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Titanic Pets

Discussion in 'Animals on the Titanic' started by Chester Wallace, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. I think it would be a crime to save a pet over a human being. Human beings use reason (the most of the times) and can use their intelligence to improve our world. Animals just cannot do that. We need every single mind in order to make our world a better place, and the destruction of a human mind is (for me) a catastrophe.
    With regards to animals, they only live to reproduce themselves, so they can be left to die as long as their number is not largely affected.
  2. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    Ah, Augusto, the voice of reason. Not sentiment. Well, as I say, I'd always put the children first, but not so sure about some of the adults. And I'm not at all sure that having more humans in the world makes it a better place. Perhaps it should, if we all thought straight, but I'm not sure it does.

    But then, neither does adorable little slaughterer, Boris.... those poor beautiful birds.
  3. Jim Kalafus

    Jim Kalafus Member

    >I think it would be a crime to save a pet over a human being.

    One WOULD like to question the idiot who loaded #6 why Mrs. Rothschild was allowed to take her dog but not her husband into the less than half-full boat.

    One WOULD like to have seen that person asked, directly, "How is it possible that a boat was sent away with only 24 people in it, plus a dog? Lapdogs fared better than third class children under the watch of your company- WHY?"

    Perhaps the most notorious saved dog of all time, Speedway Lady, from the Vestris, met a horrible fate later.

    The dog belonged to Indianapolis 500 racer Earl Devore and his wife, Ann. The Devores, and their dog, got into one of the few lifeboats escape but...like several Vestris lifeboats... the bottom was rotten and it soon began to sink. A nearbye, almost empty, boat came to their aid, and took perhaps six of the sixty people, including Mrs. Devore and Speedway Lady, before the crew decided 'too full.' The rest of the occupants were driven back with oars and hands as the lifeboat rowed off.

    Anyway, the damaged lifeboat soon filled, rolled over, and tossed everyone out. A few survived, but Mr. Devore was not among them.

    Newspaper skimmers, who read the photo captions of pictures of Ann Devore and her dog, but not the story of exactly how she came to be widowed, began harassing the woman who 'saved her dog but left her husband' with hate mail. She was quite angry about that as late as 1938.

    Speedway Lady was shot and killed in a hunting accident a few years later.
  4. Adam Went

    Adam Went Member


    Don't forget, animals have been around for a considerable amount of millions of years longer than we have!

    Most dogs are pretty good swimmers (cats, not so much) so any who had made it into the water might have stood a chance of being picked up, and I don't recall hearing of any that were found later on - which would seem to suggest that whatever animals left on board were left stuck inside the ship. Very sad.
  5. >>Human beings use reason (the most of the times) and can use their intelligence to improve our world.<<

    Oh boy, there's a questionable proposition for you. I suspect people in places like Bohpal or Chernobyl as well as the Gulf of Mexico might want to have a word with you about that.

    >>With regards to animals, they only live to reproduce themselves, so they can be left to die as long as their number is not largely affected.<<

    In the strictest technical and biological sense, the same applies to human beings.
  6. Augusto's comment was qualified: ‘most’ and 'can'. ;)

    I've been reading some very distressing material from a recent Royal Commission. The number of people who put themselves in harms way, by choice or unintentionally, to save their pets and other domestic animals is striking. Unfortunately for many of them, devotion to their dogs, cats, horses and goats cost their lives too. There are also distressing stories of those who couldn't save their animals or even give their animals the chance to save themselves.

    And that brings me back to Helen Bishop. Didn't she did say at some point that she didn't think her dog should be (or would be?) allowed in a lifeboat ahead of people? Even in that context, it's hard reading that she sent someone back to her stateroom for a fur muff but the dog didn't get a mention. Perhaps shutting the dog away was later rationalised as not realising the situation was so dire (not supported by much of what I've read of Helen’s account) or not wanting to add to the chaos on deck by having a dog running free. I don't know. But, as romanticised a notion as it is, I've always liked the idea that perhaps someone, somehow, did get to the kennels and let those dogs out. They were all doomed anyway, but our potentially mythological animal friend wouldn't necessarily know that. Just that they thought it was wrong for the dogs to be locked up and drowned for sure.
  7. Wow, I did not think my comment would be so controversial. Luckily you are intelligent people and exposed very good arguments against it!

    First of all, I was not trying to justify the mistreating to animals, since I respect them a lot. However, from my point of view, in a life threatening situation such as the faced by Titanic passengers and crew that night, the most valuable thing to spare is human life. One thing is to let the dogs out in order for them not to die drowned in their kennels, and ANOTHER is to give them preference in the boats.

    Of course, human beings are also animals, but they are provided with reason, though. As a result they can decide what to do and change their future, they are creative. On the other hand, the rest of the animals follow their instinct, the cannot decide whether something is good or wrong.

    Even the disasters of Chernobyl, Bophal and the gulf of Mexico are the results by logic and reason (a twisted kind of logic if I may say so) However, we as humans can change that. Animals can´t. That is our responsability.
  8. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    I think if Jim and I are honest ... and some others here ... we would save either people or animals we loved. If you really loved a dog / cat, then you'd try to save it, if there wasn't a human who was more beloved. Or would a philosophical viewpoint prevail? Like, all humans are better than animals, no matter how horrible? Not easy.

