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Children and dogs (Was: OT Animal Rights)

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  • Dan Sallitt
    ... Children get the same exemption. I ve made a bit of a study of this over the last 35 years or so. Interestingly, when I ask people about this reaction,
    Message 1 of 69 , Aug 31, 2006
      > The filmmaking was bad enough, but what really made it the nadir for me
      > was the sight of the audience getting up and cheering because a dog
      > outruns an explosion as the thousands of humans in the background are
      > blown away.

      Children get the same exemption.

      I've made a bit of a study of this over the last 35 years or so.
      Interestingly, when I ask people about this reaction, they always say the
      same thing: "The dog is innocent." "The child is innocent." So I guess
      the human being is presumptively guilty.

      Of course, a storyteller can do work to turn a person into an
      identification figure, which will make the audience sad at his or her
      death. But, minus this work, it's open season.

      One possible explanation for why people don't mind the deaths of human
      beings on screen is that there's a kind of abstraction to art, whereby we
      know that the people aren't real, and react to their fate in a different
      way that is particular to art. But I think the child-dog phenomenon
      effectively destroys this theory.

      I am forced to conclude that human beings who aren't in our circle of
      identification are seen as threatening, so that their deaths don't trouble
      us. And also that this is a real-life phenomenon rather than a fiction
      phenomenon. - Dan
    • Fred Camper
      ... While I don t think Hitler s vegetarianism came from a wish to avoid killing animals, he does seem to have been kind to animals and disgusted by the
      Message 69 of 69 , Sep 1, 2006
        Richard Modiano wrote:


        > I take your point here Fred, but Hitler wasn't a long time
        > vegetarian. He became a vegetarian on doctor's orders. He never
        > forbade hunting in the Third Reich, and saw fit to make Herman
        > Goering, a life long hunter, Reichsmarshal.

        While I don't think Hitler's vegetarianism came from a wish to avoid
        killing animals, he does seem to have been kind to animals and disgusted
        by the killing of animals.

        Ian Kershaw's biography, currently considered the standard, dates
        Hitler's vegetarianism to 1924 and a wish to lose weight. That makes him
        a vegetarian for 21 years. Later Hitler gave other reasons, such as that
        it lessened some of his ailments and that meat was unclean because of
        the way it was slaughtered.

        He also was a big anti-smoking advocate. Way before most, he thought it
        was unhealthy. And supposedly the Third Reich was the first regime to
        attempt to control industrial pollution. My point is not that Hitler had
        a good side, but that people who are very interested in good health and
        "cleanliness" have been known to carry their "concern" more than a
        little too far. As most probably know, he thoguht certain peoples were
        "unhealthy," a "cancer on the body of the volk [people]."

        This is getting way OT, I realize....

        Fred Camper
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