An awful person poisoned “Jagger,” a prize wining Irish setter. The killing was a terrible cruelty and a serious crime of animal abuse. I hope the criminal is caught and suitably punished.
But it wasn’t “murder.”
Only human beings can be murdered, which is defined as an illegal homicide with malice aforethought.
Yet, the international media is all over this story, frequently calling Jagger’s killing, a “murder.” The Us story is just one example:
A canine competing in the Crufts Dog Show in Birmingham, England, has been shockingly murdered. The 3-year-old Irish setter, named Jagger, who scored second place in his class at the prestigious dog show, was allegedly fed a poisoned steak prior to entering the ring on Thursday, March 5, his owners tell Reuters.
The language we use matters. I love dogs, but the killing of a dog is not an equal wrong to the murder of a human being.
Animal rights activists think to the contrary. To them, “a rat, is a pig, is a dog, is a boy.”
Alas, that attitude leaks into stories such as this, more as a matter of sentimentality than ideology, but blurs proper and morally important distinctions, nonetheless.
LifeNews.com Note: Wesley J. Smith, J.D., is a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture and a bioethics attorney who blogs at Human Exeptionalism.