balmofgilead: (Default)
For it is said that humans are never satisfied, that you give them one thing and they want something more. And this is said in disparagement, whereas it is one of the greatest talents the species has and one that has made it superior to animals that are satisfied with what they have.

--John Steinbeck, The Pearl
I'm not sure where I stand on this. It's true that it forces people to. . . do stuff and keep doing stuff, but it also makes happiness into a dangling carrot. Maybe it's not that way for everyone who wants and wants. I guess it depends on what it is you want and how you propose to get it.
balmofgilead: (george)
A dog thinks:
"Hey, those people I live with feed me, love me, provide me with a nice warm, dry house, pet me, and take good care of me. . . They must be gods!"

A cat thinks:
"Hey, those people I live with feed me, love me, provide me with a nice warm, dry house, pet me, and take good care of me. . . I must be a god!"

--author unknown
balmofgilead: (weimaraner)
For a moment I didn't believe what I had seen [a dog teaching something to another dog]. We are so chauvinistic and so brainwashed to humans being superior to other forms that the ignorance this causes has become something close to horrific.  The bullshit--certainly the most appropriate word--about manifest destiny and how we have dominion over all other creatures has caused such terrors as vivisection, cosmetic testing, use of animals (particularly beagles, for some reason) in aerospace testing, and I think ultimately led to such monstrosities as death camps and genocide, which are really nothing more than an insanely rabid expression of one race thinking they are superior to another.

--Gary Paulsen, Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers
balmofgilead: (Default)
Today I was informed that George has a small bladder.  I wanted to say "No shit, sherlock!" but truthfully, his peeing on my bed has nothing to do with bladder size. 

Anyway, the vet took a urine sample, so hopefully by tomorrow I'll know whether George hates me for leaving him alone with my mom, hates me for not cleaning the litterbox out every day, or has some urinary tract problem which he tells me about by peeing on my bed because he loves me so much.  I'm not sure which one I'd prefer. 

I agree.

Oct. 30th, 2006 06:17 am
balmofgilead: (Default)
As to happiness, I am not so sure. Birds, it's true, die of hunger in large numbers during the winter, if they are not birds of passage. But during the summer they do not foresee this catastrophe, or remember how nearly it befell them in the previous winter. With human beings the matter is otherwise[...]every human death by starvation is preceded by a long period of anxiety, and surrounded by the corresponding anxiety of neighbors. We suffer not only the evils that actually befall us, but all those that our intelligence tells us we have reason to fear. The curbing of impulses to which we are led by forethought averts physical disaster at the cost of worry, and general lack of joy. I do not think that the learned men of my acquaintance, even when they enjoy a secure income, are as happy as the mice that eat the crumbs from their tables while the erudite gentlemen snooze.

--Bertrand Russell, "Ideas that Have Helped Mankind," from his book Unpopular Essays

(I'm not trying to brush off animals' suffering at starvation; it's his general point that I agree with.)
The underlined sentence is a little awkward, but what he's saying is: forethought makes us curb our impulses.
(I underlined it because I like the point of the sentence, not because it was awkward.)

Also, on an entirely different note, it has come to my attention that some people think that I have a cat because I cannot at this moment have a dog. This is blatantly untrue. I have a cat because there was a friendly, flea-infested kitten living on my back porch in December, and I have been conditioned by either my environment or my biology to want to take such things inside, bathe them, and give them a warm place to sleep. It is about as simple as that.

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