To the Editor of the Patriot Ledger,
I attended the demonstration at Dedham Superior Court yesterday (Not-guilty pleas in Quincy cat death case. November 22, 2013). We stood on the street in front of the courthouse in the cold rain for two hours before entering a courtroom to bear witness to a man and woman capable of a heinous act against a completely innocent living creature. I felt very sad sitting there, and a bit sick to my stomach.
This is no longer about “animal rights” or animal rights activists. This is about a movement across the U.S. and Canada that aims to create a culture change in a society that has, for too long, tolerated atrocities against defenseless creatures whom we know feel joy, happiness, excitement, fear, suffering, and pain, all the while possessing the innate capacity to bond with humans and, consequently, demonstrate trust and unwavering loyalty toward us. Alternatively, we depend on animals to guide us when we are blind, assist us when we are deaf, and warn of an impending seizure, precisely because of their sensitivity and our own trust of them. Additionally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention affirm that the presence of companion animals can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while increasing opportunities for exercise and socialization, as well as, reduce feelings of loneliness and social isolation.
Animals, we know, are essential to our well-being. Rather than a demonstration about animal rights, what occurred at Dedham Courthouse yesterday more accurately reflected a snapshot of the observation that Columbia University professor Jeffery Sachs offered as advice to the United Nations only two months ago: "There is now a rising worldwide demand that policy be more closely aligned with what really matters to people as they themselves characterize their well-being."
After I came home, I laid down on my bed with Taco Lee, Chili-Bob, and Milo Shamus Maloney and smothered my Chihuahuas with hugs and kisses. Their joyful romping responsiveness, and the hundreds of kisses returned, lifted me … and killed me a little.