Submitted by Guest Blogger:
Elliott James, Prosecutor Orleans Parish
If you saw a bus careening out of control heading straight for a dog and a human, which do you save?
Well, it depends. What kind of human and what kind of dog.
A study, conducted by Richard Topolski, showed nearly half of the 500 participants picked pet over person:
“Everyone would save a sibling, grandparent or close friend rather than a strange dog. But when people considered their own dog versus … a distant cousin or a hometown stranger, votes in favor of saving the dog came rolling in. And an astonishing 40% of respondents, including 46% of women, voted to save their dog over a foreign tourist…
We jail people who abuse animals, put ourselves in harm’s way in boats between whales and whalers, carry our childhood traumas of what happened to Bambi’s mother. We can extend empathy to another organism and feel its pain like no other species. But let’s not be too proud of ourselves. As this study and too much of our history show, we’re pretty selective about how we extend our humaneness to other human beings.”
[Taken from The Wall Street Journal, based on a recent paper by Richard Topolski, George Regents University]
- 40% of Americans say they’d save their dog over a foreign tourist if both were in danger of getting hit by a bus (newsforage.com)