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2018年4月湖北自考英语(二)阅读理解翻译辅导(14)

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Let's Stop Keeping Pets

Pets are lovable, frequently delightful. The dog and the cat, the most favored of pets, are beautiful, intelligent animals. To assume the care for them can help bring out the humanity in our children and even in us. A dog or a cat can teach us a lot about human nature; they are a lot more like us than some might think. More than one owner of a dog has said that the animal understands everything he says to it. So a mother and father who have ever cared for pets are likely to be more patient and understanding with their children as well, and especially to avoid making negative or rude remarks in the presence of a child, no matter how young.

It is touching to see how a cat or dog - especially a dog - attaches itself to a family and wants to share in all its goings and comings. If certain animal psychologists are right, a dog adopts his family in a most literal way - taking it for granted that the family is the band of dogs he belongs to.

It is sometimes said that the cat "takes all and gives nothing."

But is that really true? A cat can teach us a valuable lesson about how to be contented, how to be serene and at ease, how to sit and contemplate. Whereas a dog's constant pleas for attention become, sometimes, a bit too much. Nevertheless it is the dog who can teach us lessons of loyalty and devotion that no cat ever knew.

So there's plenty to be said in favor of keeping pets. But with all that in mind, I still say let's stop keeping pets. Not that a family should kill its pets. Very few could bring themselves to do that. To be practical, I am suggesting that if we do not now have a pet we should not acquire one; second, that if we now have a pet, we let it be our last one. I could never say that pets are bad. I am saying, let's give up this good thing - the ownership of a pet - in favor of a more imperative good.

The purchase, the health care, the feeding and housing and training of a pet - and I chiefly mean the larger, longer-lived pets - cost time and money. Depending on the animal's size and activity, it's special tastes and needs, and the standard of living we establish for it, the care of a pet can cost form a dollar a week to a dollar or more a day. I would not for a moment deny it is worth that.

But facts outside the walls of our home keep breaking in on our awareness. Though we do not see the poverty-stricken people of India and Africa and South America, we can never quite forget that they are there. Now and then their faces are shown in the news, or is the begging ads of relief organizations. Probably we send a donation whenever we can.

But we do not, as a rule, feel a heavy personal responsibility for the afflicted and deprived for we are pretty thoroughly formed by the individualistic, competitive society we live in. The first dime we ever made was ours to spend in any way we chose. No one thought of questioning that. That attitude, formed before we had learned to think, usually prevails through our life: "I made my money. I can spend it any way I like."

But more and more we are reading that the people of the "Third World" feel bitter at us in the developed countries (with the United States far more developed than any of the others) for our seizing hold of two-thirds of the world's wealth and living like kings while they work away all day to earn a bare living.

The money and the time we spend on pets is simply not our own to spend as we like in a time of widespread want add starvation. A relief organization advertises that for $33 a month they can give hospital care to a child suffering from kwashiorkor - the severe dificiency disease which is simply a starving for protein. Doing without such a pet, and then sending the money saved to a relief organization would mean saving a life - over the years, several human lives.

Children not suffering from such a grave disease could be fed with half that amount - not on a diet like ours, but on plain, basic, life-sustaining food. It is not unreasonable to believe that the amount of money we spend on the average pet dog could keep a child alive in a region of great poverty. To give what we would spend on a cat might not feed a child, but it would probably pay for his medical care or basic education. The point needs no laboring. That is all that need be said.

让我们停止养宠物

宠物是可爱的,又常讨人喜欢。狗和猫――人们最喜爱的宠物,是漂亮和聪明的动物。担当起照料它们的责任有助于我们在孩子身上甚至在我们自己身上培养人情味。一只狗或一只猫能教给我们许多关于人类的本性的东西。它们比某些人想象的更像人类。不止一个养狗的人曾经说过狗理解他对它说的一切话。所以曾经照顾过宠物的父母可能也会对他们的孩子更有耐心和理解,特别是能避免在孩子面前做否定和不礼貌的评论,不管他年龄多小。

看到猫和狗――特别是狗――对一个家庭是如何地依恋,如何地想要分享家里发生的一切事情,是十分感人的。如果某些动物心理学家是对的,狗以最忠实的方式接受它的家庭――理所当然地认为家即是它所属的那一群狗。

有时人们说猫"索取一切,什么都不给予"。但那是真的吗?关于如何满足,如何安详自在,如何静坐深思,猫可以给我们上有价值的一课。而狗不断寻求人们和注意,有时太过分了。尽管如此,狗能教给我们忠诚和献身,这是猫从不知道的。

于是人们便有许多理由赞成养宠物。但尽管心里明白所有这些理由,我依然要说让我们停止养宠物吧。并不是说一个家庭应该杀死他们的宠物,很少有人能使自己做这样的事。实际上,我是在建议如果我们现在没有养宠物,我们就不要弄一个;第二,如果我们现在有一只宠物,就让它成为我们的最后一只吧。我怎么也不会说宠物很坏;我是说,让我们放弃这个好东西,去支持一个更紧迫的有益的事业吧。

购买一只宠物,照顾它的健康、喂养它、给它提供住处、训练它――我主要指的是较大的、较长寿的宠物――花费时间和钱财。根据动物的体形大小、活动,其特殊口味和需要,我们为之建立起生活标准,照顾一只宠物的花费可能从一周一美元到一天一美元或更多。我从不否认喂养它的价值。

但是我们房子外的事实却不断闯入我们的意识。虽然我们没有看到印度、非洲和南美洲穷困潦倒的人们,我们决不能完全忘记他们的存在。他们的面容不时出现在新闻里或救济组织的求援广告里。也许我们有能力时也送去了一份捐助。

但我们通常并不感到对贫穷的人们负有重大的个人责任,因为我们几乎完全是由我们生活于其中的这个个人主义的、竞争的社会所塑造成的。我们曾经挣得的第一个十分硬币是自己的,我们可以选择花掉它的任何一种方式。没人想到对此提出质疑,那种态度形成于我们学会思考之前,通?;峁岽┪颐堑囊簧?我挣自己的钱,我可以以我喜欢的任何方式花掉它。"但我们越来越多地在阅读中了解到"第三世界"的人们怀恨发达国家的我们,因为我们占有了世界2/3的财富,生活得像国王一样,而他们整天工作以求糊口。

我们花在宠物身上的金钱和时间在广泛渴望帮助和饥饿遍布的时代绝对不是我们可以随心所欲花费的私有物。一个救援组织做广告说,每个月捐献33美元就可使一个患营养不良症的孩子住院治疗――这是一种仅仅由于缺乏蛋白质而产生的严重营养不良疾病。不养宠物,然后把节省下来的钱捐给救援组织将意味着挽救一条生命――几年后,就能挽救几条生命。

没有遭到那种严重疾病的孩子可以用那个数目的半数糊口――不是们那样的食物,只是一般的、基本的、维持生命的食物。相信我们平均花在宠物狗身上的钱能够养活一个特别贫穷地区的孩子是不过分的。拿出我们花在猫身上的钱可能养活不了一个孩子,但它们可能付清他的医疗费或基本教育费。这一点无须详述,这就是所有要说的。

 


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