Orlaith Carey (orlacarey) wrote,
Orlaith Carey

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Let's see how many hot buttons you can hit...

Today one of my facebook friends posted a youtube video of entitled: Squirrel, Child, Greyhound....Unnexpected. I admit I clicked on it thinking there was a chance that I'd get to see a greyhound chase prey - something that while maybe not pleasant I have a curiosity about since I've never seen the greyhounds run like that. Instead (for those who don't want to click) it's a little girl (I'd say somewhere around 5) who is only wearing underwear playing with a dead squirrel that her apparently recently adopted greyhound killed. Her father is filming and laughing and asking questions while her mother (I'm assuming these are who the adults are) seems to be uncomfortable and then leaves.

My immediate response was What kind of morons let their small child play with a dead wild animal and let her basically rub it against her all but naked body? Let alone tape it and post to youtube???

This of course started a big conversation which my friend eventually requested we stop.

So of course I'm bringing it to MY LJ to rant about...I'm not going to copy any of the other comments, being that they are not mine, but suffice to say that there were several different opinions which went from agreeing with me to thinking I was completely unreasonable. So let's go over the hot buttons shall we?

1) Please think about the message you are sending: One of the debates was whether the parents were encouraging their child or not. I say this video represents positive reinforcement as much as any human feeding a begging dog does. The father is videotaping, something he's obviously done before and the child enjoys (based on the instant response to "say hello" at the end of the video. He's asking questions in a cutesy voice and laughing. It isn't until the Mom says "respect" and drives off that he tells his daughter to leave the squirrel alone and talks about burying it. At this point the kid thinks that playing with a dead animal is approved of and gets the "reward" of being filmed etc.

2) Don't encourage your child to play with wild animals - seriously, while apparently rabies is not a major concern with squirrels there are other diseases that can be conveyed by wild animals (not to mention the whole biting thing if it's still alive). I did a quick google of "squirrel disease to human" and found that they can carry fleas known to carry plague, not to mention a series of other diseases. Yes it's true that many of these diseases are uncommon but do you really want your child to be the "one in XXXX"? Just because this one is dead doesn't mean you're not sending the message that playing with wild animals is okay.

3) Don't encourage your child to play with dead things - really? I need to post this? okay the whole flea thing - fleas tend to jump OFF dead animals and guess where they're gonna land - on your child who is rubbing the squirrel all over her chest as she plays with it. Just because this one is a fresh kill doesn't mean the next one will be. You've sent the message that playing with dead animals is okay...not that THIS one is okay. Also ewwww. Yes there is the argument that people eat wild animals but still it's not a good idea to encourage your child to just play with one.

4) Posting a picture of your nearly nude child on the internet? Really???? - Yes taking pictures of your child without clothes on has been considered cute ever since the camera was invented (hence the cliche of the nude kid on the rug) but I can't help but when did it become a good idea to post those pictures on the internet? These days it's not unusual for people to be charged with Child Pornography for taking pictures of their kids and getting them developed at Walmart, let alone posting them online. As the Barbara Nitke v. Gonzales case has shown proved the Communications Decency Act now means that it doesn't matter where YOU live, you can be charged with pornography based on the laws of where the person who trips across your post lives. Do you really want to be charged with Child Pornography six states away in the Bible Belt?

5) Don't let your Greyhound run around without a leash: Compared to the rest of this post, this point is low scale but it's something to consider. As most of you know I dog-sit greyhounds for one of the most responsible dog owners I know (flt/devilvern). They have had rescue greyhounds for years (at one point they had 3) and I've been dog-sitting for them almost as long as they've had the dogs. One of the things that was drilled into my head early was you don't let sight hounds who have been bred for generations and then trained to chase small furry creatures outside a fenced area without being on a leash. Really I don't care how well trained you think your beloved pet is - it doesn't matter. It's not worth the risk of losing your dog when instinct takes over.

Okay rant over, I think I've covered most of it - although I wouldn't put it past me to start up again...for example I haven't even started on my belief that how you treat the dead (even animals) directly effects your melant'i.
Tags: youtube

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