what is our problem (rant) - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-28-2003, 12:02 AM
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i know if it think about this anymore i could absolutely start crying. this might be more me than anything, but i am just so upset and disgusted i don't know what to do. have we, as a human race, lost our minds? where has our regard for life gone? doesn't anyone care anymore. no matter what you believe in detail, i think everyone at VB believes in a connection between humanity and nature, or else we wouldn't be here. personally i see every living thing as a perfect work of art made by the hand of God. so who the heck are we to disturb any of that??



i probably should say that this is all prompted by a family reunion i went to today in a park. there were these tiny baby toads running every where. i was sort of amused at they way such a tiny, tiny thing can move and breath and live for itself in such a vast, hazardous world. there's birds and cars and lawn mowers, and all sorts of things that a little toad wouldn't have a chance against, and yet here it was, so alive and perfect. then i turned to see one of my little second cousins (old enough to no better) pick them up and start hurling them over a barbed wire fence into a nearby swimming pool. i yelled and lectured, but he didn't even look up, smacking them into things and watching them splatter on the pavement. most people in my situation would have been repulsed, but it made me so sad. that such a little thing could brave the world, only to have its life ended by one of my own kind. he scooped it up off the sidewalk, admiring the mutilated, busted open body in an incredibly sickening and disturbing way. i looked around for some one to share my saddness, but all i got were looks of "boys willl be boys." the only thing that impacted me for a few seconds was the perfectly formed organs, that just a second ago were sustaining a thing whose life had been so short, now spilling out in a way that they were never meant to. i almost cried, right there, in front of everyone. he tossed it to the side as if the fun was over, and no harm done, because after all, it was just a toad.



i will probably never understand why we kill defensless things, and each other. maybe for a second, you take something else's life in your own hands, and in a sense, you play god. and the more i learn about this world, the more i'm hurt by the senseless things we do just because we can. i won't try and tell anyone i understand it, because i don't . just God help me not to loose my own humanity in all this cruelty.when a forest is in the way, we take it out. when an animal's fur brings in money, we take it as though it was ours to take. when other people, in other countries do something we don't like, we take lives to make them see it our way, and then we call them casualties. those are people, darn it, and those are living things. and God forbid it ever becomes our job to control what goes and what stays.



the people here, at VB understand that better than most anyone. and right now, i am incredibly greatful for that support. pray for life here on earth, because today was a rude awakening of just how much we need it.



peace, luv, and happiness, xeno
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#2 Old 07-28-2003, 12:33 AM
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Wow. You did really well putting that into words.

We have many toads here at our house. Just an hour or so ago, I was out front watching them. There were grown and baby ones. They always seem so gentle. I take a lot of joy from watching them and a lot of sadness about the world around them. I wonder how many I've harmed riding my bike in the dark or how many have been killed by our lawn mower, how many my husband has unknowingly run over. It breaks my heart.
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#3 Old 07-28-2003, 11:19 AM
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I don't understand it, but I see this all of the time with little kids:



There is this basic inclination to view these little beings as "ours" to with what we will. I have had to teach my daughter that rollypolies aren't her "pets", and that she may not handle them until she kills them. It's strange because, even though she does things in a loving way (she would never splat a toad baby), the result can be the same. The rollypoly thing is a good example. She'll catch a bunch of them and tell me how they love her and want to be with her. She has killed a few, just by initially holding them too tightly, and then by putting them in a cup and forgetting about them.



She just turned 5, and now understands that rollypolies have their own "families" and would be sad to be away from their "families". I'm happy about that. She is now a very thoughtful child about such things, but I have had to work to get her to this place mentally.



It would have been so much easier to just let her handle them and kill them, but in our house you kill nothing by mosquitos and roaches (sorry - I know that they are part of the universe - part of me, but I still kill them - part of the cute vs ugly thing, I guess).



It seems that all little children have to be taught not to swing and throw and over-love little things.



It has been work, but I do have a child that understands these things. I still have to keep an eye on her (she'll do silly stuff like put the hamster in her dolly stoller and things - a little more handling than I think OK).



I would have done the same thing, except I would have persisted on the child, asking how he would like it if some giant took HIM and tossed him around and splatted him on the sidewalk, just because he was little. And if the parents laugh, I would point out to them that children who learn to torture and hurt little animals can grow up to do bad things to little children, too.



