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Franz L Kessler

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The Dog Murder
By Franz L Kessler
Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Rated "R" by the Author.

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A brutal event brings some uncomfortable reality

I stopped the car beneath the drizzling rain, as creaking wiper blades ploughed through the blurred images of this soggy afternoon. Next to my car, behind a market restaurant on the trunk-road to Kuching, stood parked a number of pickup trucks, the owners of which had left to find a bowl of soup, the rest room, or a cheap 'saloon' girl. On my right, at a dress shop, stood shopkeepers in front of their piles of faded clothes. No customers were in sight. Puddles of murky rainwater stained with silt shed-off from truck tyres had formed in every depression of the wobbly market road crossing.

The salesmen watched the rain clouds drifting along from the jungle and getting hooked up in hilly canopy, enveloping and painting the landscape in a gloomy gray.

“I’ll come back in a minute," said Maureen, who sat next to me. She opened the car door and rushed to the food shop to buy a plate of rice, and some dried river fish, the sort we can't find in coastal Miri. I gave her a sleepy nod and watched the boring view ahead, while the engine rumbled, the fan blew cool steam, and blurred monochromatic pictures on the screen came and went bye.

I had been sitting behind the wheel waiting for some five minutes, when I heard a screaming sound. It originated from a small sheepherder dog that tried to escape from the back of a pick-up truck parked a few yards away. My eyes followed the scene. As the dog squealed, a lad of some 20 years, armed with a metal stick, rushed out off the cabin, jumped up to the deck, and started to beat the dog.

First I though it was about punishing the animal. But as the man continued to fiercely beat on the animal, the dog wildly screaming in despair, a more sinister thought came to my mind. Some passengers had stopped, and looked at the scene, too, a bit baffled. At this moment Maureen came back from the restaurant, one hand carrying a plastic bag with food, the other hand holding a newspaper over her head, as the rain poured down stronger compared to a while ago.

I opened the window, and shouted to her: “The man is killing the dog,” half sure of what I was saying, half bewildered and incredulous about my own words.

“That’s the way the Chinese are,” she said. “They kill dogs, and if needed, people. They love to eat dog meat.”

I was shocked. I hadn't expected that particular reply. I had secretly hoped that I was wrong, that this was only an average outburst of day-to-day agression against a pet. Yet at this moment I understood, the dog was beaten to death to serve hungry customers in the food place nearby.

Having crossed a cultural borderline, I felt powerless and saddened. “Can’t we do anything, Maureen?” I asked with a low voice.

She just shook her head, and spoke with a sad voice: “We Kayans (a Borneo tribe) respect animals, in particular dogs. But we are only a small minority on our island, these days. The (Borneo) Chinese, however, kill and eat anything. The Government also wants street dogs to be killed, as by far too many populate roads and villages. What to do?”

The noise had stopped. The killer from the pick-up truck carried the dead dog to the restaurant. We drove ahead, in silence. What we had witnessed was a brutal event, a shocking intrusion of brutal reality into my idealistic and sometimes naïf world view.

In the end my mind drew a painful question. Was it really a crime to kill a dog in public, whilst other intelligent animals – horses, pigs, cows and even sheep – are systematically killed in slaughterhouses, with plain public approval and a legal license to kill? Is it really that important that animals are being killed in a "humane way", if killing itself represents the most cruel (and definitive, irreversible) action on earth?

© 2006 by Franz L Kessler








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Reviewed by Regino Gonzales, Jr. 8/27/2008
Franz, I have been struggling for years to resolve the problem of why man has to kill animals, brutally or otherwise, in order to feed our appetite. I'm a Christian and worse, the Old Testament seems to tolerate animal sacrifice to please God. Please post if you find some answers. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Regino
Reviewed by Cynthia Buhain-Baello 7/11/2008
Hello Franz,

This is so graphic and disturbing as the blog I wrote about pitbull
dog fights. This should be banned and whether the killing is done in public or not, cruelty against animals, in any form, should be a crime. As someone said, the most dangerous animal in the world is man, because he can THINK.

Cynthia
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 11/1/2006
This is really a disturbing read, Franz; but it doesn't answer the question as to why people have to treat animals so badly. That is a question I am still trying to search the answer to myself. Such a waste, such a stupid waste! Very well written, and chilling in its content; bravo!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in America, Karen Lynn in Texas. :( >tears <
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 11/1/2006
Was it really a crime to kill a dog in public, whilst other intelligent animals – horses, pigs, and even sheep – are systematically killed in slaughterhouses, with plain public approval and a legal license to kill?

Man's inhumanity to our earthly nonhuman neighbors knows no bounds, and we are allegedly the caretakers of this planet. Is it a crime to beat another creature to death? I believe it is; a callous human crime.
Even animals that are bred to be slaughtered should be killed as humanely as possible, but either because it takes too much money, or it's just too much trouble for us, we usually don't bother.
Reviewed by Joyce Hale 11/1/2006
A good question, Franz. Man's brutality does not only extend to other men, but to all living creatures, and I say Man as a whole, not as individuals. I have not eaten red meat for years, and seldom eat fowl anymore; but look how many years it has taken me to come to this! Would I feel differently if our meat meals were at least treated kindly during their short lives? Possibly, but I am more and more content to be mostly a dairy-vegetarian. An excellent write, a thought-provoker. Well done.

Peace. Joyce


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