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Squirrels & Rats

Saw a huge red squirrel climb down a lamp post on the way home today. The bus moved off before I could stare at it enough, but I'm pretty certain the squirrel's length from nose to tail would be the length of my skin from my shoulder to my wrist. It wasn't a cat I saw, I'm sure it was a squirrel. That's the second squirrel I've seen within city limits though, and along that same street. Not exactly surprised, since Ampang Road is still lined with colonial mansions, some dating back a century, that stretch back in rows for quite a bit. Ampang Road is also heavily greened by old trees, a real haven for birds and rodents. I've just never seen a squirrel that freakingly huge before.

Then desertwolf showed me an article about remote controlled rats which disturbed me a whole lot because of what one Professor said: "It's one thing to see a rat running around like this, people don't get too emotional about that, but as soon as you get into dogs or work animals, people start getting real excited."

So I'm not arguing that rats are exquisitely made for the kind of job that the remote controlled rats could do saving people in falling buildings, but there's a point up there, if this were K-9s, there'd be an animal rights war. On the other hand, giving the rats equipment might make them more valuable to human beans, and then we might even see rats being treated a little better, hopefully much better, but a little better is still more than nothing.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 2nd, 2002 10:58 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I don't even think most people would get excited with dogs or horses being controlled. Hell, one day I foresee prisoners being controlled that way for forced labor. And the public won't bat an eyelash at that. They're prisoners, they're supposed to suffer.
May. 2nd, 2002 11:17 pm (UTC)
Ah. Yes..
Prison control this way would seem feasible in the long run, and truthfully I have no qualms about this, provided the control was used sparingly, was monitored, and used explicitly in the most dire circumstances. This just means next to none of those things will actually happen, of course.

I advocate the death penalty for murderers and rapists, to reduce wastage of tax payers' money, and generally because it still seems more humane in the long run than stuffing up prisons, even letting criminals wander around with electrodes. Completely irredeemable criminals (and I do go by the theory that people aren't born anything, much less good and evil) might as well be eliminated for the safety and economy of future generations.

Animals on the other hand, though certainly possessed of their own incomparable intelligence, were never here for us to use beyond the basic necessities of eating. What requires their inedible assistance should be persuaded of them, not operated out of them. And no, I am aware that prehistoric peoples probably didn't just ask the horse to till the soil, but if the animals are to be our companions on the field, then they should be treated as our companions. Nothing romantic about this.

Where the hell is my post going now? ;o)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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