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Episode VIII: A Question of Dominion


I don't know if this is a nationwide phenomenon, but over here on the West Coast I've been seeing a number of churches offering pet baptisms - Christian churches. It's a nice idea - who doesn't want their kitties and puppies waiting for them when they attain Heaven (though there would be an awful lot of them at that point) - but I wonder about its doctrinal solidity. Not only the whole scene where Adam is allowed to name all of the animals because he is being given carte blanche to do with them what he will, but the blank horror of The Flood. Think about it a bit - God was angry at HUMANS, so he flooded the world, killing all of the humans except for Noah's crowd, and ALL OF EVERYTHING ELSE TOO, except for two of the species that happened to be near enough to the boat during the week Noah was looking for them. That's untold billions of life forms wiped out for no other crime than that they happened to be on the same planet as us, which doesn't speak too well for Jehovah's opinion of fluffies. I tend to think that we can baptise them all we want, but as soon as they get up there, God is just going to fucking cook them and eat them.

Far more pleasant is the sampling we get from the Indian tradition into which Dunsmuth, Livia, and Hippolyta are entering now - where if a person kills an innocent animal in anger, that person tends to get squashed, mightily, and inevitably, for his thoughtless stewardship. Certainly, not all polytheistic systems share this degree of good manners towards one's fellow terrestrial inhabitants. The Greeks had their animal sacrifice, the Romans their wild animal gladiator contests, the modern Japanese their enslavement of fighting monsters in small red and white balls only to be released for the purpose of battle...

- Count Dolby von Luckner