July 26, 2005

"Boy that's like the worst thing in my mind. It's unbelievable that people would do something like that."

"They can't defend themselves, and it's like hurting a child."


ploopusgirl said...

And your take on this is what, exactly?

Becca said...

turtles ... like children ... give me a break!

Sanna said...

I would not equate it with abusing a child. But people who hurt children and other people often start by showing no qualms about hurting animals.

Brendan said...

I don't think the analogy is that stretched. Domesticated animals are pretty much at our mercy, and like children they do give love unconditionally. Should child abuse be treated and penalized more severely than turtle/dog/cat abuse? Absolutely, but not by much.

Finn Alexander Kristiansen said...

"...I mean, they're completely harmless creatures. They can't defend themselves, and it's like hurting a child. It's in the same category to me," Dr. Maria Lichtenberger said.

But is that "same category" subjective? Like, is hurting a snake in the same category as hurting a child? I am sure bunnies and horses are in that category, as are pandas, but, what about rats? We kill rats in most places. Is that like hurting a child too?

I would think that the norm for most animals is the wild, and in the wild they are subject to many things that differentiate them from a child's natural experience. The average child does not have to worry about a fox eating them on the way to school.

I am not positive, but I think the comparison is the same type of ploopusity that is used when people compare certain politicians to Hitler or suggest that the Patriot Act has recreated Stalin's Russia.

Nels said...

I think it's a little unfair to judge a spoken, emotional statement as though it were part of a well-reasoned philosophical argument. While animal abuse and child abuse are not comparable as crimes, our gut revulsion toward those who would take advantage of the innocent and defenseless may be similar in both cases.

Peter Hoh said...

It's an analogy, when people like me get to say, "Oh, gee, I get to be anal" and try to analyze it to death.

To me, it seems awful when someone takes a caged or domesticated animal and intentionally injures it with no other goal than to maim or kill said animal. And it seems awful when someone intentionally injures a child.

Without equating children and turtles, my reactions are similar. It just seems wrong. Might have to do with how I am wired.

Mosquitos or mice? That's a whole 'nother level. Just like I don't give a tinker's dam about that bottle of water being drunk, but I was deeply saddened when I heard that the stone Buddhas were blown up in Afghanistan.

goesh said...

The guy is lucky she didn't smash the turtles over his head or grab one and thrust it at his groin. Ouch! "Man taken to ER with turtle attached to his penis" the headlines would have read. This woman could have made history much like Ms. Bobbit. I wonder what the fine and jail time is for assault with a turtle? Has a turtle ever been used to rob a bank? Well? If you were a Teller and a guy thrust a big snapping turtle in your face and told you to hand over the cash or else, would you just laugh or would you hand over the cash? Some of you have probably never seen a big snapping turtle. I would hand over the cash immediately.

phillywalker said...

I don't think that when someone makes a comparison (X is like Y), he is necessarily saying that X is in every respect like Y.

The speaker seems to me to be making the comparison that in both cases (hurting turtles and hurting children) someone is attacking the defenseless. This seems quite logical.

It also seems wrong to attack someone who can defend him/her/itself, but it seems more wrong to attack the defenseless, in most cases.

ploopusgirl said...

Yes Finn, because I've so often compared Bush to Hitler and the Patriot Act to Stalin's Russia. I do so love when people defend the Patriot Act, though.

Gort said...

There is an epidemic of turtle violence going on.

From the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader


EXETER – James Fino feared the 50-pound snapping turtle that waddled into his Wyoming Avenue yard Friday morning might violently latch onto the arms of some curious neighborhood kids.

Fino, hoping to avert any attacks, wanted the turtle gone.
First he tried poking it away with a broomstick.
But the turtle wanted no part of that, breaking the broomstick in two with one hurried snap of his jaw.
Then a police sergeant took over. And the turtle nearly sunk his snapper into the officer’s back.
Now the turtle’s dead.
Sgt. Len Galli had to pump two shots into the turtle’s head to ensure it didn’t hurt anyone.

I'm surprised the MSM has not picked up on this national problem. But of course turtles don't have blond hair or run away from weddings.

KCFleming said...

It makes me really wonder what the girlfriend's positive characteristics must be.
Drowns kittens? Microwaves hamsters? Maybe just a great listener, before she eats the budgie.

Her personal ad probably read, "Must kick dogs."

Ann Althouse said...

Imagine you were looking for a wife and wanted to have children and you met two women that you thought were good prospects. Then you found out that one had once hit a small child and the other had done this thing with the turtles. Which woman would you have graver doubts about?

Ann Althouse said...

Goesh: That was the only time I've ever read something while working on the computer that actually made me spit what I was drinking on the keyboard.

(I was drinking coffee, I hasten to add.)

Unknown said...

Weren't the first "child abuse" cases prosecuted under animal abuse laws, because at the time the latter existed but the former didn't? Or maybe this is just urban legend...

HaloJonesFan said...

>Then you found out that one had
>once hit a small child and the
>other had done this thing with
>the turtles. Which woman would
>you have graver doubts about?

Given the situation described, I'd dump the turtle woman more quickly than the other, because I can't really imagine a mitigating circumstance to the turtle thing. You haven't told us anything about the circumstances behind the woman who hit the kid, and if someone gets so crazy and frustrated that she would attack pets, I wouldn't let her within ten meters of a kid, because God only knows how that would go down.

Ann Althouse said...

Imagine a mother who angry at her child hits the child and one who kills the child's pet. Which one hurts the child more? Which one seems crazier?

KCFleming said...

Both actions can be seen as evil, but injuring a pet (especially when done in view of the child) is an especially egregious act.

It is meant as an implicit threat to the child: "See how easily and without remorse I can hurt something you love? Just think what I could do to you." It is evil because it is so controlling, manipulative, selfish, and mean.

Hitting the child has its own problems. Hurting the pet to get at the child's mind? There are few things more evil, really. It's quite common amongst sadistic abusers, certainly.

If there ever was a danger sign for "Stay away from this human", this is it.

goesh said...

I presume by hitting a child you mean with sufficient force to be regarded as and/or prosecuted for child abuse. A parent that would kill a pet would probably also punch a child in the face. I doubt that most parents who would swat a brat's butt with the palm of the hand would kill the same child's pet. Spare the rod, spoil the turtle!!

Art said...

It's not uncommon for sociopaths who go on to commit murder and mayhem on a grand scale to have started out abusing animals.

I hope they get some counseling for this woman...or keep an eye on her if they don't.

Freeman Hunt said...

Good point, Ann. I would be much more worried about the pet-killer.

I remember seeing some special about a boy who had horrible parents. Social services put cameras in the boy's house to discourage abuse. Even with the cameras there, the parents were horrible. They did many mean things, but by far the meanest and most horrifying was when the parents decided to punish the boy by killing his pet goat.

Roger Sweeny said...

Is it meaningful that the webpage with this story on it also has a prominent picture of O.J. Simpson?

Diane said...

I know a girl who was both abused as a child, and her abuser threatened and killed her pets.

She says that even threatening to kill your pets is worse than being hit as a small child. She is grown now, and she wakes up in a cold sweat sometimes, dreaming of seeing her pets harmed.

Imagine it--something small and completely dependant on you. And they take that little bit of power away from you. They show you that you can't make any promises to *anyone.* You are truely helpless, and because of you an innocent creature is dead.

The physical abuse, while rough, she could shrug off. She knew she didn't deserve that, but it didn't bruise her mind the way that the hurting her pets did.

I'd sooooo vote for "leave the woman who hurt the turtles."