Like the guy on the E! Soup show said, unless you've been in a vegetative state, you have probably heard about Ellen DeGenere's breakdown about her doggie situation last week. And if you're a faithful reader of my blog you know that I do, on occassion, watch Ellen. I did not see this particular episode, had to youtube it. Something about the whole incident disturbed me.
Its not that I don't begrudge Ellen her feelings (I am not making a decision on whether she is right or not as I have not heard the other side of the story), I guess what bothers me is that in the same week Ellen was crying over this dog, Congress was unable to pass the S-CHIP bill. The dismissal of the S-CHIP bill means that in the near future, thousands of middle class American children's health is in danger since they probably will not have access to health care. This means things like that which happened with the litle boy in Maryland (kid died of an untreated cavity which bloomed into a brain infection) will happen more freqently in the supposed "last remaining superpower" of the world. The S-CHIP bill covers children whose parents are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid but usually not earning enough to afford their own private health insurance (i.e. working at Starbucks making $22,000 a year).
Look I love animals like the next person; animals should be treated with compassion, and kindess..but its this idea of putting animals over humans that I can't reconcile.
In one sitting, Ellen moved a country to death threats against this shelter...why can't that momentum be used for humans as well? Can you just imagine what would have happened to that bill if Ellen had cried about that on Tuesday, chances are VERY good it would not have been defeated two days later on Thursday.NPR's commentator John Ridley I think says what I'm feeling. He writes, "I like animals. However, I don't value them over beings who walk upright, have opposable thumbs and can one-click their music over iTunes."
Maybe that makes me a horrible person, but suppose that just 1/10th of the empathy shown to animals in this country was extended to humanity, can you fathom the effect it would have....maybe even make the world a better place?
*Read the entire John Ridley piece here - http://www.npr.org/blogs/visibleman/