another swell human being
A 24-year-old Missouri man was arrested Tuesday for torturing a kitten over the hot coals of his barbecue grill while a crowd of sleazebags stood around and cheered him on. The 7-week-old kitten was rescued by a bystander who braved the onlookers' taunts, but the badly burned animal had to be put down. The man faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for animal abuse and was jailed on $10,000 bail.
Unfortunately, a spokesman for the Clay County prosecutor's office said it's unlikely any of the dozen or so onlookers will be charged, because no witnesses could identify them.
In more good news, rescuer Sherry Scott says she's now receiving harrassing phone calls over her role in the incident.
// rant alert //
Now's a good a time as any to air my views about a subject that frankly mystifies me by being an issue at all: animal rights.
There's no such thing as animal rights.
No matter how you slice it, rights come with responsibility, and there's simply no way animals can exercise responsibility. Whaddaya wanna do, let 'em vote? Ah, but the consistent argument is about critters' so-called "right" to be free from cruelty. There's the rub, because in my opinion the notion of "animal rights" completely misses the point (aside from the fact that nature obviously recognizes no such concept--animals do what they need to do for themselves and their species to survive, period).
The unfortunate dodge of the animal rights concept is that it obscures the fact that people have a responsibility not to inflict unneccesary cruelty on animals. That's why there have been laws against animal abuse for longer than this silly notion has been codified: society has recognized someone who kicks dogs or tortures kittens as morally lacking (and, I might add, potentially dangerous; I understand there's a link between violent behavior toward animals and later violence toward people).
I hope this scumbag who roasted the kitten gets the maximum possible sentence. I'm utterly flabbergasted that someone could find amusement by burning a critter to death. But my ire is not that the kitten had its rights violated, but that this individual lacks some fundamental element of humanity.