Second Chance: What is Humane?

Second Chance: What is Humane?

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been serving San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties for 27 years. Call 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about our Emergency Response, Community Medical, Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, or other services. View shelter pets and services online:

“A concern for nonhuman animals is indeed a proper part of human life, but we can acquire it, cultivate it, and teach it only in terms of our understanding of ourselves,” Bernard Williams.


What does it mean to be humane? Many would respond with the application of words such as compassion, just, kindness, empathy, benevolence. Others would answer that it means accepting the role and responsibility of stewards of the animals and planet. Some would say it means forgoing the narrow pursuit of self-interest for the greater good.

In the short time that I have been alive I have heard of acts of inhumanity all around the country and world. People hurting other people they think are not like then. People hurting people they are afraid of. People hurting others for what they believe. People are just hurting. Do we need a new definition of it means to be human? To be humane?

Or do we just pragmatically return to the Golden Rule, “treat others as you wish to be treated”? As a maxim within many religions and cultures it seems pretty basic and simple to follow. So if the issue is that humanity has forgotten how to be humane then how can that be re-learned?

Well here is my idea: to become more humane people just need pet power. I know that sounds weird, but hear me out. Pets can indeed teach you to be more humane humans.

Pets are naturally loving creatures. We reward love with more love in return. We readily teach you what feels good and what does not feel good. You just need to listen. We help you to understand that love is the most important thing in your world and in our world.

Evolution resulted in the human species developing the skills so that the species could become stewards of our planet, its environment and all living creatures. That realization carries a tremendous responsibility humanity must accept and face. It seems clear that both human and non-human animals stand to gain from such understanding and stand to lose if humanity continues to deny the role they have inherited.

Start listening to us more carefully. Start listening to your own hearts. Start listening.

Now, about me…

My name is Chester. I am a 6-month-young cuddly kitten seeking a forever home where I can teach the meaning of being humane, as well as reap the rewards of being treated humanely. I enjoy looking out the window contemplating the meaning of life, as well as playing pouncy-pouncy on toys and friends. After sessions of play I like cuddle time on laps or on other furry friends.


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