You have undoubtedly heard by now that Barbaro was euthanized yesterday because the horse’s medical woes simply resulted in too much suffering for the equestrian celebrity. While I do not intend to belittle the animal’s suffering and do not intend to disparage those who felt something for this horse, I absolutely intend to step all over the melodramatic and offensive brouhaha that has resulted since the horse first was wounded, and especially since his death was announced.
I have seen deep and heartfelt outpourings of emotions from around the world, lamentations on par with that fit for the greatest humanitarians and conservationists, or the most prolific philanthropists. But instead, like bloody molasses dripping uncontrolled from a fatally wounded tree, a great many people are gnashing their teeth and declaring horrific sorrow at the loss of one horse.
I find the entire ordeal offensive in ways heretofore unheard of.
Hundreds of thousands of innocent animals are intentionally killed each year in the U.S. alone because they are homeless, unclaimed, and unwanted. It’s not that they’re sick and suffering; it’s that there is no one to love them. So they die.
Millions of children around the globe suffer and die each year at the hands of war, famine, disease, and broken homes, yet they are mere statistics, inconvenient tidbits of cultural detritus, the victims of progress and an uncaring species called humanity.
Millions more adults likewise languish in horrendous conditions like homelessness, starvation, illness, and the devastation wrought of conflict, sectarianism, and an uncaring, unsympathetic world, and too many of them leave this life without notice.
Our environment is nearing collapse. The oceanic chain of life is due to implode in less than fifty years. Thousands of species are on the verge of extinction. Forests are being laid waste in great swathes that cannot be recovered in time to stem the devastation that will result. Our climate is spiraling out of control at an increasing rate.
Dare I go on?
I find it so entirely contemptible to see and hear the plethora of histrionic mourning, and I find myself drowning in a flood of shallow tears.
What is wrong with you people? Can you not see the trivial, superficial nature of this commotion? Has everyone taken leave of their hearts so that they might weep a bitter tear for the loss of a single horse while our planet suffers and dies a slow, agonizing death, while more animals than can be counted are killed because they cannot find a home, and while people young and old fall by the wayside in vast numbers only to die lonely deaths?
Again, what is wrong with you people?
I simply cannot fathom this petty, pathetic, repulsive, nauseating spectacle. I find it all quite repellent. It is absurd to the point of being sickening.
I am so very sorry the horse died. That is a tragedy, yes, but it pales in comparison to the greater and ongoing tragedies that take place around us all day, every day, around the world. Yet none of those warrant this level of attention and concern? None of those lives lost are important enough to elicit even the smallest bit of maudlin feeling?
Times like these make me think our species truly is not worth saving, worth any investment of time or energy. How small of all of you for this gross farce you have created. The world is a stage, I see, and it’s replete with vapid actors incapable of overcoming their own tawdry and small selfishness.
This has proved Joseph Stalin correct when he said, “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” What a shame.