Rolling In It

I was just reading this news item, which discusses the provisions that various emergency agencies have set up in order to take care of animals during disasters.

This is certainly nothing new, and it’s eminently practical since livestock are a major form of agricultural assets. Protecting farm animals against needless death is a way for the state governments to protect their tax base.

But people are taking steps beyond moving cows or horses out of harms way. Emergency shelters for people are now preparing to meet the needs of pets as well as their owners.

Megan McArdle says that it’s very difficult to declare yourself wealthy because the goalposts keep retreating as you move up the income ladder. That’s certainly true, but I think that I’ve found an indicator of the relative wealth of the nation as a whole.

5 thoughts on “Rolling In It”

  1. Ha, good one. Look at EU, they have time to legislate that every pig kept as livestock must have access to meaningful entertainment… Somehow I don’t think that law would go far in Africa, Asia, or Central/South America.

  2. It is a good indicator of wealth that your average individual can now go through life without personally ever killing a warm blooded animal. People used to have to kill animals continually either because they were pest or for food. We don’t even have to euthanize our own pets.

    I am reminded of a fake news story in The Onion years back comparing the medical care available to a dog in United States versus a human in sub-Saharan Africa. The dog gets a CAT scan (ha ha) and artificial hip replacements while the African gets his gangrenous limb cut off by his bother-in-law using a carpentry saw. It was so horribly, horribly true that one had to either weep or laugh uproariously.

    The fact that our economically valueless house pets receive better medical care than most of the humans in the world is the true indicator of our wealth.

  3. Yes, I have lavished medical care upon pets in the past, more than on myself in some fiscal years…but I’m now a poor ‘returning student’ and if the kitties get sick…well food for us walking apes is hard enough to come by now, so you fill in the rest.

    The decadence level of keeping small, semi-tamed carnivores for our amusment strikes me as almost Melnibonean (sorry, fantasy reference!)

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