Author Topic: "Putting down" animals  (Read 618 times)

Offline Wonky Badger

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"Putting down" animals
« on: July 25, 2014, 02:56:59 am »
I've recently started on-job-training as a police officer. I live and service in a pretty calm district with a few small cities and quite a bit of rural area. There are usually several collisions between cars and deer each week and sometimes the deer lie wounded beside the road. When the police arrive at the scene, it's their duty to put the deer down.

When a deer is so injured that it just lies beside the road, it usually has, except for broken bones, fatal internal damage. One way or another, the deer will die and the law doesn't allow for it to be left to suffer. At some point in the future I will certainly be asked to euthanize a deer or other wounded animal.

Heeding the first precept, I should try to avoid having to shoot a wounded deer but I'm wondering if I'm really any better if I force my colleague to do it. Except for straining our professional relation and possibly getting bad reputation in the force, I'm also pushing karma onto my patrol mate.

What's your opinions on the best course of action when an animal has to be put down?
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.
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What would Buddha do?

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: "Putting down" animals
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2014, 03:08:50 am »
What's your opinions on the best course of action when an animal has to be put down?

If the intention is to prevent further suffering, then there is less unwholesome karma attached to the act of killing an animal.  To me it seems quite different than say shooting a deer for sport.

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: "Putting down" animals
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2014, 05:23:25 am »
There is the written letter of the precept, as well as the spirit it was given in, where both need to be examined in such a situation --- karma is karma (action) and it's the intention which determines whether the karma is wholesome or unwholesome.

Offline meez

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Re: "Putting down" animals
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2014, 10:10:05 am »
WB,

I think helping to end an animal's excruciating pain and misery would be a compassionate thing to do.  Whether you use a bullet from a gun or an injection, it is still an almost instant relief/end to their unimaginable suffering.

Be present with the animal, thankful for it's existence in our world, and happy that you can show it kindness and mercy at the end.

Offline Wonky Badger

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Re: "Putting down" animals
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2014, 02:06:43 am »
Thanks for your input, guys! I feel better now.

I remember that I read somewhere quite negative views on mercy killings, that the animal has caused the kind of death and suffering itself, in this or previous lives and has to experience and live through it; that if one cuts it short, the animal will somehow have to "amend" for it again in a future life.
My actions are my only true belongings.
I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground on which I stand.
---
What would Buddha do?

Offline meez

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Re: "Putting down" animals
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2014, 04:58:29 pm »
You got it, WB.

As far as mercy killings causing some sort of "debt" to be repaid, that seems like an extreme stretch and a claim that is unfounded, and of course, unverified. To add to it by claiming they should suffer through it is irresponsible (and cruel). I would imagine that none of those individuals saying such things have been through (or at least recall) the experience of a horrific accident and a slow death in agonizing pain.

As a police officer, this won't be your first struggle with decisions like these. Do your best to be compassionate and empathetic, and I think you will find the rest falls into place.

 


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