Dogs, Devotion and Japan
Many of you have seen the video below, but for those of you who haven’t, here is a reminder that it is not just the people of Japan who are suffering. I don’t want to break your hearts, and don’t pretend that this is easy to watch, but I hope it does inspire some to do what they can to contribute to aid and rescue efforts in this horrific disaster.
Even as Jim and I have been in New York City, and now Chicago, enjoying, almost guiltily, the stimulation and ridiculously easy access to amazing food, I have been obsessed with information about the disaster in Japan, and can’t seem to tear myself away from the news channels. There is so much to think about here, but one of the things, related to this blog, that comes to mind is the progression of reporting, in disasters like this, from a focus on people and their suffering to including that of non-human animals. It makes all the sense in the world to focus first on people–I do the same myself and can’t imagine it any other way. But I have to admit, that as soon as we heard about the earthquake and tsunami, I thought oh god, how many thousands, tens of thousands (millions?) of animals died, and how many are left now and are suffering?
I remember watching the news about Katrina, and wondering when the first story about the suffering of non-humans would show up. If I remember right, it was somewhere around day three. So far, the only report I’ve seen about animals in Japan is the now famous video below, but I am sure that’s not all that is out there, and I suspect that the nuclear crisis, which has us all on pins and needles, is dominating the news. Somewhere here there is an interesting issue about our devotion to and relation to all living things around us, but right now, all I want to do is hope and pray, send what help I can and keep the people and animals of Japan in my heart every moment.
I can’t write much now (no internet where I’m staying right now in Chicago), but here are some sources for donations if you are able in any way to help. I have read that donations are relatively low compared to other disasters, perhaps because people see the Japanese as so self-sufficient, but I can tell you that without a doubt this disaster is beyond the means of any one country. If you can contribute, I hope you would consider giving donations for both the people and non-human animals of Japan. Here’s a good source for animals, with 6 different sites listed:
And here’s a link to the video, get out your hanky. It’s on Steve Dale’s blog, a good one to check out.
[One additional note: As a scientist, I have to say there are several explanations of why the healthy dog is staying with the injured one, but I'm leaving that for a later discussion. Here's the good news: the dogs were rescued. Here's hoping their humans are alive and well, and that they are re-united or find a new, good home.]