Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Would you be willing to die to save your pet?

Asked by Dutchess_III (27471 points ) March 26th, 2014

On another thread the conversation has segued off in that direction. Basically there are those who say they’d save their pet over a human. Someone, who agreed with that, said something along the lines of, “Well, would it surprise you if someone saved their own kid over someone else’s kid?”

I’d save a human over an animal any day. I’d save my child over saving someone else’s child. However, if my death would save both children, I’d do it.

I would never die to save either of my dogs, or a bird or a cat or a mouse or any other animal.

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41 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

Hmmmm, probably not voluntarily, but knowing me, I’d run into the highway if they did trying to save them or something like that. So maybe.

Coloma's avatar

I would save an animal over a Ted Bundy any day of the week, yep.
I think all life is equal, because it is, it is human ego that has determined that somehow our species is the superior species. I would save a child over a dog, but if my choice was animal or really fucked up human, the animal would win, hands down.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Coloma We can’t pick and choose imaginary, horrible people we’d let go in favor of our pets. Besides, Ted Bundy is already daid. AND the question was would YOU DIE to save your pet?

I think we all agree we’d die to save our kid, but would we die to save our pet.

longgone's avatar

I don’t know. I do know that I wouldn’t consider dying for your child more admirable than dying for your pet.

I don’t consider humans “better” than other animals in any way. I’ve always thought that to be pretty arrogant.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I wouldn’t die to receive admiration @longgone. I wouldn’t die to be a hero. I’d die so my child could live.

I would not die for a dog whose going to die of old age in about 3 years anyway.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I wouldn’t die to save my pet or someone else’s kid. I’d give my life for my own child or my husband, but that’s about it. And I’d definitely save my kid before saving someone else’s. I’d save my pet over a bad person…or maybe any unknown person. I don’t think much of people in general…

longgone's avatar

@Dutchess_III
“I wouldn’t die to receive admiration @longgone. I wouldn’t die to be a hero. I’d die so my child could live.”
Fair point.

“I would not die for a dog whose going to die of old age in about 3 years anyway.”
That can’t be your only motivation, though, to save the being most likely to live longer? Would you save your pet parrot before saving your child?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Of course that isn’t my only motivation. To me, people, with families and children and spouses and mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters are more important to me than any animal. A dog dying only affects a couple of people, the owners and they get over it in a way that they would never get over their child dying. People dying sends shock waves of pain and grief through many other people.

Juels's avatar

I’m just not that attached to pets. Sure, I love them, but I’m not risking my life for them. For my child, definitely! For anyone else, depends on whether it was an impulse action or if I had to think about it.

this_velvet_glove_again's avatar

That’s a very very hard question to answer, come on now! I know I would do a lot to save my cat’s life, but die for him? Ugh… no. I love him more than most humans I know, and I would kill to save him (not someone I love much) but give my own life? I’d feel guilty forever but I wouldn’t do it, no.

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III Well…just positing a hypothetical scenario, where I would save an animal over an evil human. As far as my pets, I answered this once before, telling the story of when I threw myself off my mare when she bolted down a boulder strewn hill after being spooked by a gunshot in the woods. I made a decision to bail because the odds of her falling with me on her and risking serious injury to her, were very high. I was seriously injured she made it down the rocky cliff without injury.

I don’t know how I would react these days with my 2 cats, but I certainly would risk saving them if at all possible.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How many evil humans do you know, personally @Coloma?

I almost killed myself on my horse once. I got a big burst of energy and set her going up a hill at top speed. Suddenly a branch loomed in front of me. The was, maybe, 6 inches to spare between the branch and the horse. I threw myself sideways in the saddle. I still scraped the living shit out of my back but it could have been a lot worse. I am not annoying!

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III My ex husband is evil, I would have saved my pets over him any day of the week. haha

Juels's avatar

On the flip side… There is no way my cat would die to save me either. So, I think we’re good.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Cat be like, “Wait! Don’t die yet! I’m out of food!”

GloPro's avatar

Well, when we were being chased by a mother Elk, my only thought other than I needed to change my shorts was that I needed to outrun my rottie. She landed squarely on top of me when I flung myself over a ledge and landed in manzanita, so I don’t know if she’d be willing to die for me, either, haha.

ibstubro's avatar

I knew a terrific woman who did die for her pets. The huge old house caught fire with a menagerie of animals in it. She and her husband both escaped unscathed, but he stupidly left her at the rural property while he went for help. The found her charred remains in the house.

I’m still ticked off at her! She was a friend to so many, a sweet, caring woman who always had a sad case in tow. They had the most beautiful “Celebration of Life” party for her. Well, she the party – having made all the arrangements well in advance. Her friends got up and told sweet, funny stories about her and there was a pot-luck dinner and full bar.

ibstubro's avatar

Oh, but to answer your question, “I would not be willing to die to save a pet. As many strays as there out there, just learn to love another.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What, no stories about the pets @ibstubro?

ibstubro's avatar

Here is the shortest, funniest story I remember from the ‘Celebration.’

