Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Out, Damned Spot!

Rocky (centre) pictured in happier times

Yeah, so I ran over a raccoon today, and I have a strange sense of remorse and guilt. It's funny how quickly and automatically the brain reacts in a situation like that. In literally less than two seconds, this is how my mind worked:

- Good God, I am going to hit an animal, and there is no stopping. Don't bother hitting the brakes, Mike. You're going too fast and it's too close.
- What is this? Is this a deer? No, it's too small. Look, it's a racoon.
(car runs over raccoon)
- Okay, do I stop? No, no, it's dead. I could practically feel the tires ripping it apart. If it's not dead, then I'd have to stomp on its brains to finish it off, and nobody wants to do that.
- Just keep driving, Mike. Nothing anyone could have done.

My mind turns to those idiots who ascribe human characteristics to animals. "Oooh, look at the bad boy! He's so ashamed for ripping up the carpet!" or "Look, Skippy is so happy I got him a treat" or "Little Jasper gets sooo embarassed when I do (such and such)". Fuck you, people. Stop giving human feelings and emotions to animals. They don't have any. They are not like you or me. They live on instinct. There's nothing rational about how they behave or what they do. You think that guy knew what he was doing? They have no concept of cars and roads and what they will do to them.

It's stupid to beat myself up over the whole thing, and, yet - should I not feel guilt? I suppose not. Maybe that's why I feel guilty; because I think I should, but I don't. It was strange how fast the situation came up, occurred, and then I accepted it and moved on. Less than two seconds, literally. But this is the civilization we've constructed. This is progress. For all our roads and high-rises and everything else we enjoy in society, it's understood that things like this must happen. So... I dunno. Go figure.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but, animals do have feelings, like us humans. They feel pain, joy and other such emotions. you can see this in your pets. When you dog jumps up and down excitedly because he wants to go outside or you pull your cats tail and he yelps in pain. You can choose to ignore this how ever you want but you murdered an animal, yes by accident but it is still murder and the fact that you feel no remorse is just... well in human. You speak about humanity as if you are some higher being but let's see you swim in a sea of sharks and see who's the higher being on the food chain then.

10:56 am  
Blogger Mike said...

Yeah, as soon as sharks build an underwater civilization, harness the power of the atom, map the shark genome, send a shark to the moon, develop the printing press, do a heart transplant and establish a democratic form of government, we'll talk about who the higher being is.

Also, it's not really murder. It's an accident. If I accidentally knock grandpa off a ladder to his death, I didn't murder him.

11:22 am  
Blogger Beth said...

LOL Mike you are too funny...I think animals can feel happiness or fear but as to much else I have to question like you do - and you did not murder the racoon - if it was playing on the road can we then question if perhaps he was suicidal - IF he is that developed and smart like mr/mrs anonymous thinks.

11:40 am  
Blogger sare said...

HA HA HA HA HA... that's all!

12:09 pm  
Blogger sare said...

ps... you link me - i link you?

12:16 pm  
Blogger Cameron McKay said...

"...but you murdered an animal, yes by accident but it is still murder..."

Wow... I didn't know people that stupid read your blog.

But anyway, like the previous commenters, I think that animals have emotions. Not complicated emotions like humans, but simpler ones. They're not merely complex automatons, like you're saying to cover your ass, you raccoon murdering monster.

WoW tonight?

2:52 pm  
Blogger Mike said...

Yeah, I hope so, if by "tonight" you mean Tuesday. But since Blogger doesn't seem to show dates, it's hard to say.

8:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wild animals don't have human feelings. Domesticated ones may - especially the ones who are ecstatic to see you when you get home and curl up in your bed with you at night.

1:58 pm  
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8:43 am  
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5:16 pm  
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6:12 am  
Blogger erin said...

I hit a dog on the way home from Montreal once :( I cried for like an hour. Blech.

3:36 pm  

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