On the Torture of Animals

May 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

I tortured toads as a child. And as a teenager. When I was young, I would sharpen sticks with my father’s old knife and I would walk the creek that ran along the far boundary of our backyard, and I would stab toads in the back as if I were making a shish kabob.

When I was a teenager my buddies and I would cross the river into Illinois or Wisconsin sometimes and we’d load up on fireworks that were illegal in Iowa: roman candles, black cats, bottle rockets. We’d trap toads in empty two-liter soda bottles and shoot bottle rockets at them, or tie all the fuses of a pack of black cats together and light it and shove it into the bottle, slowly exploding the frog to death.

Does that make me a psychopath? Or just a kid who grew up in a hick town. Or are these sort of the same.

There is an adage that says that guilt is something you feel about actions while shame is something you feel about yourself, about your being. Let it be clear: I am ashamed.

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