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Friday, July 3, 2009

Putting a price tag on human life

I just read the latest headlines coming from Great Britain: apparently police dogs were left in a hot car and died as a result. Not surprisingly, charges are expected to be filed against the handlers. 
But wait - back up a minute. Does anyone remember a few years ago when an Ohio mom forgot to drop her child off at daycare, only to accidentally leave the kid in the hot car all day long? You can imagine the result, which was probably no less than horrific for that mother. But I'm wondering if charges shouldn't be filed anyway - why in the case of the dogs, but not in the case of the mom - where an actual *human* life was lost?
And sadly, after the death of this little girl, it came to light that she had been left in the car before. What the heck?
And yet she still didn't face charges. 
Anymore, I think society tends to place more importance on the lives of animals over humans. I remember several years ago hearing about the raging wildfires in the west, and how brave men and women were placing their lives on the line to quell the flames. At one point, they needed to tap into a nearby lake for more water, but environmentalists wouldn't let them because it would endanger the local wildlife. As a result, some firefighters died that day. 
Who's more important - a fish or a person? This story falls along those same lines. I'm sure the handlers of those dogs will face extensive prosecution, yet the Ohio mom who repeatedly endangered and neglected her child walks free, if only to be shackled by lifelong guilt. 
But I wonder - after reading the story about the dogs, will anyone remember this child and draw the same conclusion? How her life seemingly means less than that of an animal? No job in the world should be more all-consuming than my kids, which is the point of being a mother in the first place. 


mommasara said...

one of the articles said there was a video of her returning to the car 5 times that day, and once even moving it to another parking lot! How did she not notice the baby in the car?!!!!!! Doesn't add up.