So I’m part of a bunch of yahoo message boards for exotic animals and I saw a post on a skunk list about this video, talking about what an asshole this guy is. Then there are a whole bunch of comments about how he should be arrested, how seeing this made the person cry etc.
Now, it might seem weird that I’m asking this because I have so many posts that are pro-animals; obviously, I should hate this right?
Well, to be honest, I empathize with this guy and think I might have likely done the same thing in that situation.
When I watched this video, I was scared for the guy and his dog. This skunk did not seem right and was making some threatening moves towards both of them. In that situation, I would have panicked, which would have led to my fight/flight instinct being triggered. Judging by the speed with which the skunk advanced, I probably would have thought that flight was not an option and would have then turned to fight/get the skunk as far from me as possible without risk of being bitten i.e. kicking it.
That all would have gone through my my mind in a second or two. That probably seems fast to decide to kick an animal but that’s what humans do. They react to the threat, and then think once the threat is gone. If they didn’t do that, they would not have lasted long; predators don’t give you time to think.
It turned out that the skunk did in fact have rabies which shows that the guy probably did the right thing, but even it hadn’t; as bad as I would’ve felt about kicking the skunk, I wouldn’t have felt like a horrible person because I know and understand the evolutionary reason for that reaction. I also know what it feels like to not be able to think straight because of the raw terror flowing through me and so I empathize with anybody in that position.
So, I hope I didn’t offend somebody because I really wanted to state my opinion on this