Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pets Perish


Like the debacle of the evacuation of New Orleans after Katrina, once again peoples animal companions were denied the right to evacuate with their human owners from Lebanon. While this item covers the US evacuation, the Canadian State also denied its citizens the right to bring their pets with them from Lebanon.

US Rescue Efforts Again Fail Animals and their People
The cruise ships and helicopters sent by the U.S. to rescue Americans from war torn Lebanon are poignant symbols of our government’s commitment to its citizens, wherever they may be. Yet for many of the people who are desperate to escape the strife, the government’s plan comes at a high cost. U.S. officials forced these men, women and children, who already lost their homes and belongings, to leave their dogs, cats and other companion animals behind. Beloved animals were ordered out of their owners’ arms, abandoned on the streets and left to starve amidst the rubble.
Motro: In war, all living creatures can use some luck

Luna the albino boxer lolls indolently on her queen-size doggy bed in a Tel Aviv beauty salon while her master's customers stream through to be permed, streaked and touched up. Fat and secure, nothing disrupts Luna's quiet life of privileged luxury.

In contrast Luna's compatriot a mere 60 miles away is living life on the edge. A long-haired spaniel is featured smack on Page 1 of Haaretz, Israel's most prestigious newspaper. She stares at the camera with limpid gaze, showing off pink tongue, fluffy ears and snappy red leash. Around her paws lie jagged chunks of collapsed wall, smashed glass, shredded curtain and twisted metal.


Of course unlike Corporations that are defined as 'persons' under US law, animals are still defined as property, thus evacuations limit the amount of 'property' evacuees can travel with. Catch 22 until we change the laws around companion animals to be deemed 'persons'.

Pets are property, and people traditionally have received little more than the animal's market value, according to Joyce Tischler, founding director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, an advocacy group based in Cotati, Calif.



And of course the indiscriminate bombing of the Lebanese coastline by Israel has created suffering for animals there too. Oil slicks are now contaminating the Mediterranean coast line.

Coastal animals latest casualty in war-torn Lebanon Discovery Reports Canada

Lebanon Oil Spill Makes Animals Casualties of War National Geographic



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2 comments:

Scott said...

I think this is sad, my pet is a part of my family and I don't think I could part with him, emergency or no emergency. You make a good point that these people who have lost everything now have to part with something else which is probably very valuable to them. There is never any consideration given to the fact that had these people been allowed to keep their pets, this companion may have helped them on their emotional recovery from such a disaster.

eugene plawiuk said...

Good point. Thanks for making it. The emotional stress expressed by many Lebanese Canadians on their return having lost everything, fear of losing relatives left behind, and the uncertaininty of what happened to their companion animals may be one of the reasons they expressed anguish publicly which has been interepreted by the right wing as being whining.