The Associated Press has reported the following story:
(AP) A 23-year-old woman who got a friend to kill her Jack Russell terrier was charged with skinning the puppy to make a belt out of its hide.
Krystal Lynn Lewis and Austin Michael Mullins, 26, were being held Friday in the Muskogee County jail on $25,000 bail each. They were charged with one felony count of cruelty to animals.
“We’re talking about a 6- or 7-week-old defenseless puppy,” said sheriff’s deputy George Roberson. “That’s pretty heinous and sadistic.”
A Muskogee County judge ordered a mental competency hearing for Lewis.
Lewis wanted the puppy, named Poplin, killed because it was a gift from a female ex-lover with whom she doesn’t get along, said Muskogee County sheriff’s deputy George Roberson.
Roberson said Mullins shot the terrier 10 times with a .22-caliber pistol. Lewis skinned the animal at her apartment and nailed the hide to a board.
It was obviously wrong to kill the dog to make a belt (or for any other purpose). But what about the cows and other nonhumans who provide the belts or shoes that almost everyone wears?
In the case of the dog, we charge a felony and set bail at $25,000. In the case of the cow, we don’t give the matter a second thought. Why don’t we see both as “heinous and sadistic”?
This is yet another example of the confused and deluded way that we think about animals. We need to educate others to get them to see that they should have the same reaction in the case of the cow as they do to that of the dog.
There is no rational explanation or moral justification for a different reaction.
Gary L. Francione
© 2009 Gary L. Francione