twomillenium wrote:A lot depends on how and what was said to the boys torturing the turtle. Could it be construed as verbal provocation? If so, you have lost a lot, if not all of your justification of use of force. A turtle's life is not worth the life of another human. Like I said, it would depend on what and how it was said when the protector approached the boys. (and the ability to prove such)
That's beginning to stray into what was my area of concern. How do you verbally
and non-threateningly intervene in such a situation, and in such a way as to not surrender your right to self-defense if it gets ugly.
It seems like there's only two ways to view torturing this turtle in a way to defend the turtle's tormentors: (A) I'm only torturing a turtle, it's not like it was your dog or child or something; or (B) it's not really torture because it is only a turtle. It either (A) requires the perp to admit that it is torture, but not a big deal; or (B) requires the perp to redefine torture. Either way, it has the same stink as justifying the torture of a class of children because they have special needs.....and so they are "other".
We struggle and agonize in the public square as a nation about deciding whether or not water boarding a known terrorist constitutes torture, and whether or not torturing that terrorist by means of water boarding is acceptable if it means the preservation of innocent lives. (I am NOT answering that here.) But we are ambivalent whether or not it is torture to abuse a defenseless animal? I don't have ANY trouble answering that question. The turtle was
being tortured, and that torture served no other purpose than the sick amusement of some psychopaths. That leaves me, as an observer present at the scene, having to answer this question: "what kind of man am I, if I will countenance the torture of an innocent animal without any kind of possibly exculpatory purpose like medical research, and solely for the amusement of a psychopath?"
I would HAVE to say/do something. NOT doing anything is out of the question for me. The only question is, how do I do something in a way that protects ME from legal liability, while still effecting relief for the tortured animal?