Every December, people start making lists. Best of, worst of, most memorable- everyone loves to make little lists that organize the year’s events and data into a nice bite sized chunk. Last week, I stumbled upon CNN’s 50 Best Jobs of 2009. I’m not sure what complicated algorithm they used to come up with this list, but I looked out of curiosity and sure enough, there was veterinarian, smack dab in the middle at Number 25. It’s above corporate paralegal, but below CPA. Sounds about right.
My favorite part of their job description summary is the Quality of Life ratings:
Personal Satisfaction: B
Job Security: B
Future Growth: B
Benefit to Society: A
Low Stress: D
Notice the outlier there? Looks about right, and I think most vets would agree. The grades are pretty spot on, though I will say that “Personal Satisfaction” varies from day to day and leave it at that.
No self-respecting Top 50 list would be complete without opening it to the floor for comments/ discussion/ disagreement, and this article was no different. It’s always interesting to see who cares about the topic strongly enough to be moved to actually make a comment, and what they have to say. Not to be disappointed, right near the beginning of the comment section we meet someone named Jon, who has this to say about my profession:
“Benefit to society? A? Seriously? It should be given an F for wasting money on useless objects. Benefit to society, more like a thorn in our side. I don’t know how anyone could wake up and be ok with themselves knowing they are wasting all these resources on animals, or how you could take an animal to a vet and spend X amount of money on your pet when there are millions of people around the world who NEED medical treatment and DONT get it. You guys are pathetic and your pets are useless to society.”
Yes, well, erm, one can only assume- and fervently hope- that you don’t have pets. From the irrationally hateful tone to this post I take it that your parents own two fluffy Maltese who sleep on velvet bolsters in the master bedroom and eat filet mignon from crystal dishes while you, sad, shoeless Jon, have to live under the stairs and eat cobweb stew.
I could direct you to myriad medical journals chronicling the positive health benefits of pet ownership. I could comment on the role veterinarians play in protecting public health via food animal safety and medicine. I could ask you what you personally are doing to solve the problem of millions of people who need better medical care. But I won’t, because I know you probably won’t listen to dregs such as myself anyway.
I wake up in the morning and I’m OK with myself because I’ve treated a cat, the lone companion of an elderly woman whose husband passed away last year. Because I’ve met dogs who help autistic children function in society. Because had I followed my initial career trajectory, I’d be an MD and stuck treating concrete headed louts like yourself instead of those useless dogs and cats out there who make life better for the pathetic people who are obviously not charitable titans of society such as yourself, you sad, misguided little twerp.
🙂 I haven’t heard “twerp” used lately.
Dr. V says
Isn’t it a great word? I had to chew on it for a few to find just the right word.
amen to that dr v!
twerp was much too nice.
You are a much better person than I, Dr. V. Then again, I haven’t ever really been left as speechless as that man just left me. “Useless objects”? REALLY?? I really hope this guy has no pets, but I assume from his post that he does not, and thank the lord for that.
Romeo the Cat says
Ugh. Just ugh.
Right on Dr. V! Perfect answer! Jon has a right to his opinion. It just would be more interesting if he actually had something to say without spewing.
My wish for Jon is that 2010 brings him greater EQ (emotional intelligence), a willingness to seek knowledge before speaking, and greater respect for others.
He is a troll and not worth the effort..
Dr. V says
True. But I couldn’t help myself. 😉
You are your professional colleagues are “A” all the way! I don’t even know what to say about Jon. (Well, I do, but I won’t.)
Wow. Just.. wow. What a… wow. I can’t even.. the words.. they won’t…. Wow.
I think you deserve an A for being able to write that awesome letter! Lol, I think I would just get so mad that I wouldnt be able to write anything properly 😛 And I think I speak for many others out there when I say that life would be a lot more boring, dissapointing, cold, etc without animals in it…
There’s also been an article floating around (I’ve seen it several places, including the online edition of my local paper, here: http://www.calgaryherald.com/life/devastating+impact+best+friend/2367119/story.html ) about how domestic animals have a large ‘carbon footprint’ due to how much energy it takes to make their food, etc. What I hate the most about the article, aside from how it posits that pets are bad for the environment, is that we should be putting our pets on lower protein diets because it’s better for the environment. (If my cats were eating a lower protein diet, they’d likely still be having digestion issues as they were before they were on a higher quality diet.)
Sorry for that rant, but the posting from ‘Jon’ just reminded me of it….