It's miserable. Good for you for doing SOMETHING.
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#4 Old 07-28-2003, 08:41 PM
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thank you so much for your support. the whole thing has really made me take a look at my life.



up until now, i would be willing to eat dairy to oblige another person. no more. i can't sleep at night knowing that i have been a part of hurting even one more of those perfect, beautiful creatures that are tortured and slaughtered simply because they don't have machine guns and bull dozers. i don't want to make this hard on the people around me, but i am just not willing to hurt another living thing no matter who asks me and who refusing to will make uncomfortable. it really is a shame that something so awful had to happen to get my attention, but now i see.



my parents, relatives, and the people i have to live around aren't going to like this one. but i know i cannot do this anymore. please pray for me that i can tough this one out, and that when the time comes that i absolutely have to break the news to the people around me, i can. thank you for everything, so much.

peace love and extreme happiness to you all, xeno
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#5 Old 07-28-2003, 09:13 PM
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Just remember that you can always come here for support. You are doing the right thing.
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#6 Old 07-28-2003, 09:17 PM
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That was a greally touching post xeno, and I completely agree with you. Who are we to play god and decide what lives and what dies? It is a cruel world, and there are so many people who choose ignorance over morals & ethics. This goes for the animals, environment, and everything else in our lives. I wish people would open up their eyes and stop overlaying everything with a sickingly sweet picture and see, at last, the suffering that each day brings...

Keep strong, and be proud of the things that you are doing to help...even if they seem small.



Take care
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#7 Old 07-28-2003, 09:23 PM
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good luck jen.... and i'll brave the storm with you, at least at school.
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#8 Old 07-28-2003, 09:39 PM
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xeno - that was really touching. It reminds me of something that happened with my cousin this summer.



He was mowing the lawn at my grandparents, and he found a little baby ground squirrel (Though he thought it was a gopher) and kept it and put it in a 5 gallon bucket with grass and water. I told him he couldn't do that, he had to set it free, it was cruel, that it wanted to be free and find a companion and have babies. Nope, he said he had to at least show his parents (who would be there in a few days). Lo and behold, it rained, and there was too much water. It died from that and improper nutrition.



I try to avoid harming or killing anything - I swat at mosquitoes, bees, and flies, but try to get them outside when I can. And I have my parents or brother get rid of moths due to the fact I'm deathly afraid of them. But I say sorry each time. But like Melafina said, be proud of what you do. Each time you do something seemingly small, the world is helped.
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#9 Old 07-28-2003, 10:47 PM
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i just had a long phone conversation with dodger. that really helped alot, thanks, erin. i feel like i have really found people i can depend on to back me up and support me when the rest of the world thinks i'm crazy. you guys are great, and veggieboards is a life saver. i don't know what i would do right now without that help.

peace love and extreme happiness, xeno
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#10 Old 07-29-2003, 12:24 PM
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That was well written Xeno.. and I have had moments like that where I have started crying! I see the earth as our mother and every bug, animal and plant here with us are members of our family.. I do my best everyday to appreciate them all and help them out when I can.

I also agree with you that VB helps a lot.. see you around!
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#11 Old 07-29-2003, 12:26 PM
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Oh yeah and I love your quote.. I can totally hear Dan Akroyd's voice saying that!
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#12 Old 07-29-2003, 01:24 PM
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That was thought-provoking, xeno. And just a couple weeks ago I tried to convince my parents to get one of those lilly pad things to put in their pool for the frogs. No luck, I'm afraid.
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#13 Old 07-29-2003, 06:35 PM
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I know what you mean. Today I rescued a kitten from the median of the highway. First of all nobody else stopped (even in the time it took for me to get off the hight way turn around get back on in the far lane). Second, when I went to the vet today they told me that it looks like the kitty was THROWEN from a car not hit. The kitty is only 12 weeks old and I have easily found a loving home for it. What is wrong with people that they can't take the extra time (which was min) for another lifing thing. It's only a baby!!!!
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#14 Old 07-29-2003, 07:16 PM
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I am saddened mostly that the adults did not seemed concerned that your little cousin was showing such disregard and agression towards living things. I don't think you have to be an animal rightist to be appauled at that. That could be a symptom of pathology.
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#15 Old 07-29-2003, 08:28 PM
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that was a really sad story JFrog. i live out in the country, and people dump animals that they don't want anymore out on my road all the time. i am sickened by people negligent enough to just throw a living thing away the way they would dispose of trash and old junk. do they see it, and do they care?



