I'd rather save a goat than a human?

As I was leaving the gas station today I noticed something a little disturbing. There were 2 charity jars on the counter, one for the SPCA and one for some “help the bums” foundation or something.

The one for the SPCA was FULL, and the other one was damn near empty.

So my question is this. Why do we, as a society, seem to care MORE about some stray cat, than we do our own kind?

FYI…I put my change in the SPCA jar…and I don’t know WHY?

This is a WAG, and I’m probably going to get hit for it, but maybe since there aren’t 6 billion cats on the planet. If you look at it from a completely no-consious view, the animals need it more.

Two months after I adopted a cat from the local shelter, workers from the shelter came to my place unannounced to check up on the cat’s welfare. It’s been 4.5 years since my son was born and nobody has come to check up on his welfare. Now I know the cat wasn’t a blood relative or anything, and maybe that puts her at a higher risk for neglect, but still, this strikes me as rather odd

On a similar note. I once saw this show where this Circus Elephant went BuhZerk and ended up killing one dude…and perhaps more…I can’t remember. They end up shooting the Elephant in the street minutes later.

What I do remember, however, are the people watching this with me saying things like “Idiots deserved that…” And all this talk and PITY for the “poor elephant”. Not one person mentioned anything about the people who had died.

NEVER is an animals life move valuable than a HUMAN life. Call me mean, call me whtever you want. But I just don’t understand this phenom’.

and now I am getting upset.

I’ve also been in a car where SOMEONE almost caused an accidend with other humans so that they wouldn’t run over a cat.

WTF is going on here?

Unless the person nearly swerved directly into another car, then they should be avoiding hitting a cat. Yeah, it’s better to hit the cat than smash another person, but most of the time, if there’s an animal in the road, I’ll slam the brakes, and swerve to the shoulder if there is one, or to the other lane if there’s no one else in there. If neither is open, I’ll slam the brakes and hope I stop in time. As drivers, you should be far enough back so that my stopping does not even come close to causing an accident. Now, if they’re swerving right into oncoming traffic, then the people are idiots.


Even if said human is a serial rapist/killer who has contributed no good to society, and the animal in question is a guide dog for the blind or something like that?

Humans are (or should be) intelligent, thinking creatures with the ability to improve their situation - they can quit drinking, doing drugs, or whatever; get a job, get an education, etc. Animals, on the other hand, are completely at our mercy - domestic animals are confined, removed from their natural habitats, bred for traits that would make it difficult for them to survive were they returned to the wild - they have become, through no deliberate choice of their own, our responsibility. Wild animals are subject to the damage and destruction of their environments perpetrated by humans in our own struggle for survival.

Humans, being able to help themselves, earn less sympathy than animals, who cannot.

Since we are the dominant species on this planet and certainly capable of making it uninhabitable for ALL living creatures, I would think assuming a little responsibility for our actions and showing consideration for those who are at our mercy would be admirable.

And FWIW, there are humans whose right to life ranks much lower with me than that of a goat, even Scylla’s goat. Hitler, Stalin, and Jeffrey Dahmer come easily to mind. Any baby-raper, or torturer/rapist. And, of course, telemarketers.

How do you know the help-the-bums people didn’t come around and empty their jar just before you got there? Or maybe the help-the-bums jar has just recently been placed on the counter and the SPCA jar has been there for weeks.

But assuming the jars have been available for donation the same length of time, we Americans (for right or wrong) tend to think that healthy adults should be capable of caring for themselves and that animals as require our help.

By what measure are we dominant? Sheer numbers? No. Biomass? No. Ability to extinguish life on the planet? No. Probably we have the ability to take ourselves out, and a bunch of species less capable of adapting to sudden environmental changes as well. Mostly, IMO, this notion of humans as the earth’s caretaker is sheer hubris. The worst catastrophes we could visit on our planet would be shrugged off in a matter of milennia, mere seconds geologically speaking. Life will continue to hum on on this sparkling little ball with or without us.

Not that I’m saying do what you will. Pollute, nuke, hunt to extinction, whatever. Please don’t! I find I rather enjoy air, water, and our fuzzy companions. Preserve where you can. But do it for you and yours, not some overinflated notion of planetary stewardship.

Perhaps it is because SPCA is a well known organization. People know that it is legitimate and know exactly what their money will go to do. Save-the-bums, however, is not well know and people might not be comfortable giving their money to an organization they have never heard of and don’t know the aims of.

