I have never been able to understand why any human being can knowingly and deliberately inflict pain on another creature or delight in his, her or its suffering. This stems from no religious or moral belief, but from the simplest of base points - the gift we humans have of imagination.
Do as you would be done by. It couldn’t be more obvious. And if we, the dominant species, in our superior wisdom decide that the life of another creature must be ended, how can we do other than ensure that is done in the least cruel way possible? That imperative becomes more than problematical in times of war as we have repeatedly experienced sadly.
What is happening at present in the Middle East at the hands of those who have hi-jacked and hideously distorted the Islamic faith is almost beyond comprehension and so much so that the instinctive desire is to build a high wall round the region and hope it will all go away. But how can the world refuse to give refuge to those savagely mistreated and abused families trying to run headlong from that carnage.
Imagination again. We must use ours and act accordingly, however much we may be tempted to raise the drawbridge and sit it out. If only we could remove the innocent from harm’s way until sanity returns after the hatred and bile has abated or their internecine ferocity has done its cruel job.
How does it happen? How does the terrified look in another’s eyes fail to stem the tide?
But when you see pictures of the trophy hunters who hail from allegedly civilised countries standing proudly by the carcass of newly shot giraffe or lion, having spent a fortune in poverty stricken lands for the privilege of taking the life from such beautiful creatures, you get another glimpse into the darker corners of the human soul.
If a cull is deemed necessary for whatever reason, do we really want to allow that job to be done by those who revel in killing and post pictures on the internet, gurning triumphantly, as if they’ve just won a Nobel prize?
And if the fox really must be controlled do we really want to turn it into a sport, so that killing for fun becomes woven into the fabric of genteel society and an event to celebrate?
I had hoped that we might be moving away from all that.