We pretend pigs are dumber than bricks, but they are smarter than dogs.
In a comment to “Must Have Belonged To Some Jew“, my friend, Neil Remington Abramson discussed dehumanization, in the context of animal slaughter and, in particular, of the fate of Otto. He expanded on this idea, as follows (e-mail correspondence reproduced with permission):
Tom said his pork was prized, because the pigs died without fear. Fear causes internal hormonal secretions that negatively affect the taste of the meat. Tom gets a premium for his!
So Tom employs a professional pig killer. Tom would feed the pig something delicious and while s/he was enjoying it, the pig killer sneaked up and cut the throat and the pig died without realizing it.
Give me a break. I saw the Arab terrorist cutting the throat of the Western hostage. The hostage did not seem unaware. We pretend pigs are dumber than bricks but they are smarter than dogs. And what about the second pig, after the first one has been slaughtered. Would s/he still blithely submit? Not the one I saw at the Olympic slaughterhouse, screaming and running for his life.
None of this was my concern re Otto. I could see Otto trusted Tom. Tom had treated Otto with kindness and moderate consideration for months, or even years. Now Tom planned to betray Otto! And it was premeditated. One day Otto would suddenly discover he had misplaced his trust and die uncomprehending.
Imagine doing this to a person! Imagine doing it to anyone! Poor Otto: it’s a month already and it has been done. Poor Otto – rest in peace. People are such savages, despite their pretty clothes, complicated rationalizations, and iPhones.
The price of bacon is going up $1/kilo and Canadians are starting to hoard.
Otto never had a chance.