    It's all made more difficult by the fact that animals don't think much. At least, not on the philosophical level, so we have to do it for them. They do instinctive stuff, including "loving us", and we have to do the thinking. Not a very good premise for ethics.
  9. Jim Kalafus

    Jim Kalafus Member

    Monica~ As you know, my dog serves as the tornado early warning system. He is better than the National Weather Service~ so far has never been wrong. If he refuses to let me sleep, herds me into the computer room, follows me to the bathroom and waits so that I dont try to sneak back to bed, I've learned to listen. Invariably, the night ends with us going to the storm shelter...

    I've become either a lesser dog, or a member of the sheep herd. Regardless, the dog behaves in a very precise way every time there is dangerous weather and has trained me to do the same. And I've never slept thru the sirens, as others have.

    This has given me a real, perhaps strange to some, sense of obligation to the dog. I could no sooner abandon the dog in a life or death situation than I could forget to bring the children home from boardi.... well, bad example, but I would not be able to walk away from the dog.
    Anne field likes this.
  10. Wow.... looks like I started an interesting discussion about whether saving animals on a sinking ship is valid or not. I myself think that as long as my dog is small enough (like mine is) to not take up an extra space in a lifeboat... why not save it. If my dog were bigger I would have to say that I would save myself in place of my dog. I know this sounds horrible to dog lovers but this would be my first impression now. Who knows how someone would act with regard to saving their pets unless they were actually put in that position. I guess it would depend on my life at the time. If I wasn't married and had a dog and I felt like the dog was my whole life then maybe I would of stayed on the sinking ship with him or her like Ms. Ann Isham.

    I used to think that it was dumb that a dog would survive instead of a human but since I've gotten my own dog I tend to feel different. I would like to think my dog would risk his life to save mine and their are countless stories of this actually happening. I see no fault in Ms. Isham's decision to stay with her dog. To me it was a sweet and tender gesture. After all it was her decision.

    Even though Speedway Lady met a horrible fate think about all of the people that had survived the Titanic to die horribly afterward. I've read several biographies on this site that state that survivors later on would die as a result of the World Wars or drowning.
  11. >>Wow.... looks like I started an interesting discussion about whether saving animals on a sinking ship is valid or not. <<

    And if it was me, I would at least make the attempt. If that means I would have to hide Floofy or Fido under my jacket, so be it. To fail in the attempt would be too much like a betrayal of the sort I don't think I could live with.

    But that's just me.

    As always, your milage may vary.
  12. Adam Went

    Adam Went Member

    Well it's pretty clear cut really, for those people out there who would be happy to jump in the first lifeboat they laid eyes on and not give a second thought to their four legged friends still on board, how about reversing the situation and having the human locked in a cage in which they barely have room to move, in a cold, dark room where nobody can hear you cry out, as the water level rises slowly in the room. I would then like to see how many seconds flat it would take them to change their opinions about whether or not to save the animals.
  13. >>how about reversing the situation and having the human locked in a cage...<<

    Does tend to change one's perspective when they find themselves on the dirty end of the stick, doesn't it? wink.gif
  14. I don´t think that nobody is discussing that leaving their pets to die is a terrible crime, however is something different to give them preference in the boats...
  15. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    I don't think the weight of a pet in the boat would have made much difference. It's their mere presence, and what it represents in terms of "value", that causes the ethical problem.

    My initial priorities, because I have pets, would have been - children, pets, me. That's fairly idiotic, so I might have bumped me above the pets since I was a human mother. But I'd have felt guilty all my life thereafter.

    Who on earth can/could figure out the respective values of loyal but uncomprehending animals, against knowing and useful (but possibly nasty) humans?

    I couldn't. But given a beloved pet against a human I didn't much like or understand, I might have put the pet in the lifeboat. Not too good really.
  16. However we have been thinking about cute dogs and kitties too much. Imagine if I tried to get into the boats whit my beloved snake or tarantula... how would the others react?
  17. Crystal Von

    Crystal Von Guest

    >>Imagine if I tried to get into the boats whit my beloved snake or tarantula.<<

    Would the WSL except reptiles/bird eating spiders on there ships,in the first place?
  18. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    Well, life is never fair Augusto. I'm having trouble envisaging doe-eyed, cuddly tarantulas and corn snakes staring appealingly from their tanks as the ship tilts and the panic mounts. I knew someone 40 years ago who had a large monkey (forget which sort) which simply couldn't be confined as it could unlock anything. I first met him in the kitchen, where he was lolling on a chair watching lunch being prepared, and munching on the discarded carrot tops etc.

    He'd have saved himself, without a doubt.
  19. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber Moderator Member

    Would the WSL except reptiles/bird eating spiders...

    Except them from what, "Crystal"?
  20. Jim Kalafus

    Jim Kalafus Member

    Escept them from the "Women and children first" ruling, perhaps?