While the river was high, MaryAnn and her friend needed to drive from their home in a river town to another town about an hour away. The road is at the foot of the river bluff, so the trip took about 3 hours. “High water?”. you ask?
Noooo.
As the river rose the turtles had to cross the road and every time they saw a turtle, MaryAnn stopped and made her friend jump out and carry the poor turtle to safety.

Leanne1986's avatar

I honestly don’t know. I don’t think I would intentionally die so my pet could live but I can’t say I wouldn’t risk my life to save them (in the hope that we would both live!)

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’d sure go back into the house after them, but I wouldn’t run thorough a wall of flame, like I would for my kids. I’d rather die with my kids than have them die and me live. I don’t want to even think about.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I would I be willing to knowingly die to save a pet? Absolutely not. Would I be willing to take some risk? Sure. It depends on what degree of risk I perceive. To be frank I’m not sure that I’d even be willing to knowingly die in order to save someone else, maybe not even my SO.

longgone's avatar

@Dutchess_III “A dog dying only affects a couple of people, the owners and they get over it in a way that they would never get over their child dying. People dying sends shock waves of pain and grief through many other people.”

I’m not saying risking my life to save my dog would be altruistic. If I had a child to save, I don’t think I would save him/her for altruistic reasons. I imagine I’d be acting on instinct, mostly. When she dies, my dog will be missed by a hell of a lot of people.

Coloma's avatar

Organisms of all species die every day, young, old, newborn, stillborn.
Humans are just afforded more grief, but really, there is nothing any more or less special about our organism, just that we are conditioned to believe it so. Somehow we aren’t supposed to die, especially not the very young.

talljasperman's avatar

Yes… I would also die to help ducklings cross the highway. P.S. I don’t have a drivers licence yet so no one need worry that I’m going to run into traffic again like I did when I was 4.

ibstubro's avatar

Honestly, @Dutchess_III, if it was between me and your grandkids, I think your grandkids would have to win out. I haven’t made that much of my life and have little ‘zest’ for it. There’s still a chance one of them could grow up to be someone special, in a species kinda way.

My mom’s family has a tendency to ‘run out of steam’ when it comes to the “zest for life” department. I remember when my sister and I had to go with mom’s mom to have major surgery, and the doctor saying, “There’s no physical reason she’s not waking up. Appears she doesn’t want to…isn’t fighting for life. We’ll just give her time.” She finally woke up. Good Times for the Grandkids!

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’ve risked my life and stopped traffic to save turtles, frogs, ducks/ducklings, geese/goslings, deer and the like. Obviously, I’d do the same for my own pets.

My pets have saved our (members of my family) lives in various ways on more than one occasion. I’d return the favor, even if it meant putting my own life in jeopardy.

My philosophy on life is much the same as @Coloma‘s here.

My personal heroes are Dr. Jane Goodall, Cynthia Moss, and Dian Fossey. If I were able to, I’d live my life in much the same fashion as they do/did.

Dian Fossey’s last entry in her diary, written just prior to her murder, read:

“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.”

Coloma's avatar

@SpatzieLover Standing ovation!
One for all and all for one. :-)

flip86's avatar

No. If it was me or the dog, I’d choose me.

turtlesandbox's avatar

I have a family to support and take care of.

No.

rojo's avatar

I would not do it on purpose but if it happened while trying to save Ayre, yes, maybe.

cazzie's avatar

@Coloma and @SpatzieLover but you know what they say… ‘A dead animal conservationist saves no more animals other than the ones they would have otherwise eaten.’ or maybe they don’t say that. Maybe I just made that up… but it is still true.

Coloma's avatar

@cazzie
It gives me great pleasure to care for my animals all of whom have been rescues.
Like that old saying, it matters to the one individual, even if you can’t save them all.
Turning a blind eye to suffering makes one evil.

cazzie's avatar

@Coloma agreed. I foster a dog from time to time. With my schedule it is all I can manage at the moment. But I feel like if I can give the stressed out mom a break and dote on this giant poodle cross, walk him three times a day and give him long warm showers, we really are therapy for each other. My son also is learning responsible pet ownership and what the demands of caring for a creature entail. Therapy also for him, and he has bloomed with the responsibility. Xar is the first thing he thinks about on his way home from school and make sure he is out and walked, even before I get home. (adorable sight to see little 9 year old Little Man being pulled along by giant black, unclipped standard poodle.)

SpatzieLover's avatar

@cazzie The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is still helping to protect both gorillas and the conservationists protecting them. Though I know what you’re getting at, and obviously I’d rather live to keep working to protect ;)

cazzie's avatar

@SpatzieLover I adore that you know this… and you know I do as well. Dian Fossey is a hero of mine as well as is Jane Goodall. (I was so excited to talk to her through the NPR programme, Science Friday!) but you know they are the exception and not the rule. If you want to really fight the good fight, you need to stay alive and speak for those who can’t. Losing a pet is tragic. My brother’s dog died today. Yellar was awesome and helped raise many many children and his contribution will never be forgotten, but he couldn’t talk and press the case for animals caught in kill shelters or doomed for destruction because they were taught to fight and not love. We need to cure their illnesses, train their hearts and ensure their needs are met because they are the wonderful souls they are and they remind us of our responsibilities to the them and the planet. If we fail in those responsibilities, we are all doomed. We have the gift of judgement and we need to use it.

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