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Answering her pet peeve

While I understand justifiable anger, sometimes we do go too far with our words when we express that anger. I am inviting you (Sam Birenbaum) to take a look at some things.

You are correct about the responsibilities that dog owners have to others and their property, but labeling folks is not helpful. You have given a label to those who love their pets as “animal idolaters.” Most of the pet owners in Malibu don’t ‘worship’ their pets, but they do give them love and receive great joy from them. No one should worship an animal, or mere human for that matter. Giving love and receiving enjoyment are not synonymous with idolatry.

You accuse people who have a love for their pets as “anthropomorphizing” them and aggressively labeling it as a “deranged mental and emotional pathology.” Maybe some people are more inclined to love a pet because animals do not make a conscious choice to harm and attack as humans do. They do not judge and aggressively label as humans do. When an animal does inflict harm, it is quite often because a human has abused the animal, trained it to attack for their own ego gratification, or lack of being a responsible person. Animals attack by instinct and do not have the capacity to make a conscious choice. Humans attack verbally and physically by choice.

You also assume that many have pets as a replacement for a child or friends and call it “twisted.” Not everyone has a calling to have children, and some folks enjoy their own company enough to not need a group of friends to feel good about themselves or to feel accepted. Some people have human family members who have stepped on them, abused them, and abandoned them. Humans are not always as wonderful as you seem to make them out to be.They may be superior in intelligence, but many lack superiority in spirit.

Alethea Guthrie

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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