Pardon my dearth of sympathy

Call me a heartless person if you must, but I am struggling to be completely sympathetic about the death of Earl Gallant.

If the name doesn’t ring a bell, read at least one of these links:

Alberta man dies rescuing friend’s dog

Alberta man drowns in N.Y. state trying to save dog

Alberta man dies trying to rescue dog from pond in New York state

It has boggled my mind for a long time how much importance people put on the pets in their lives. I mean, I understand you love your pets. I live with a cat, and despite the fact he’s a sadistic claw-monster, I wuv him.

But would I put my life in mortal peril to save him from potential death? Not likely. If our house were to burn down, if I saw the cat on my way out my chosen exit, I would pick it up and take it out with me. I would *not* go back into the burning building to save it.

I am not going to risk my life to save the life of something that is incredibly easy to replace, no matter my relationship with it.

Perhaps I am a heartless individual who does not deserve to live in the presence of such a creature. I’ll let you make that judgment. But I continue to fail to understand why some people place the lives of their pets on a pedestal. You likely paid money for that animal, or you got it from a friend or neighbour whose own pet had given birth.

You did not carry that animal inside you (or had your significant other carry it) for nine months before giving birth to it. That animal does not share any genetic material with you (well, all living creatures share some genetic material; you know what I mean). You did not have a direct part in producing that animal.

You merely acquired it.

And you could very easily acquire another one. In fact, many people do when their pets die.

On the other hand, very few parents will have another child simply because the one they had died. They will often have another, but rarely (I would imagine) will they mourn and then look at each other and say “OK, I want to fill that void in my life. Let’s get busy!”


While I sympathize with Earl’s family for losing a loved one, I feel he died a needless death. He died so a dog could live. Some people would call that selfless.

I call it foolish.

And for the record, this is a long-held opinion of mine, as seen in this post from back in 2010:

Animal Rights People