i know if they ever really took time to reach over and feel the heartbeat of the animal they were about to toss out of a moving car, they would begin to understand the connection between humanity and the rest of the ecosystem. at the very least, i certainly hope our problem is not understanding instead of not caring. that should be our mission at VB, to make people understand. maybe once they see how they are hurting God's beautiful creations, we can begin to make the world a better place, together.
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#16 Old 07-31-2003, 01:55 PM
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Like many in this thread said, Xenonesia wrote a great text.



Referring to children and the way they treat animals, it's a somewhat two-sided matter. Children can sometimes treat animals with an almost sadistic cruelty which fades away a little when they grow up, but on the other hand children sometimes have this more "intimate" relationship to nature: they respect an animal better than an adult does because they haven't "developed" such a cynical view of the world yet. A child can see the animal's beautiful colours (for example maybe a butterfly) and interesting behaviour, but an adult sees the animal as just some worthless entity in this busy and gray world. But, like I said, unfortunately children follow what their parents have taught, which often is quite a bad thing.



More generally I connect imagination, creativity and art to the ability to view nature as having intrinsic value. When one admires a painting, one doesn't use it for anything particular - one sees its colours and images and admires its inner and outer qualities. In the same way, the proper way to view nature and animals is not with some kind of use in mind, but rather with an appreciation of all the complexities and beauty. I think the playfulness and imagination and sensitivity that are present in childhood (and art, although art of course has also all its bad effects) are important qualities which human race should not abandon.



I have been shifting between negativity and positivity for a long time. Because of the ways human beings treated me (so each other) and animals I had a pretty grim view about everything (I still do, though). But one should focus all thoughts on the existence of the people who actually do care and who actually haven't lost the creative forces and respect and appreciation of nature. The fact that despite of all the evil there really are beautiful human beings who care, love and cherish is an extremely powerful force. (My text is "hippie stuff" I guess, but this is what I think, anyway.)



Xenonesia mentioned God a few times, which brought to my mind the really weird way in which for example Christians think. (And Catholic priests hunting for sport are incomprehensibly absurd.) I have never understood, why people who believe in mercy and love and beauty and all those things can support unnecessary suffering of beings who are not different from us in any meaningful way. When I asked some religious people about it, I of course got the standard responses: "man has inherited the Earth" (but isn't man supposed to cherish it?), "animals don't have a soul" (even if they wouldn't have a soul, which would be pretty absurd, I don't see that being a reason for killing them), "God created man as His image, and man is special in this sense" (well, if we are an image of a pure being of love and mercy, why would we not act like one?).



(Sorry if this was off topic.)



This thread brought to my mind a certain story (in a song), where a frog is crossing the road and all the cars stop on the road so there's an endless line, and they all wait for the frog to cross the road. That's the ideal world, but I think it's rather unlikely that the human race is ever going to reach it (which isn't a reason for individual beings to not try).

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#17 Old 07-31-2003, 03:49 PM
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Xeno, I know what you mean.



I like to learn things, and often surf the web and find info about various animal rights issues. By doing so I have become a strict vegetarian (and vegan wannabe!) but I've also learned the painful lesson of how big-headed, arrogant and downright barbaric the human race can be. This is a lot to accept, and I often try to find something positive in everything, otherwise life would just be miserable. But it's so hard when most things are so corrupt and just about greediness. Sometimes it exhausts me because all I see every day are negative things.. the meat on my parents' plate, horses chained to the side of the road, news reports of horrific animal cruelty. Sometimes it's awful to live knowing how much abuse is going on around the world... that's why I'm here. As SevenSeas said, focus your thoughts on the people that care



When will humans realise what they're doing? And why are we, the people who actually give a damn, treated as insane psychopaths?? Humans are so irritating (not all of us, though!)



