Thoughts on Animals and Euthanasia

by Megan M. on February 1, 2005 · View Comments (Blog) |

In a household where our dogs have always been fellow human beings, I suppose my take on pet euthanasia ought to be out of the norm. That shouldn’t be surprising. The dogs who have died in my family have all gone naturally, except for the last, who may have accidently ingested too much MSG… something that is closer to natural, now that I’m thinking clearly about it, just because she was a little dog and a garbage digger. Little dog = low tolerance for MSG, garbage digger = perilous life calling. That may not make sense to anyone but me. ;}

In any case, if I were very sick and suffering… my family would do whatever they could to A. cure me or at least B. help me to be in less discomfort. But they wouldn’t kill me to ease my suffering, and they wouldn’t kill me for lack of money to pay the vet with. Ah, the medical expenses, that is.

I understand that animals are different than human beings, but beyond that, I’m pretty sure that animals deal with pain better than human beings. Animals don’t personalize their pain – they just experience it. And if I am in a great deal of pain, from an illness that cannot be cured, in a situation where no one can pay the medical bills and no one will provide me proper medical care… just give me a stack of codeines and snuggle with me until I bite the bullet. Doesn’t that sound more reasonable? Where has this mentality for putting down pets come from? And don’t give me the ‘humane’ argument, either.

While I’m on the ‘humane’ kick, I haven’t decided how I feel about, for instance, an animal who is in massive amounts of immediate agony and will undoubtedly die shortly no matter what is done, in a situation where he cannot be moved and there is no painkilling medication available.

So ultimately, these are just a bunch of thoughts. Perhaps the few people who read this can speculate for me. :}

  • I know, the whole blanket statement thing. I also can't bear to press the argument (or, hell, BEGIN the argument) with folks who have had an animal put down - it's just too heartbreaking for them and not worth the discussion. But I appreciate ya'll commenting, it is an interesting dilemma to me. (Especially having three dogs left and not quite sure how they're planning to go out...)
  • James
    "In any case, if I were very sick and suffering… my family would do whatever they could to A. cure me or at least B. help me to be in less discomfort. But they wouldn’t kill me to ease my suffering, and they wouldn’t kill me for lack of money to pay the vet with. Ah, the medical expenses, that is."

    I really hope your family wouldn't send you to a Vet!

    If an animal is in immense pain or suffering and if on the way out it is best just to end its pain rather than let it linger in agony. Vet bills are not a good reason to put an animal down but recently my father's dog was put down, he lived through a year and a half of Kemo, during that time he was quite expensive but also happy since the cancer was kept in check. Eventually though he could no longer walk and could only lay there whining, that is when he was put down, he would never have gotten better and keeping him alive would only serve to cause him more suffering and he would not have died quickly as the Kemo had slowed the cancer, in this case euthanasia was the best option.

    You can't make a useful blanket statement about Euthanasia there are some cases where it is necessary but others where it should absolutely not be done.
  • badly dubbed boy
    For what it's worth, the essential problem is consent. How do you know whether your dog would consent to being put to sleep or whatever?

    The sooner they invent that dog->English dictionary, the better.
  • Golden Tiger
    I'll comment...

    Most people don't have any problem with Euthanasia for one core reason, the relationship between them and their pet. Many people get pets for many different reasons, but not too many people form a bond with their pet. They kinda like their cat, they sorta tollerate their dog, they find their pet amusing... yet they never consider it a major thing. So, an illness indicates only one thing in their mind... "I'll have to find a replacement pet soon". The pet itself had little value, the type of pet had more value... they love dogs, not any specific dog, they just want dogs around. The pirate doesn't care if the parrot on his sholder is poly or penny... as long as it is a parrot... similar thing (with a silly twist).

    For those people who truely care about specific pets, each individual pet (such as yourself), it is harder to understand people who don't have that bond, who don't specifically find themselves really liking or missing a current pet of theirs. In a way, while it is a loss for the pet (not only when they are in need, but also at all other times), but also a loss for the owner.

    It all boils down to a person's view of another living being, if they see it more as a convience (more like a replacable item) or more like a friend (person, companion, and alike). Being that society is more focused on not having individuals who truely care about each other, or other living beings, it is understandable why Euthanasia is a popular option.

    Just my 2 cents... but I usually have my 2 cents... and I usually speak too much too... on that note, I should be getting some rest before my astro class at 8 AM!!
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