Friday, September 3, 2010

Feisty Friday - Fear Mongers

I was going to break up my rant with a cute warm fuzzy story about how Whitey is progressing, but given that it IS Feisty Friday - I'll save the warm fuzzies for tomorrow.

Let's continue our discussion of Pet Legislation, shall we?

Before I say a word more I would like to make it very clear that in no way do I wish to undermine the trauma experienced by those who have in fact been attacked by a dog, regardless of breed.  Nor do I wish to undermine the fear some people have of dogs even if they have never been attacked.  Dogs can evoke a tremendous amount of fear in people, and it is completely unacceptable for pet owners to allow the animals under their supervision to run wild and harass people no matter how friendly they think they are.  It's disrespectful, uncalled for, and it makes life difficult for all pet owners in the end.  I have personally had a few serious talks with pet owners who made the choice to not maintain responsible control of their dogs, and it disappoints me that I ever had to do it.  Far too many pet owners make the assumption that just because they find their dogs to be harmless, others will as well.

And you know what they say about people who ASS-U-ME...  

Fear Mongering
There is a website called that really makes my point about Fear Mongering.  It is my opinion that the primary driving force behind almost all Pet Legislation is fear.  More specifically, irrational fear.  It's easy for irrational fear to take hold.  The human species seems very susceptible to the notion of being afraid - even of things with such remote possibility they could easily be considered impossible. We are also very susceptible to Fear Speech.  By this I mean it is very easy for us to jump on an argument and follow it to the end without ever bothering to look at its' true validity, particularly when it suggests that something or someone is out to get us.  This characteristic is a human shortcoming, to be sure, but we have the capacity to make the choice not to believe everything we hear without our own investigation.

For example, states:

"Due to lack of breed-specific action, the pit bull population has exploded, pit bull euthanization rates have soared and pit bulls used in criminal operations, including dogfighting, has skyrocketed."
That's a pretty terrifying statement there, as long as you don't take issue with the fact that none of it is supported by any provided factual information.

Here, let me try:
"Due to a lack of mandatory sterilization of adult women, the human population has exploded, more people are dying of starvation and more children are joining gangs and becoming involved in illegal activities including shoplifting and scratching the paint on my brand new car." 
Ok, I'll stop being a smart ass... for now.

Certainly, anything that results in the death of innocent people is well worth close examination.  It's not a joke.

Let's look at some of the dangers lurking in our everyday American lives, shall we?

Car crash fatalities in the US, 2008:   37,261
Drunk driving deaths in the US, 2008: 11,773
Pedestrian deaths in the US, 2008: 4,378
Bicycle accident deaths in the US, 2008: 688
Icy road fatalities in Indiana alone, Winter 2008: 50
Deer crash fatality average per year: 150+ 
Fatal work-related injuries in the US, 2008: 5,214
Workplace suicides in the US, 2008: 251
Coal Mining fatalities in the US, 2008: 30
Child fatalities due to abuse or neglect in the US, 2007: 1,760 
Skydiving fatalities, 2008: 64
Struck and killed by subway train, 2008: 33
Average lightening deaths in the US per year: 62

What about dogs?  How many fatalities did they cause in 2008?

Are you ready?

Prepare to be afraid.

(Holy moses is he cute!  If you just fell in love with this guy, he's up for adoption!)

Fatal dog attacks in the United States, 2008:  23

The derogatory name I shouldn't use people over at would be pleased to tell you that “Pit bull type dogs were responsible for 65% (15)” of those bites.
For comparison, I feel we should consider another little factoid I found in my meticulous research: approximately 20 children under the age of 14 die every year while playing at playgrounds.  That's right, while PLAYING at PLAYGROUNDS.  

Perhaps, instead of banning dogs, we should start dressing our kids like this before allowing them to leave the house.


OR, we could just ban playgrounds all together... or cars... or bicycles...  or coal... or skydiving...

or work...   

YEAH!  Let's ban WORK!  I kinda like that idea.
Think of all the lives we would save! 

Ok, I'll stop being a smart ass, again, for now...

Hey, what did you expect?  I DID name the post Feisty Friday, did I not?


  1. I would dress my kids like that before letting them play at the playground...oh wait, my kids are probably gonna play hockey anyways. Nevermind.

  2. I love the cynicism in this post. And I totally agree with you.

  3. A great post, I like it!!!

  4. Great post- and the cute dog up for adoption is no longer listed on Petfinder. Hope he found a good home.


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