I know this post is pretty random comparing the original, but I just thought I'd share it with you anyway.
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#18 Old 07-31-2003, 11:37 PM
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what sevenseas said had alot of beauty and truth to it. i don't understand why we take dominion to mean "higher elevated in the food chain" instead of "bearing a responsibility toward"



today i saw the most beautiful thing, and it really made me wonder why we even have the dominion, to be perfectly honest. there were these two monarch butterflies in the road. and as i got closer, i realized that on of them had been hit by a car. if it wasn't dead, it was close to it, hanging on with the fragility that it had lived with. the second butterfly fluttered over it like an angel, innocently trying to call it back to life. it hovered around, taking off and then looking over its shoulder to realize that its companion wasn't following. it would settle back down beside it, as if it was kissing it on the cheek, and then try once again to convince the lifeless body to accompany it.



it was the most heartbreakingly pure, sweet thing i have ever seen. standing there by the side of the road, i started to cry, completely at a loss for why such horrible things happened to such perfect creations, and why a race that no longer bothered to think about them had dominion. if we could think like something so innocent, the world would be so much more livable.
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#19 Old 08-01-2003, 01:21 AM
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xeno - I know what you mean there. When I was riding my bike yesterday, I was looking along the side of the road, looking for pop cans to pick up, looking at the trees and flowers - and there was a dead dear lying in the ditch. I started crying - I mean, just yesterday on my bike ride I had seen a total of 4 deer - all looking happy, one with her two fawns, the other jumping in the trees. I looked at the dead deer, and though about its life it had lived just the previous day.
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#20 Old 08-01-2003, 07:15 AM
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I'm so glad we're not alone in caring. I wish it was more contagious though. There are some great posts in this topic.



I just need to learn to be calmer about it... I know I'd respond badly if I saw someone abusing an animal, it would be very hard to hold myself back from coming after them physically (if a verbal request didn't do anything first). And of COURSE, the police would arrest me for shoving or hitting the jerk who was hurting the animals. I'd probably get beat to a pulp in the midst of it too, not a good scenario, but I know it's my personality . This sort of stuff really gets to me, I often see people let their dogs loose to chase birds, or people throwing pebbles/sticks at ducks. They should really keep in mind the saying "pick on someone your own size" (and first be provoked & don't use a weapon!). Sigh.
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#21 Old 08-01-2003, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Feliner

I just need to learn to be calmer about it... I know I'd respond badly if I saw someone abusing an animal, it would be very hard to hold myself back from coming after them physically (if a verbal request didn't do anything first). And of COURSE, the police would arrest me for shoving or hitting the jerk who was hurting the animals. I'd probably get beat to a pulp in the midst of it too, not a good scenario, but I know it's my personality . This sort of stuff really gets to me, I often see people let their dogs loose to chase birds, or people throwing pebbles/sticks at ducks. They should really keep in mind the saying "pick on someone your own size" (and first be provoked & don't use a weapon!). Sigh.



I'm with you on that one. I couldn't be one of those Animal Cops. They seem to handle it so well, but they have to to do their job properly.
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#22 Old 08-01-2003, 05:34 PM
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"Maybe this world is another planet's hell." Aldous Huxley



It sure seems that way depending on where you look. Unfortunately, it's been going on since humans evolved and will probably never end until humans don't occupy the planet anymore. But I think it is wise to monitor the quantity of hell one lets into one's head for maintaining sanity without professional de-briefing. What's great about VBers is that although we realize we can't change the world, we can change our little part of it and realize peace of mind for our efforts.



So don't peer into hell for too long, or, better yet, if you really want to take a peek at hell, first plan or perform your response action (writing a letter, etc.), then take a look to verify that you did the right thing.
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#23 Old 08-01-2003, 07:27 PM
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all we can do is know what we stand for and fight for it no matter what. sadly, it seems that the bottom line is that there are some idiotic humans that wouldn't know beauty and compassion if it snuck up behind them and bit them on the butt. the earth is too precious to wait until we have majority support to do something about it. honestly, i can't say i believe that such a thing will ever happen.
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#24 Old 08-31-2003, 01:40 PM
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Not to minimize what your cousin did but children pass through a number of stages as their mental capacity increases and they become aware of things that before were unconceivable (EquiPros story is the perfect example). Simply, even if you wanted your cousin to se the importance of what he was doing, as of yet he may be mentally unable to differentiate between right and wrong actions in this manner. However, it is disheartening to hear and there should have been someone, namely his parents, who interceded and instructed him why he shouldnt do this thing (maybe even help him give it a burial, this sounds strange but I think there is an accountability issue involved in having to bury something you are responsible for).
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#25 Old 08-31-2003, 02:38 PM
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Xeno, I know exactly what you mean... I am so impulsive, though, that I would not have taken it as well as you did. I probably would have hurled myself at my cousing, screaming and hitting him... I need to learn to control myself, but at least I, unlike some, CARE that people do this kind of thing. The number of thoughtless, genuinely cruel people in this world astounds me. And no one seems to care that they are out there except me and a few others like you guys.



