Down here at HQ we spend a lot of time reading, watching and writing about death related things. And every once in a while, we come across a piece that starts off lively and interesting conversations.
The piece in question this time was a recent news story about a woman who asked for her dog to be put down so it could be buried with her after she died: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-48380370
After chatting in the office, it was clear that we had pretty different viewpoints on this topic. So different in fact, we felt it worth sharing to see what you thought too.
We’ll start with Lola – our social media whizz. Lola’s thoughts:
“While I can understand why this might seem horrible to people as an idea, it does strike me as slightly hypocritical that we can be so upset about a dog being killed while being ‘healthy’ when we don’t have that kind of sympathy or outrage by the millions of perfectly healthy animals killed for food every year in the UK.
It feels slightly odd to me when so many millions of perfectly healthy animals are killed for human consumption on a yearly basis to be particularly emotionally disturbed by one person’s wish for their animal to join them in death, especially when this was a particularly common practice in many societies so long ago. I think the environmental impact of the rate at which we kill animals for food is far more of a concern and worth more focus than a single dog.”
Our Marketing bod, Molly, had a slightly different take:
As I sat by my 10 year old rescue dog, my heart sank reading this piece. Like the dog in the story, mine had an owner who died. Unlike the dog in the story, mine had a chance at a new life. A life that’s full of adventures, love and happiness.
The sheer arrogance of thinking that a dog couldn’t possibly have a life after we’ve died makes me incredibly angry. As does the vanity of needlessly killing a beloved family pet just to lie next to you after you’ve died.
How the family went through with this final wish is beyond me. Mine wouldn’t for a second and, in fact, I have already made plans that if I were to die my dog (Chalky) would find another home with one of them.
The problem we have and the reason things like this are allowed to happen, are due to our sense of ownership of animals. Yes, we feed them and take care of them. But, we do that with children – and are those our property? No. I don’t understand how we can be allowed to make decisions to put sentient beings to death purely because we want to.
What do you think?
Now over to you. What do you think? Would this be something you’d ever consider for yourself? Or, if a family member had this as one of their wishes – would you go through with it?