I’m not really an animal person. I don’t have pets. I don’t drop to the floor and squeal “Pupppyyyy!” when I see a dog. I really don’t like the way cats make you feel like you should watch your back.
When I was little, my sister backed over our puppy with our land yacht of a car. When I was slightly older, my already-frazzled dog was put to sleep after she chewed through a metal chain as big around as my finger.
My sisters and I raised chickens. We held them as chicks, turned up our nose at them as they grew into ugly teenagers, and were slightly freaked out when they morphed into bitter, angry old birds.
I got up early with my sisters once each summer to put the birds into cages, load them into the back of trucks, and take them to a plant where I watched workers lop off their heads, pluck off their feathers, and hand us lovely frozen hunks of frozen chicken weeks later.
I got bucked off a horse in high school . . . while wearing shorts . . . on a gravel road. I’m still picking gravel out of my elbows from my slide down the road.
My dad’s a pig farmer. If he had had a sick hog, I’d adopt it for a few days, visiting it every few hours . . . until it would inevitably die.
My three goldfish died when I was 10. I went to sleep, and when I woke up, they were floating.
That’s a long way of saying that while I have some lovely memories of my dog Gracie and the car rides home with my sisters with boxes of chicks in the backseat, I’m a farm girl. And when it comes to animal, they’re just that: animals.
So I can’t help but bristle when people put animals on par with people, when they call their dogs and their cats and their guinea pigs their “granddogs” and their “grandcats” and their “grandpigs.” And I start to get worked up when I hear on the news that animals riding in cars must now be buckled in. Not strapping them in with seat belts results in animal cruelty fines. And I for sure let out audible “grrrrs” when I think that while New Jersey-ians are busy belting their Chihuahuas in for a ride to the shore, 3,700 children are killed in the womb each day.
It’s fine-able to let your dog lounge in your car while you drive. But you can kill your baby before it’s born, and people can’t have an opinion about that.
You know, some days, this world really doesn’t make sense.
In a dramatic turn of events, this post is actually a plug for the LCMS Life Conference in DC in January 2013. You should go. Take your youth. Take your grandmas. Take your babies. Go. Learn how to defend the sanctity of life. Bear witness to the miracle God forms in human life. Be bold. Be Lutheran. Go.
Animals can be beloved companions. They can serve their masters and bring joy and companionship. But they are not people. They are not babies. It’s different.
The culture’s got the protection of dogs in cars more than covered. It’s time we cared as much for our children.