Lee Pitts: It’s the Pitts 5-9-11
A group of well-meaning but overly-sensitive people are trying to rid the world of pain and suffering, starting with hot iron branding. Believe me, there’s no one in the world who wants to get rid of pain more than me, but as I look around there appear to be many people suffering much more pain on a regular basis than the calves we brand.
Take professional football players for example. You’ve seen players prostrate on the ground from being hit in parts unmentionable, but is anyone, besides some neglected housewives, trying to rid the world of Monday Night Football?
People get hurt skiing but I notice quite a few animal rights protesters on skis in Vail and Aspen. I once saw a businessman playing racquetball on his lunch hour get hit in the glasses with the ball and he had to take the rest of the day off he was in so much pain. The fact is, sports cause all sorts of painful injuries but I don’t hear anyone saying we should do away with professional hockey or women’s basketball. And think of the poor Chicago Cubs fans. Haven’t they suffered enough pain already?
I used to be a runner in high school and college and I can tell you that the pain I got in my side was almost unbearable, and leg cramps kept me up many nights, but I don’t hear anyone calling for a ban on jogging. Anyone who has ever lifted weights or done 20 pull-ups or 100 sit-ups know there is a lot of pain involved. Does this therefore mean we should do away with all exercise?
I’m sure being hit by another car doesn’t feel good but I notice we aren’t all walking. And from experience I can tell you that eating too many chimichangas or cherries in one sitting can cause extreme pain. Certainly after eating an entire bowl of cherries I was in no condition to get up and run to my momma like the calves I’ve seen do a thousand times after they were branded. I was too busy writhing on the ground.
If we are serious about ridding the world of pain the place I’d start is the dentist’s office. On the morning of an important bull sale I woke up with a throbbing toothache and got in to see the dentist immediately. He had to pull a wisdom tooth and explained he could either give me a mild sedative and I’d experience “minor” pain, but I could work the bull sale that day, or he could put me all the way out but I’d be done for the day. I chose the mild sedative but the tooth proved to be a bit tougher to get out than the dentist originally thought. I can remember thinking that perhaps I should have chosen to be put all the way out as I saw the silhouette of what appeared to be two pound sledge hammer in the light above my eyes. When he hit that cold chisel to split my tooth my wife said you could hear my scream outside in the car where she was waiting for me. I think anyone who has ever had a root canal would agree that in order to rid the world of pain we should get rid of dentists first.
Maybe we should just get rid of all doctors. I’ve had my share of operations and procedures but the two most memorable were an ERCP where they shoved a camera up my nose, wound it over the bridge before turning it downward to go exploring in my pancreas. I’d rather pound a nail through the palm of my hand than do that again. And has anyone ever had a sigmoidoscopy? They pump air up your rear-end so they can see things better. I had one done 10 years ago and I’m still cross-eyed from pain.
I’ve never given birth but from what I’ve seen on TV and heard from some very tough women, I think I’d much rather be branded like a calf. Are we therefore to do away with childbirth because it causes pain? Granted, if we did so, in one generation there’d be no more human pain and suffering in the world. Of course, even without us branding them, the animals would still feel pain occasionally, but at least the animal rightists wouldn’t be a pain in the sigmoidoscopy region to the rest of us any more.
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