What I hate is the suggestion that we just get hens and rabbits and eat them… as if that is obviously completely equivalent emotionally to owning a dog or a cat. I like chickens well enough and would like to have a few some day… but a chicken is simply not going to cuddle up to me like my puppy.
Dr. V says
I saw that, but I haven’t spent too much time really reading it. The whole concept seems off to me- especially since I wonder what percentage of the animal protein sources come from animals raised SOLELY for pet food consumption?
Jon needs to read this poem: http://dearprudie.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/a-poem/ and be on his way. (I know I plugged my own blog.. and I really detest when people do that sometimes.. but I thought it fit)
Dr. V says
Aw, I love that poem. 🙂
Susan Montgomery says
Rock on Dr V!
Wow. Love your response to this idiot! I certainly hope you’re right, and he doesn’t have any pets! Yikes.
Lisa W says
Speaking of useless and worthless, ummm, looked in the mirror lately? Big sloppy kisses to you anyway, because we’re much more loving than you,
Sophie, Oscar, and angel Bailey
Oooh, I bristled at that. We spend ridiculous amounts of money on our pets, top-notch food, treats, toys, beds, veterinary care… you name it, they get it. We make our pets as comfortable and happy as we can, because most of them are rescue pets whose owners have either abandoned them or died, and it took a lot of work to get them to trust us the way they do.
But we also recognize the state of our own species. We sponsor a child (her name is Cecille, she’s 9 years old and from Togo) through Canada Plan, a non-religious charity organization. We donate generously to the cancer and heart and stroke foundations every year, regardless of how broke we may be. We give to Child’s Play, a charity run by the Penny Arcade guys who give sick children in hospitals video games and consoles to make their horrible experiences not so horrible. So this guy can go straight to hell, because I guarantee Drew and I give more to our own species than he ever has.
As a side-note, we added a new cat to our household this Christmas. His name is Leo and he’s Tommy’s brother, so he is also 17. He’s like a bigger version of Tommy without the random spazzing, very nice cat. He’s still adjusting, but he’s been pretty good considering Chewy is the first dog he’s ever lived with. Drew’s mom was going to give him to the SPCA cause she’s a terrible pet owner, so we took him home. Why not make his last few years as comfortable as possible, where he can be with his brother? Seemed like the right thing to do.
Dr. V says
Aw, that is so wonderful. (all of it) We like to support Make-A-Wish and the local YMCA. I think people who give tend to do so in myriad ways. 🙂
Leo is going to have a wonderful retirement.
“Cobweb stew” made me laugh out loud! Excellent letter. 🙂
I wanna hear your letter response to this doozy:
(there’s a very long VIN post about it – very cathartic, etc…)
I’ll hold my tongue on the article except to say that I’m really glad THAT guy isn’t my vet…
Wow, that guy is like the tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorist of the pet world. Good lord.
Dr. V says
I can’t help but laugh. I guess he was a terrible vet- how else could one come away with that impression of the profession? I guess throwing others under the bus is much more lucrative.
Dr. V says
P.S. Can you e-mail me the VIN link?
I am so very glad people like you forewent medical school to pursue a career taking care of the pure souls that are the beloved pets in our world…..and blogging back at douches. Having hysterically emailed pictures of prolapsed dog butt to you at 10 pm, lamented over the trials of a stubborn new puppy, laughed with ya over your near-death experiences in foreign countries doing clinics, cried w/ya over the Dr. Death and evil client days, and mourned deeply with you the losses of our shared and desperately cherished furry family members, may Jon die of Rabies.
I just found your blog yesterday via the Phetched blog and I have to say you are now on my daily read list. Your letter to Jon was perfect. I love the word twerp, I haven’t heard that in a while. Obviously Jon hasn’t been along with therapy dogs while they are visiting. In two seconds he would see how important animals are and what benefits they can bring. On Christmas Eve I took my therapy dog to a local nursing home for our monthly visit and had a patient just sob into the fur of my dog while giving her a giant hug because he missed his so much. He was so happy that he had a chance to pet a dog and thanked me for stopping by. That was the best Christmas gift I could ever recieve, knowing that I made that patient’s day a little less lonely.
Dr. V says
I love that you have a therapy job- that’s something I’d love to hear more about! What an amazing Christmas gift from your pup.
I guess that is why that guy’s comment left me so flummoxed- even if you believe pets are below humans and are here to serve us, which I don’t agree with but I know lots of people feel that way- they DO serve many important functions to help us live better. And welcome!
You posted that, right? Oh, please tell me you did.