On the other hand, to watch a horse writhing on the ground suffering in excruciating pain with a twisted gut, which for one reason or another nothing can be done, and to let it continue to suffer for hours, sometimes times days, when you can relieve that suffering with a bullet or a call to the vet, is nothing short of cruel and self centered. Or, to let your dog, diagnosed with bone cancer--an especially painful sort of cancer, suffer through its last weeks in agony when you could help it reach its inevitable destiny a little quicker, is NOT in IMO, acting an STO manner.
I would not think twice shellycheval, I would use that bullet or make that phonecall if the pain was indeed excruciating and nothing
else could be done. The only difference here between my trail of thought and yours is that I would not dare attribute my action as STO. Service to who? The body that is in pain yes, what about the soul? Am I absolutely certain that what I do is in service to that soul? Am I so sure that nature made a mistake putting that animal in pain and I'm here to correct it for the better? I will take the most appropriate action for my level of understanding ie. terminate the animal , but I can never be sure if that was a totally selfless action that benefitted the animal in a deeper level, despite it appearing clearly beneficial in 3D thinking.
Yet, I had something else in mind and I do apologise for treating the subject of euthanasia based mainly on my view of it which is that of old or suffering from terminal disease animals with no means of 'getting better' but with a few days/weeks/months left to live. I'm sorry but I see nothing selfless in having an animal be your companion untill it grows old and can't contain itself. Growing old is natural and I suspect it's a blessing we shouldn't look away from. The western society shuns old age and disintegration of the body with such zeal that penetrates every facet of our lives and I think euthanasia - when used as a normal conclusion for very old pets - is one facet of that tendency.
My point was that under no circumstances do I see any logical argument to spare an entity from old age and the natural suffering that comes with death.
I think so, if an animal is suffering with no end, and there is no way we can help them heal, arguing that this suffering is needed for them is closer to a thwarted rationalization that to an act of conscience, in the end what difference people of consciense is their hability to empathise with others suffering, evaluate the situation and act accordingly.
If we were to accept this rationalization then there is no point in trying to help anyone, in any situation, no matter what, because that suffering will be "full of meaning".
There is a point in helping everyone in every situation that we can discern for what it really is and intervene for the benefit of that person or animal. Maybe I impose limits on my level of understanding when I analyse things so much, but it feels safer than becoming a self-appointed angel of death when no such is needed.
Six years ago I was walking my dog and found a tiny grey griffon-terrier roaming the streets alone. She had a huge tree branch tangled in her fur and she was dehydrated - it was a very hot August. I took her and went to every nearby house to ask if someone knew her owners. When that failed, I took her home and to my surprise after she had some water and food she wouldn't let anyone touch her again, she was biting like crazy!
Next day I took her to my vet who -after a LOT of fuss- managed to examine her and he said she was too old and her body was full of tumours. She was in a lot of pain hence the biting and not accepting anyone to touch her. The only rational choice was to kill her. I went to a couple more vets and also to the state organisation for stray animals to ask for more opinions, and everyone told me the only thing left to do was euthanasia because she was too old, her cancer was everywhere in her body and she was in terrible pain. The vet at the state organisation was wearing a white robe spattered in blood as he was saying that and he added the smart remark "It's not worth it, just buy a new one". I guess that did it... I had my vet operate on her to remove the bigger tumours and now, after 6 years she lives a happy life with my mother.
Strangely enough, the smaller tumours subsided and were not even palpable after one year of simple, happy life, with no extra medication whatsoever. After the operation she experienced no pain -other than the first couple of weeks that she was indeed in a very bad shape- and to our surprise this 'old' dog was running and playing like a pup.
I can't describe the benefit both the dog and my mother are enjoying from their companionship. Yet, this was a contrary choice to every vet's professional opinion, but it was based on my understanding that one cannot deal death for anyone's 'benefit' so I exhausted my other options. Of course, this is nothing but one example among the millions of different examples that could support both arguments, yet for me its value lays on exhausting every option imaginable before concluding that to kill someone is for their benefit.