Thank you!

On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
The authors thank you for your readership and hope you will come visit them at their personal sites via the links to the left.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

License to Kill

By A.J. Llewellyn

I'm disturbed by the rising number of men and women who kill their children before - and sometimes not - killing themselves. With so many people I know clamoring for kids of their own it sickens and angers me that some parents feel they have the right to take their children's lives. To me, it is the ultimate act of great selfishness.
Whether it's the newborn tossed in a dumpster or a pre-teen shot in bed, it is often done to spite an estranged or ex spouse.
I am furious when I hear of some parent slaughtering their babies as if they are judge and jury.
There's also a disturbing trend nobody talks about.
The people who kill their pets.
A friend of mine recently died and in my last conversation with her she told me she had put in her will that her five healthy, happy, loving cats were to be euthanized upon her death.
I loved my friend but I was outraged, and told her so.
We argued for about half an hour on the subject but she was an old lady and firm in her beliefs.
"Nobody will take care of them the way I do," she said. "Nobody."
This is very true. Nobody cares for our pets the way we do, but do we have the right to kill them?
A woman of means, I suggested she place in her will that the animals were to be found loving, adoptive families. She could even leave money for their upkeep.
She refused.
Again, I call it selfish.
If something happened to me, my first concern would be for my animals but I already have in place two friends willing to step up and take them in as their own.
It's something that horrifies me, that anybody who professes to love a life, human or animal, can snuff it out.
I argued with my friend and was devastated when she passed and her son, who inherited her estate instructed the housekeeper to feed the cats until the food ran out.
"Once the food is gone, they die," he said.
The housekeeper and I smuggled extra food in the house and after three weeks, he figured out we were disobeying his instructions. He called the vet, who, though reluctant to kill five perfectly wonderful animals, had no choice since he'd been given his own instructions and payment ahead of time.
I will forever remember the pitiful wails of those beautiful creatures as they were driven from the only home they've known.
I listened to a psychologist on the radio yesterday describing the scene that greeted a woman who went to pick up her young son and daughter when her ex husband failed to return them after a scheduled visit.
She described a scene of such brutality that the investigating officers required therapy afterward, let alone the woman who birthed those babies and was forced by the courts to let her wacko ex have access to them.
In a suicide note, the father said "Nobody can look after these kids like I can."
What about their mom?
I don't believe his words. I believe he did this to hurt her.
But again, do any of us have the right?
I say at a time when our values seem at an all-time low, giving ourselves a license to kill reaches a whole 'nother level of low.
What do you think?
Aloha oe,



Serena Yates said...

I don't even know what to say. It makes me incredibly sad to read these stories. Killing innocent animals out of (like you say) selfishness is bad enough. But killing children to hurt someone else - I can't even imagine what goes through some of those people's minds. If anything. It says a lot about our culture that we have to face these isues - none of it very good, I'm afraid. Thanks for posting such a thought-provoking piece.

Silver Pixies said...

as a mom of 4 wonderful little heathens i mean children.. I agree with and often state that No one will ever love them or take care of them like i do.. I am their mom not even daddy can do it my way.. he has his own.. doesn't make it better worse or wrong.. However sometimes i agree people hurt kids and animals for selfish reasons. DO i think someone can do as good of a job as me NO do i think that someone else couldn't love my children to the best that they can yes i do believe they can and would if something should happen to me.. If their father and split i will share my time with them with him.. i refuse to be selfish in the thought that he doesn't deserve them because as a woman and a mom i am better at everything (joke meant there) NOW if He was a drug addict abusive or a danger to them I'll be damned if you wouldn't see selfish. As for my pets i only have 2 a box turtle my son found and kept and a Guinea pig.. if something should happen the turtle will be freed and the Guinea pig will be found a good home. No ands if's or Buts

AJ Llewellyn said...

Serena and Silver, thanks for your comments. I still feel about those five kitties. I wanted the black cat Sunman, but wasn't allowed to take him. So unfair..

Sherri Godsey said...

