Despite this article being about a dog it is about animal rights and therefore about all animals including cats. The first victim of yesterday’s raid in Paris was a French police dog called Diesel. Diesel was a Belgian Shepherd dog. She had been sent into the apartment that was being raided by the police, in a northern Parisian suburb of Saint Denis, ahead of officers to check how dangerous the situation was inside the apartment. In other words, she was sent in as a form of cannon fodder, to be shot at or blown up just to test the reaction of any terrorists who were within. She was shot dead. She was not wearing any protection such as a Kevlar vest which are available for police dogs as far as I am aware.
I know people will think that I am an animal advocate extremist or simply barking mad but I’m going to stick my neck out and say that I think it was wrong that Diesel was used in this way by the police.
“Diesel did not claim to be of any religion, represented no threat and did not possess a weapon, and yet she paid with her life for security of the French nation.”
The above are the words of a PETA spokesperson. I agree with them. Why do I think the police were wrong?
Firstly, the declared war by President Hollande between Muslim terrorists and the state of France is entirely human made and has nothing whatsoever to do with dogs or any other animal. Under the circumstances, I would suggest that it is reasonable that properly protected people should go in first into an apartment that may contain terrorists to risk their lives. People should deal with their own problems and not pass the buck onto innocent animals.
Secondly, the belief that animals are secondary or inferior to humans allows humans to do what they did in this instance. But for animal advocates like myself, animals are not inferior. We are all on an equal playing field and are all equal.
Humans use animals in this way because they have the ability to do so and they are allowed to do so. Their ability to do so comes ultimately from their ability to create devices and methods which allows them to dominate animals who might otherwise dominate them. If we do dominate animals like this we are behaving a little like dominant predator wild animals and yet we profess to be more civilised that wild animals.
Dogs are domesticated and “man’s best friend”. They benefit hugely from their relationship with humans. But part of that unwritten contract between the human and the dog states that the relationship should be mutually beneficial and there is nothing in the contract which states that the human can send a dog to her death in the interests of the human under extreme circumstances created by humans.
If you asked a person who agreed that it was perfectly acceptable to send in Diesel into the flat to be shot dead how they might justify it, they would struggle to come up with a good, sound argument. Inevitably the argument would centre around the human belief that people are superior to animals and should dominate them and use them to the advantage of humans to the point where the animal is killed, which, as stated, I don’t believe in.
If humans are more intelligent animals, and this is debatable, then that simple quality does not necessarily make us superior to them. Within the human race there are people who are more intelligent than others but the constitution of nations declares that all people are equal no matter what their intelligence. In fact, in the most civilised societies the least intelligent and therefore most vulnerable are deliberately protected and supported. We should treat animals likewise.
Dogs can and are very useful to the police in detecting explosives and drugs etc.. But using a dog as Diesel was used is a step too far.