Today it was announced that Diesel has been awarded the Dickin Medal, which is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, so we’re told.
I’m sure that even the most fickle follower of the news will not have forgotten so soon the beautiful Belgian Shepherd dog who was shot during a police raid in Paris in November last year.
“Diesel is a truly deserving recipient. His gallant actions helped to protect human life in the face of imminent danger,” PDSA Director General Jan McLoughlin said in a statement.
And now here I am fizzing!
Do you know what? I don’t think Diesel could care less about the medal, because she is dead.
She is dead because her life was accounted of less importance than a human life.
She is dead because she was expendable.
She is dead because she had no choice about her life.
She was used. Made to go obediently and unsuspectingly into places of danger.
Brave? Absolutely not.
The poor girl was unaware of the “imminent danger”, unaware that she was “protecting human life”. She just did what she was told to do,
You may say, “But she wasn’t abused. She looks the picture of health and happiness”. Of course she does. Her handler no doubt loved her and gave her the best possible care – while she was alive. But she was abused and exploited because she was trained to do what she was told to do, even though it was contrary to her best interests for her life.
They could at least show her the respect of getting her gender right!
And more importantly let us give her respect (not medals – of what use are they?) – the respect she merits simply by being a creature with whom we share this planet – a life of equal value and importance.
It is the worst and cruellest fallacy and the most damaging to our planet, that the status and value of non-human animals is bestowed simply according to their usefulness or otherwise to Man.
Awards such as the Dickin Medal simply endorse this bogus and outdated world view. The human animal is just one of many animals that inhabit our planet.
Animals that are equal. Existing in their own right. Wanting to live.
Diesel wanted to live.