I agree that in most cases the reason men, and on occasion some women, kill their children is to strike out at their current or ex-spouse. Once in a while it's a mental case (usually the women) who 'hear voices' or are incapable of handling the stress of parenthood. No excuse whatsoever, and I hope when it's someone who is mentally ill, that they'll never get out of prison. When people kill their animals, that is also the height of selfishness. If someone loves their pet, they want to think of it having a full and happy life once they're gone (hopefully one has some options as to who will take care of their beloved pet when they're gone). A member of my critique group once talked about an elderly aunt who died and left a cat, but it wasn't a very friendly cat (perhaps it was fully attached to it's owner) and no one, not even her, wanted to mess with it. So she had it put down. I think I would have taken it to a no-kill shelter where they would have at least tried to find it a home. The best story I have on this kind of thing happened years and years ago (well, I'm 61 so everything for me is Years Ago!)...anyway, I was married then and lived in Spain with my husband, who was in the Navy. One couple we knew had two beautiful purebred dogs, an Irish Setter and some kind of spaniel. The Husband was going to be transferred and they couldn't afford to ship the dogs (it's very expensive). I think that was the situation--or it might have been that the wife just didn't want the dogs to be kept in quarantine for six either case, she decided both dogs should be put down. Her husband and the vet at the Naval Station were horrified, but she insisted no one would love them as much as she did, and they would miss her too much to be given away. These were beautiful, healthy, relatively young animals. Her husband and she quarreled so much it almost ended their marriage. So he finally told her OK, and a month or two before they were to leave Spain, he took them to the vet. However, he and the vet agreed to find them homes but not to tell his wife. She thought they were put to sleep. All went well until several days before they were to leave, when they went to a party in downtown Rota and there were two dogs in the yard next door to the party house that looked a lot like Her Dogs. Ha! They WERE her dogs. They were putting up a racket because they saw her, but they had a new home, got to stay together, and were being well cared for. She got so mad she ended up leaving her husband and going back to Scotland (where she was from). I don't know if they ever patched it up, but I know that I always thought how good it was of her husband to Not Kill Those Dogs! I had a neighbor there in Spain, too, who had a small dog that she had put to sleep because she went off on a trip around Europe for several months and just couldn't bring herself to leave him with someone else. I don't understand such people. My little dog is my child; the thought of being so selfish as to take her life away because it's either inconvenient for me or too costly is beyond my imagination! To think she couldn't continue to enjoy her life even if I wasn't there is beyond me. Thank God for shelters and volunteers and people who care about animals. Thanks, too, for the chance to speak of these things!

Lynn Crain said...

Interesting piece, A.J., and you have very valid points.

The family court system is inherently flawed all around. While they say they consider what’s best for the children, the sad fact is no one really knows what's best for anyone. No one knows why some people turn into bad people or commit suicide or murder. You can list causes but the fact remains no one will ever know what is inside a person's mind the minute they do the act. We can’t as we’re not there and until someone is, we will never figure it out.

The reality of the situation is that lives are not valued like they used to be by a lot of people. Theirs, their kids or their animals. People fall into such deep pits of despair that we really need to evaluate why they become so despondent.

And I hate to say this but in some weird way, you could look at this as survival of the fittest. Something is miswired in their brain and they aren't fit any more, so they remove themselves and any remnants of their line. Animals do it all the time. Sick, but true.

As far as euthanizing the animals, it is sad but the reality of the situation is this: Unless the woman had found homes before she died for each of them, they would eventually end up in the animal control system which places them on the waiting list for euthanasia. I would love to say adoption list but in fact it isn't. Their time ticks down until none is left and we all know what happens then.

While I am a realist, I do agree that it isn’t right to think you can take another’s life. And it doesn’t matter whether it is a person or a pet, no one should ever take another’s life maliciously for any reason.

That said, I will squish a bug now and then. Can’t help it as there ARE more of them than us. LOL!


mommacrystal said...

It is sad but so true. And most people don't realize that this is happening everywhere. And far to often for me to stomach as a mom. My four kids are my world and as I sit here typing I am stressing over the oldest two. They are from a previous marriage and although their bio dad isn't quite as bad as some the situation is neglectful and getting progressively worse. My children are my world and it scares me to know they are there but until I get things changed in the court the order says they go. But I will fight until I can't anymore for them and what's best for them.

Sponsored by the search engine optimization services internet guide.