I was driving home from my Spanish final when I saw her walking along the side of the road hurriedly, her eyes red-rimmed from tears. She was carrying a plastic bag in her hand. I recognized her immediately; she was the most charismatic person I have ever met bordering on animal magnetism really. I don't know her that well; I'd call her an acquaintance, but I knew she was a passionate, emotional person. However, I had never seen her in such a state. It has always been one of rapture, boredom, or cunning sarcasm. It took only a short moment to realize what she planned to do with the plastic bag. Before seeing her, I'd noticed a dead cat, sprawled in the middle of the road. It was a particularly grim example of road kill, with its legs pointing in odd angles, and it's white fur smeared with red; most dead cats I'd seen were laying rather peacefully on the shoulder, not like this. I looked into my rearview mirror. She was standing at the crosswalk, looking forlornly in the direction of the cat, waiting for the cars to finish passing. I suddenly felt terrible for not stopping to help her. I envisioned myself stopping in front of the cat, blocking off the street with my car, offering to help her with the messy job and drive her to an appropriate burial ground, but I had already passed her, and I was driving home. As I drove, I thought how ridiculous it would have been for me to make a u-turn, stop traffic, and slide the deceased feline into the white body-bag, but I still felt somewhat guilty for not helping her (see, I'm not a robot). I would never have retrieved the body of an animal that was not my own pet, why would she? I'd always pegged her as some sort of semi/pseudo-Buddhist, because of her idolization of Kurt Cobain and general hippy-spirit, so it didn't surprise me that she would. I just didn't understand why.
I'm not especially sympathetic of animals. My upbringing has certainly desensitized me to their deaths, growing up at a dog kennel. I still enjoy the company of animals, but I don't share the same relationship others do. I recognize that man has dominion over beasts, and that beasts do not have spirits like man. This does not justify animal cruelty in my mind; I just don't see animals as equals. I find many people's feelings toward animals chauvinistic towards the "cute ones." People don't weep as the bugs splatter on their windows in springand they shouldn'tbut it does seem to contradict the gasps as they see a fox carrying a rabbit in its mouth on Animal Planet. I don't know how this girl feels about bugs in the grill of her Geo, but she is a vegetarian. Vegetarians are an odd (and skinny) bunch, but I respect those that practice it for ethical reasons--not that I disrespect religious, environmental, or nutritional vegetarians. If people were willing to go to the lengths that ethical vegetarians go to for their own morals, I think the world would be rid of a lot of phonies (which are slightly worse than the eminent self-righteous hippies that would arise).
In conclusion: I'm not a robot. Bunnies are cute. Vegetarians are A-OK.[link]