Bit of a leap there. Maybe, maybe not. Immaterial to the discussion.
waugsqueke, Apr 04 2004

       //intent and acting upon that intent is all that matters in doing good.//   

       Sorry, [l3lack Eyed Angels], I couldn't disagree with you more here. Ever hear that the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Seems to me that the important thing about charity is that those in need get help, not how many karma points the charitable aquire.
spacemoggy, Apr 18 2004

       Nasty. Thumbs way down.
DesertFox, Apr 30 2004

       What, I think sending the unwanted pets to the starving people in Africa is a great idea! The pets aren't slaughted for no reason and the Ethiopians can enjoy delicious dog for dinner!
messedrocker, Dec 31 2005

       Mmm, dog.
MikeOxbig, Dec 31 2005

       I must bone this for one reason: exporting animals spreads invasive species. Those poor mewling kittens are already hard at work destroying rare birds in the Hawaiian islands and south pacific. There's no need to spread such a blight when we already know perfectly well fed people in the phillipines will grill up stray dogs. Ship them as food according to your original plan. The revulsion americans get at learning this is being done will initially lead to a vast increase in food donations.
ye_river_xiv, Sep 30 2007

       Dog-eaters are all cruel and deserve to die? What's not cruel about eating cows, pigs, chickens, fish, deer, pigeons, crocodiles, crabs, kestrels, galahs, kangeroos, ducks, sharks, sheep, badgers, rabbits, goats, llamas, ostriches and bison, amongst a throng of other living things? Personality? Are you going to say "personality"? Does your wallet say 'Bad Mutha Fucka' on it Jules?   

       They're all living creatures. I say eat the lot of them.
theleopard, Oct 01 2007


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