I shouldn’t have to write very much about the ethics of the United flight attendant who forced a passenger to place the soft carrier containing her French bulldog puppy into the overhead compartment, where it was found dead after the flight. She is an idiot. She is incompetent. She was badly trained, and has no understanding or compassion for animals.
Now the flight attendant is saying that she didn’t know that there was a live animal in the bag. Right.
No, I am reopening the blog, which I thought was finished for the night, to condemn the owner of the dog and every single passenger who was aware of what was going on. I am usually dubious about those who second guess bystanders who don’t interject themselves into abusive situations, but in this case, I am shocked and disgusted that no one, including the owner, made a firm stand against this obvious animal cruelty. Passengers were tweeting about how horrible it was that the puppy was being stuffed in the overhead bin. Barking could be heard during the flight. Yet not one person on board had the courage, integrity and character to stand up and forbid this abuse.
One passenger named June Lara tweeted about the incident, writing in part,
“I sat behind the family of three and thought myself lucky – who doesn’t when they get to sit near a puppy? However, the flight attendants of flight UA1284 felt that the innocent animal was better off crammed inside the overhead container without air and water. They INSISTED that the puppy be locked up for three hours without any kind of airflow. They assured the safety of the family’s pet so wearily, the mother agreed.
There was no sound as we landed and opened his kennel. There was no movement as his family called his name. I held her baby as the mother attempted to resuscitate their 10 month old puppy. I cried with them three minutes later as she sobbed over his lifeless body. My heart broke with theirs as I realized he was gone.”
Forget the virtue-signaling: I’m not impressed with your broken heart. Why didn’t you protest? Why didn’t you, or someone, call 911 and tell the police that someone was torturing a dog on a United flight? Why didn’t you stop what you knew was wrong?
Another passenger, Maggie Gremminger, is grabbing her 15 minutes of fame by telling People,
“The flight attendant told the passenger that her bag was blocking part of the aisle. I could not see it, as I was already in my seat, but it sounded like it was somehow not completely fitting beneath the seat in front of her. After the flight attendant asked her to move it above, the woman adamantly refused, communicating her dog was in the bag. There was some back and forth before finally the flight attendant convinced her to move the carrier to the bin above…My only thought is that if it had been me, it would have been a hard scenario. The flight attendant is the authority figure, who should be trusted. I was thinking ‘maybe there is an improved ventilation system’ or something of the sorts. Also, the owner had an infant and other daughter. Causing a scene before flight could risk being kicked off the flight. I can only imagine she felt stuck in her decision to comply.”
Why didn’t you say something, Maggie? “Improved ventilation system”? What? There NO ventilation system! Have you ever heard of animals being stored in an airplane’s overhead bin? So what if the attendant is an authority figure? Would you have let her demand that the woman’s baby be stored in the bin? After all, there an improved ventilation system…
Kitty Genovese, Medric Cecil Mills, Hugo Tale Yax, Raymond Zack, Eutisha Revee Rennix, and others left to die by unmotivated bystanders were human beings, and of course a human life is more important than a puppy. I see no difference in the ethical void demonstrated by the United passengers and the Americans who let those people die. They all have dead ethics alarms.
These were sheep on board that plane. They refused to get involved when an obvious act of cruelty and ignorance was underway, and they had the opportunity to intervene. I don’t care if the passengers—and the other attendants: what were they doing? Why didn’t they speak up?—were timid, or busy, or what rationalizations they used. In an ethical society, we have a duty to look out for each other. We have a duty to fix problems. We have a duty to confront and oppose wrongdoing when we are in a position to do so. “Authority” is no excuse. This depraved tragedy could have been prevented if a single American on that plane did what this culture is supposed to teach and nurture us to do: take the initiative and prevent wrongdoing. Instead these passengers were tweeting their outrage.
Watch: all the stories in tomorrows news will be about United, which has already apologized and taken full responsibility. But I knew United was a mess.
I did not know that the public was so lacking in basic values and character when authority was being abused.
I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep tonight.