I'm sure most, if not all, of you have heard the story of the 15 year old chimp named Travis that mauled a woman in Connecticut yesterday. The release of the 911 tape of his owner calling for help is heart wrenching. I cannot imagine the horror that these two women went through.
Having had pets over the years, I know the connection you can make with an animal. I loved our golden retriever, Eve, so much that I still have her picture as the background on my cell phone and think of her every day... two years after her death.
I heard the owner of Travis is a widow who also lost her daughter a few years ago and that the chimp was like a child to her. As a mother, I cannot imagine anything worse than losing one of my children. As a wife, I cannot imagine losing my husband.
We once had two half lab/half golden retriever dogs named Goldie and Shadow. They were wonderful dogs and incredibly well behaved. We got them because a neighbor behind us had so many cats we could not count them. The cats would come into our backyard and do their business in our planters. Our children were 6, 5 and 3 at the time and we quickly grew tired of the invasion of our space. I contacted animal control because there was a law limiting the number of cats you can have in a residence to four. I was told that we could rent a cage for $30 to trap the cats and then call for them to be picked up... no thanks.
We had Goldie and Shadow less than a year when my husband found a dead cat in our yard. The dogs had eaten all its insides. We were very disturbed. We then learned from our next door neighbor that the dogs were jumping our fence at night and going after cats. We put them in our garage at night. They started jumping the fence during the day so I chained them in the yard.
One bright and sunny afternoon I had them in the backyard without being chained. I had all of windows open and had been in and out of the yard. They really were sweethearts. They jumped the fence and in the space of 20 minutes hunted down and killed two cats in front of many of our neighbors. A posse' came to our house and demanded we put them down. One of the men said they hunted as a team and that they were so intent that he could not stop them.
We talked to our vet... once dogs start hunting and eating fresh meat they lust for it. The Humane Society will not adopt out animals that have killed other animals. We had to put them down. I had to take them myself. I will never forget having to say goodbye to them and then walk back through the parking lot to my car as I could hear shots being fired from a nearby firing range. It was so unfair... we got them to keep the cats out of our yard and then we had to put them down for doing just that. The neighbor with the cats? Nothing was done.
Animals are animals. I'm afraid that in our society animals are wrongly humanized. From the earliest ages our children's' heads are filled with the personification and/or characterization of animals, plants, and things. Human thought and feelings are attributed to almost everything. Stories of people raising wild animals and domesticating them often spark a desire in some to do the same.
I've stated on this blog before that I'm not one of those Christians that God speaks to in an audible way. I just don't get that. I have so many unanswered questions and yet still have faith. It is so clear when I stop to consider creation all around me.
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has show it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and the Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man - and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen."
Romans 1:18-25, New King James Version
I think it was on my political blog that I said that I believe God could have created everything in six days but that I don't know if he did. I've met Hugh Ross and read The Creator and the Cosmos. I am also familiar with Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis. This is a divisive issue among Christians. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that this is not a salvational issue and that, for me personally, it is okay to say I don't get it.
Due to Jesus' words in Matthew 19:4, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,'..." I do not believe that humans evolved from apes. I believe that humans were created separately and that we posses abilities and souls that animals do not. My confusion lies in how long creation took.
It is interesting to me that those who believe in evolution often use behavior in the animal world to explain and/or condone certain behavior in humans. I think of it as a sort of de-evolution. It is confusing to me because if they believe we are evolved from animals then shouldn't we be beyond animal behavior?
We live in a world where the truth of God's creation is being suppressed through evolution. We live in a world where animals are elevated on par with, and sometimes even exalted above, humans. In some circles even plants... trees specifically... are attributed with human feeling and rights. Our very nature is different from animals. Animals cannot be trusted to reason and make human choices.
My heart goes out to this woman and her friend. I am praying for them and their healing. I cannot imagine having to try to stab a pet that was a beloved part of her life for 15 years. I cannot imagine having to call for help to have him killed. I cannot imagine the pain of watching a friend be attacked by a pet she trusted. This is truly a tragedy. I hope it is a lesson to all that animals are and always will be... animals.