A good friend emailed me a very interesting link the other night and it has stuck with me. The link shows amazing pictures of a 48 year old elephant named Motala receiving a prosthetic leg to replace the one she lost 10 years ago to a land mine. Now, before I proceed with this blog let me be clear about something...I LOVE animals. I was a vegetarian for years until my oncologist told me I needed to eat meat during my six months of chemotherapy. So, I am not one of those people who are indifferent to the cruelties that happen to animals. I am, however, aware that people are more important. I know that sounds harsh, but lets be honest...if a person had an animal in one cage and a person in the other and said YOU had to decide which one lived, I would HOPE you would pick the person.
All that being said, I really do love animals and, as a fellow amputee, I was happy for the poor elephant when I saw the pictures, but something bothered me. I know how much prosthetic legs cost for a person (mine was around $70,000 - thank heavens for insurance) so I can't even imagine how much one would cost for an animal that size. This elephant's was paid for by donations from people who were touched by the story of how this poor elephant lost his leg. It is tragic, I won't argue that, but so many small children every year lose limbs to land mines and this money could have purchased prosthetics for them. Again, I know this sounds harsh, and in a perfect world there would be enough donations for both - but there aren't. Unicef explains that countless children in other countries have to go without prosthetic limbs because there just isn't funding. Although the pictures of this poor amputee elephant receiving her new leg warmed my heart, it left a bad taste in my mouth when I thought about all the poor children who will never get to walk again. So, if you feel compelled to help one of God's creatures walk again, please donate to the Red Cross and help a child gain his freedom.