By Frosty Wooldridge
Part 1: Examination of cruelty around the planet to humans, plants, birds and animals
During this Coronavirus event that slows down our world for the duration, I ruminate about life on this planet. In this series, let’s examine what humanity continues perpetrating on itself and other creatures. As a species, we may need to examine what we’re doing to ourselves and all other creatures on this planet.
One of the darker aspects of humanity that haunts me: our propensity for cruelty. Not only to ourselves, but to the animals as well as plants. The violence to our own kind really unhinges my sense of moral and ethical behavior. Here in America, a man commits violence against a woman every 15 seconds. The statisticians record two to three deaths daily from men killing their wives or girlfriends. As a teacher, for a summer job, I drove for United Van Lines for 30 summers. I saw violence up close and personal. Out in the truck-stop parking lots, whores would get the hell kicked out of them by mean truckers. Once I saw a guy roundhouse-punch a girl totally senseless. When my helper and I walked over to confront him, the girl regained consciousness and jumped up to defend him, “It was all my fault,” she said. At that point, we walked away knowing our help would be futile.
When I taught in the ghetto in Grand Rapids, Michigan, parents whipped, beat and verbally abused their kids. Gang members forced horrible initiation rituals for incoming members. Even when I fled the ghetto after having my idealism completely crushed, I taught in a middle-class neighborhood in Denver, Colorado. Some parents took the steel end of a fly swatter and whipped their little girls with it to turn the kids’ legs purple. I watched parents turn their kids into future criminals. Talk about having my idealism totally obliterated!
Then, I remember being a bouncer at a bar during college, and guys would come in looking for a fight. I always managed the bar fights by keeping a chair held up between the aggressor and me. I didn’t want to get cut or get my teeth knocked out.
The cruelty toward women really pains me. In the Muslim world, fathers, brothers, and uncles “honor kill” 20,000 innocent women annually according to the United Nations report on Honor Killings. If they want a new wife, but can’t afford one, they kill one of their present wives. They kill them for any reason by stoning, by knifing, by suffocating, shooting and by hanging them. In the USA today, we have an average of 25 honor killings annually by our Islamic immigrants according to Department of Homeland Security. I watched the press conference that exposed that harsh reality.
We also have 500,000 female genital mutilation cases in the USA, and the ‘cutters” are immune from the law. But it’s still assault and battery of a little girl! In male dominated societies, women suffer being of less value than a dog. It’s beyond painful to me because I’ve never hit, yelled at or degraded a woman for any reason. It’s out of my realm to be so violent to another person.
And then, early Christians in America burned witches at the stake and beat their slaves in the 1700’s and 1800’s until the end of the Civil War. I saw “12 Years a Slave” and it brought it all crashing down on me how one tribe of people could enslave another.
At the same time, slavery has been a stalwart of the human race from the dawn of recorded time. The Egyptians forced countless thousands of slaves to build the pyramids. The Chinese forced over 1 million slaves to build the Great Wall of China. The British enslaved the Indians. Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao and others killed millions and tortured countless more innocent people, along with the Jews in concentration camps and gas chambers. Last week, the national news reported 265 million Africans at risk for starvation in the coming months. It exasperates my sense of humanity.
And then, there’s the cruelty to animals here in America and abroad. On a bicycle, I saw thousands of dogs locked up to 4-foot chains for their entire lifetimes or living in tiny cages. And when the owner walked out to feed and water them, they wagged their tails in thanks. I would bite the SOB for treating me so poorly. And when I traveled through Asia, I saw those ‘wet markets’ and the incredible cruelty, no, make that ‘OBSCENE’ cruelty toward animals. Chinese and Indians provide a whole new level of ugly human behavior. But then, you see dog and rooster fights in Mexico and in the USA. Spain’s bull fights show horrific brutality toward animals. Remember the NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s vicious treatment of dogs? He would still be sponsoring dog fights it if he hadn’t been caught. He was only the tip of the iceberg.
In Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan Wars—we’ve killed over 3,000,000 (million) innocent people since 1950. Just slaughtered them with napalm, bombs and other insidious weaponry! Talk about cruelty!
On the plant front, we cut down 95 percent of the redwoods in California in the 1800’s. Only 5 percent survive with protection from www.SaveTheRedWoodsLeague.org from 1917. We inject Agent Orange, DDT, Roundup, Weed B Gone, insecticides and more herbicides into the Natural World by the billions of tons of chemicals, annually. Those poisons destroy everything in their path and all life. It’s beyond sickening how our large corporations choose money over integrity, and you know who you are Dow Chemical, Monsanto, Bayer and the rest of you filthy, unethical, rich Robber Barons of the 21st century.
And zoos, we cage animals that live to roam. In Denver, they’ve got this elephant in a tiny pen and he literally walks 100 feet to one corner and back every waking hour of the day. He’s unhappy, distressed, caged, and confined for a God-awful exitence for the rest of his life. Would you like to be that elephant? It’s sickeningly inhumane. After that experience, I do not support caging another living creature just for humans’ amusement.
In this short report, I can’t begin to cover the range and depth of humans’ cruelty to themselves, animals and plants. I’ll bet you could name a dozen methods for yourself.
To confront the cruelty, I do my part by giving money to ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, Humane Society, PETA and many other animal-care organizations. I also give to women’s shelters and other organizations protecting women. I give to Nature Conservancy, Greenpeace, Sea Shepard, Marine Mammal Fund and many more.
But it all seems futile because the cruelty continues, the beatings continue, and the deaths continue. It’s like humans have not progressed since the time of the brutal Roman Empire.
As you read this column, those two wars continue. Beatings and deaths of wives and girlfriends continue. Honor killings continue. Brutality to animals continues non-stop 24/7. And we call ourselves a civilized society?
Have you experienced what I’ve witnessed? Have you seen cats set on fire or thrown into a microwave? How do you feel about it? What have you done about it? Does it hurt you as much as it hurts me? Is there any way we who care can take action to stop cruelty to humans and animals, and bring some semblance of sanity to our communities? Can we educate our young toward a more peaceful and loving existence?
Coming Thursday Part 2: Our ghettos, inner cities, poor, homeless, drugs
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