This is probably a Great Debate. But maybe not.

Can someone get the statistics of charitible contributions in the United States broken down by whether the money goes to the poor, the arts, animals, education, etc?

I suspect the OP is based on a faulty premise.

As any cat will tell you, cats are superior. QED.

I pay a sizable chunk of my earnings out in taxes, and a significant portion of these taxes pay for a social safety net to assist people less fortunate than me. (I am a Canadian, I am very supportive of such a social saety net, and I don’t begrudge a penny of my money which goes toward it.) Only a miniscule amount of my taxes goes to animal protection.

I also do so some poverty law work at the office, some fundraising for the health field, and some political work in the environmental field, all of which take a significant bite out of my income, but I feel strongly about the duty to do such things. I can’t say I do much for animals, other than get wilderness protected.

So when I come across a Humane Society box, I’m quite happy to plunk some change in it because my responsibilities to fellow humans has have already been somewhat met, whereas my responsibilities to animals have not been addressed to anywhere near the same degree.

If you look at two boxes beside each other, with the animal shelter box pulling in more than the human shelter box, perhaps it is because in trying to balance so many truly deserving causes, many people contribute in many significant ways to the human causes, but only contribute with occasional spare change to the animal causes.

So there I was on the interstate hauling a trailer, reaching over and trying to steer while my SO at the time had foot to the floor and hands covering eyes, shouting “OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!”

What caused this? It was hunting season. We were passed by a car with a deer tied to the roof.

My SO was a vegan chef and animal rights activist. Although I am a vegetarian and an environmentalist, I was used to dealing with people who not only hunted, but who actually depended on their hunt for subsistance. I did not even notice that which sent my SO off the deep end, and did not have a clue as to what was going on, other than the distinct impression that we were about to die.

After getting off the highway, we talked about what had happend. I had a very hard time comprehending that it had all been over a dead deer. My SO agreed that putting humans at risk (and in particular putting me at risk – I take these sort of near misses very personally) over a reaction to a dead deer was obviously grossly unaccepable, but at the same time explained to me that the sheer horror had led to a total loss of control.

My point in all this is that we all react differently when suddenly put under stress, and we don’t all even recognize the same stressors. I suspect that when folks do dumb things, such as swerve in traffic to avoid animals and republicans, they do it without thinking, as a reaction only. It’s only human, and although sometimes tragic, does not display a willingness to sacrifice people. The solution is to improve driver training by preparing and rehearsing for such eventualities, rather than try to change value systems.

According to a Knight-Ridder report I found dated May 26, 1999, Americans gave a total of $174.5 billion to charity in 1998 ($134.8 billion was from individuals, the rest from corporations and foundations). Of that, 43.5 percent went to religious groups. The bulk of the rest went to education, health and human services groups.

A report from the AAFRC (American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel) Trust for Philanthropy breaks down the 1998 giving figures as follows:

Contributions received by type of organization in 1998 (in billions)

Civic groups and charitable funds: $10.86 (6.2%)

Environment/ wildlife: $5.25 (3.0%)

International affairs: $2.14 (1.2%)

Religion: $76.06 (43.6%)

Education: $24.56 (14.1%)

Health: $16.89 (9.7%)

Social Services: $16.08 (9.2%)

Foundations: $16.94 (9.7%)

Arts, culture and humanities: $10.53 (6.0%)

So according to their figures, environment/wildlife giving comprises the second smallest category.

Just a cursory glance through a couple of the major groups’ financials should tell the story. Take two of the most high-profile organizations for helping animals and humand: According to the ASPCA’s Annual Report, in 1998, their total support and revenues came to $25,940,451; Habitat for Humanity, in 1999, reported total support and revenues of $121,109,194. Not even a contest.

I saw this clip also and remember the crowds hollering “you suck” at the cops while they were shooting the elephant. They had to shot the elephant many many times. Cop guns are not designed to kill elepahts.

Also, The Daily Show a few months ago had a bit comparing the animal shelter vs the homeless shelter in San Francisco. The animal shelter had individual rooms (not cages), cable tv, on site vets,high quality food and play volunters. The homeless shelter was a cot in a ward and a balony sandwich.

Are you sure this was the city animal shelter they were discussing, and not a kennel or other private shelter/group? Local animal shelters, even in cities the size of SF, tend to be extremely poorly funded, rather depressing places.