Imagine you’re walking down the street. To your left is a bloody and dying dog and to your right is a person in the same condition. Being the Good Samaritan you are, you quickly decide to help… now you’re moving to aid. Which one did you choose to help first? Perhaps you think the question is a joke, but I assure you it’s not. This is a question I’ve been pondering for several weeks. Not because I don’t know what I’d choose to do without hesitation, but because I wonder about the value of certain priorities we’ve established in our culture.
It may not initially appear that this example has any application outside of this situation, however it’s quite analogous to the sponsorship of animals versus humans. As you’re likely aware, there are a host of non-profit organizations, along with the support of its volunteers and sponsors, that care for destitute and oppressed animals, and others for humans. It’s obvious that both of these types of non-profit organizations are operated and supported by people with good intentions and big hearts. It’s also obvious that people have affinities to different things in life, take for example a veterinarian versus a doctor, which I’m not questioning here. With that said, I do not question the care and love that animal related non-profit organizations and its supporters demonstrate. I only to some degree question their priorities.
Some of you may be objecting right now: “What about non-profit specialization?” “Who will care for the animals?” These are undoubtedly valid questions, but they miss the point and greater purpose. What if were the dog and child of a stranger dying of starvation at the same time? Who would you choose to save first? Would the care and love to provide food, even without medical treatment, require non-profit or occupational specialization? What if you could save dogs from jaws of death in dogfighting or save children from blows to their heads by machetes? Should the question: “Who will care for the children,” not be made a greater priority?
All of these questions and examples are evidence that we live in a world that’s not how it ought to be. The very fact that we even debate which reality/injustice demands greater and more immediate attention bears witness of this. I understand that it’s not possible to take on all the problems of the world – that’s not our calling. But, it is our calling to love our neighbors as ourselves – our neighbors being humans before animals. Perhaps if we did that there would be more caring and loving humans, and fewer destitute and oppressed animals.
*Origin of Discursion: Upon learning that New York’s “Queen of Mean,” Leona Helmsley, – billionaire property tycoon – bequeathed millions of dollars in trust and cash to her Maltese, Trouble.