Animal Lovers: The ASPCA Turns 150!
Tyrades!By Danny Tyree
It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I've been living it down since I was nine or 10 years old.
I have adopted my share of stray dogs and cats and I brake for squirrels and turtles, but I'm still embarrassed that my younger self would mix sugar and glue on the front steps and watch for ants to chow down.
I bring this embarrassing incident up because the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) celebrates its 150th birthday April 10.
This non-profit organization has been a pioneer in establishing animal hospitals, using anesthesia, operating a 24-hour animal poison control line, offering grief counseling, promoting spay-and-neuter programs, creating rescue plans for animals during natural disasters, ending unnecessary euthanasia, offering pet health insurance and more.
(Truth be told, there have been a few misfires along the way. Horses that had bravely survived the horrors of the Civil War sort of freaked out when crammed into hospital gowns.)
Get ready for a wild time as the ASPCA celebrates its sesquicentennial. I hear they're temporarily changing their motto from "We are their voice" to "We are their voice on helium."
You might know that the ASPCA has 1.2 million members, but I'll bet you don't fully grasp its political clout. Pres. Obama's whole "cash for clunkers" thing was less about weathering the recession than about providing a higher class of vehicles for birds to "decorate."
The ASPCA has religious aspirations as well. I've heard that they've approached the Vatican about designating a special corner of hell for those who neglect their pets. ("And the windows should be rolled up! And the water dish empty! And have 'em wear some embarrassing little Halloween/Christmas outfits made of asbestos!")
The ASPCA lobbies for many common sense measures involving the health and safety of animals. We are fortunate to have such a mainstream organization still with us. Some other animal rights activists get carried away. Here are some of those extremists' goals:
- Ban hurtful phrases such as "Kill two birds with one stone," "blind as a bat" and "tickling the ivories."
- Replace the Statue of Liberty's torch with a laser pointer.
- "Killer whales" are given the more genteel designation "involuntary manslaughter whales."
- Prevail upon Hollywood to ditch species-ism and produce "50 Shades of Chameleon."
- Change the 3-second rule so food dropped on the floor immediately goes to the offshore accounts of household pets.
- Forget exposing laboratory mice to tuberculosis or radiation. Test their reactions to winning the Powerball lottery.
- Let hamsters keep the proceeds from generating electricity with their little wheels and selling the excess to the power grid.
- Infinite number of monkeys at infinite number of typewriters get infinite amount of paid family leave.
- Fine anyone who tells Donald Trump, "Speak! Speak!"
- Goldfish get to leave instructions on which gender toilet to be flushed down.
Let's all do our part to respect God's creatures. The efforts of the ASPCA have an impact on more than animal welfare, since there are so many sociopaths out there to identify. People who willfully mistreat animals and get away with it won't hesitate to abuse spouses, children or the elderly. ("Well, excuse me! Hey, you can't teach an old dog new tricks — unless you use a grenade launcher. Heh heh. No, wait — don't tase me, bro!!!!")
© 2016 Danny Tyree. Danny welcomes email responses at firstname.lastname@example.org and visits to his Facebook fan page "Tyree's Tyrades". Danny's' weekly column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate.
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