When I was seven years old, I was up in the Rockies with my family for a reunion and went with my father, my uncle and my older cousin when they decided to go fishing in the lake. Of course, I didn't want them to be fishing at all, but I was younger so no one cared. Most of the fish they caught were tied down so we could clean them and eat them for dinner, but at one point in the afternoon my cousin caught a "sucker fish," which taste HORRIBLE... Rather than put it back in the water, he threw it in the grass and laughed as he watched it suffocate. I started crying and freaking out and eventually my uncle made him put it back so I would stop. Everyone laughed it off and called me a "tree hugger;" though the term was used to tease me and make me bristle again, I was proud. I just don't understand how even my own family (who are good people) could be so cruel and heartless.



About your comment, Jeremy: my cousin NEVER grew up. He is still as heartless and as immature today as he was then, but now he is on his own with a family and there is no longer anyone there to make him put the fish back.
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#26 Old 08-31-2003, 08:43 PM
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xeno, you've pinpointed one of my pet peeves. "boys will be boys". How is that an excuse for blatant cruelty? Yet this is something that is said all the time, to excuse little boys for acts that are not natural to little boys, but instead, encouraged by society. This, IMO, is the root of much of the evil in our world today... teaching little boys that it's okay for them to do things that are cruel, and unacceptable for little girls to do...



</rant>



xeno, good on you for being the way you are. And sevenseas, I agreed with much or your post, if that is a hippie text, then I'm a hippie too!
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#27 Old 09-02-2003, 01:23 AM
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Wow. I don't know what to say about what's been posted here, as I would likely only repeat the already-posted sentiments about how horribly cruel humanity can be.



So I thought I'd post something else.



Here in western Oregon, ducks are everywhere - parks, campus quads, streetsides, parking lots, etc... During the spring, it's entirely common to see an entire street of traffic stopped - in both directions - to let a family of ducks cross the street. I think it's so touching to see. Here are all these people, going about their busy daily lives in these huge mechanical cars - all of them stopped so that a mama duck and her little babies can cross the road. They take their time, too. Despite the fact that there are cars & pavement going alongside the ducks' habitat (like wetlands), it's the sweetest image, it really is... (yes, it's the 'cute factor' coming into play, but work with me here )



amy
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#28 Old 09-02-2003, 09:29 AM
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cissy writes:

=======================

I told him he couldn't do that, he had to set it free, it was cruel, that it wanted to be free and find a companion and have babies.

=====================



You would more likely have persuaded him to set it free if instead of telling hime what you erroneously think he "can "or "cannot" do, you simply started a conversation with him, about what he was doing. Possibly by starting out asking a non-judgemental question, like "what kind of animal is that?" And then saying "i think it's a ground squirrel" when he says "it's a gopher." That alone might be enough to get him thinking and change his behavior -- especially if you were right about the kind of animal it was, and if he could verify, independently, that you were right. Perhaps you could have downloaded an article and picture from the internet, on ground-squirrels, to show him what animal it was.



You also might ask "why do you have it in a bucket?" And if he said "to show my parents" you simply could have replied "if you leave it in a bucket, I think it's going to be pretty dead and rotting and smelly by the time your parents get here. Do your parents like seeing dead, rotten, smelly animals?"
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#29 Old 09-02-2003, 09:31 AM
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"boys will be boys"."



I agree that is not a valid excuse. and i don't believe I did anything like xeno described, when I was a boy. In fact, i remember seeing other boys doing such stuff, and not being at all interested in joining in.
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