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Father of Lions


A true-to-life narrative of one man's remarkable quest to save the Mosul Zoo.
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Discuss Father of Lions by Louise Callaghan:
Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

Created: 01/13/20

Replies: 23

Posted Jan. 13, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2332

Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 245

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

I’m sure there are good people who don’t care about animals but, personally, I would be hard pressed to consider them good people.


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PinkLady

Join Date: 01/22/18

Posts: 91

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

Yes, I do agree. I find myself much more comfortable with people who talk about their pets, who understand the love that animals can give and the value they provide. Most of the people I am close to are animal lovers


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyl

Join Date: 04/21/14

Posts: 39

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

How people treat animals and vulnerable people tells a lot about what kind of person they are. Usually serial killers start out being cruel to animals.


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 244

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

No, while I understand love of animals and a desire to prevent their demise, I simply cannot understand taking food and water from humans--ncluding his own children, to save them. I'm not sure I consider him good, in fact. Stubborn perhaps, misguided for sure.


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 301

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

I agree with katherinep. While I think people who care about animals tend to be good people, I can think of exceptions. I don't think caring about animals necessarily suggests caring about people, and I think that is an important measure of "goodness" as well.


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rco

Join Date: 11/04/18

Posts: 19

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

I would turn that around and say people especially children who are cruel to animals turn into evil people If you have learned to care and love animals, you will likely apply those principals to humans as well.


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 285

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

katherinep and laurap - both writing above - express, very honestly, perspectives which maybe most of society would not eagerly offer or would be afraid to admit having, and I agree with them. But more importantly, their responses make me want to talk about an aspect of this book that I don't find in any of the reader reviews for this book or in any of the responses here. That idea is simply that not only does the character of Abu Laith seem unrealistic to me, but the entire book seems to be somewhat contrived. Not only did I find it hard to believe that a father of so many children, all living in such dire circumstances, would insist that food be withheld from those children to feed animals, but he was not presented in a believable manner in any way throughout this entire book. In fact, I did not find his character to be developed consistently at all throughout this entire book. By this I mean that not only does he appear inconsistently and less than prominently in the novel, as a major character might be, but when he does appear, there seems to be little fact or proof offered for his action or statement that comes through as verifiable or believable. I'm sorry for straying from the question, but I feel this deserves attention.


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 265

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

Yes I do agree. I am an animal lover. I am devastated when I hear of animal abuse at home and in Africa where big game hunters kill. Also saddened about the animals dying in Australia. I tend to have more friends that have pets then not.


Posted Feb. 05, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulagb

Join Date: 08/16/17

Posts: 114

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

I agree with susiej. Abu Laith is a difficult character to love. His love for animals is rather narrow. Part of the problem may be that survival in the midst of ground warfare skews everything. It also skews the definition of a good person and the ability todo anything but survive.


Posted Feb. 05, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynne z

Join Date: 01/06/18

Posts: 15

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

I also agree with sisiej and paulagb . Just because Abu Laith cared so deeply about animals did not make him likable or believable. I felt that Dr. Amir was more fully developed and definitely more believable. The book really picked up for me on page 269 when he first appears.


Posted Feb. 05, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TaraM

Join Date: 07/17/19

Posts: 54

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

Wow, what an interesting discussion going here!

I agree with others here that Abu Laith was sometimes hard to like and relate to because of his actions. Although I respected his devotion to the animals, I did not always agree with his choices and his lack of concern for his wife.


Posted Feb. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ARR

Join Date: 08/12/19

Posts: 3

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

Yes - I'm not a religious person but isn't caring for and respecting the lives of other creatures central to many religions where we as humans are seen as stewards of the earth?


Posted Feb. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 91

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

I am an animal lover and respect those who do all they can to protect endangered animals. Good people would not harm animals.


Posted Feb. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RRO

Join Date: 07/18/11

Posts: 16

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

Agree with susiej--my feelings exactly. I also believe that you can be a good person even if you don't care that much about animals, but only an evil person would be cruel to the animals. I think some of the disconnect with this book was because of the very different culture described as compared to Western Civilization. There are a lot of things I find difficult to understand about the culture described, but under any circumstances it's hard to see how someone can deny their own children food in order to feed the animals, much as you might love them. I do agree that in the book 'caring about animals' was used to separate the good and evil persons.


Posted Feb. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kathleenb

Join Date: 09/14/12

Posts: 102

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

I love my dog, she is 16 years old and I still call her baby. I love elephants and giraffes and loved going to the zoo as a child in NYC (there were no trees on my street, lol). I still like going to the zoo as a 67-year-old. On one hand, I think it is unfair to the animals to be caged, but how would children as myself ever get to see animals.
I do think I judge people as being more caring if they love animals. And as someone mentioned earlier, most serial killers started out by harming animals


Posted Feb. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
johnw

Join Date: 03/11/12

Posts: 73

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

While I agree that people that I know that are animal lovers tend to be very kind and compassionate individuals to everyone. I also know a lot of good people that are not animal lovers. More consistent are the people that are not kind to animals - they are the same with everyone around them and tend to be self-focused.


Posted Feb. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kellyo

Join Date: 09/15/16

Posts: 53

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

I think being kind & compassionate to other living beings is a good thing. I do think there are people who I would consider to be a "good person" who don't like animals. It doesn't mean they are mean or cruel to them, but they may have never been exposed to animals as a child, or perhaps had been bitten by one and are fearful of them. There are many cultures who don't think as highly of animals as we do in America. I am a huge animal lover and it is hard to imagine someone not liking animals. I do, however, understand some people have never been exposed to animals like I had. When I first read this question an animal hoarder comes to mind. Here you have someone who loves animals and believes in their heart that they are saving them and helping them. Frequently they do not have the means to provide adequate care for so many animals and the animals end up in neglectful situations. Often times these people have some metal illness and poor insight. Are they still bad people? I don't think so. I believe they are misguided. I think in a lot of ways, Abu-Laith was also misguided. He did the best he knew how in a culture that overall, did not think as highly of animals like he did. I believe he did love his animals. He did the best he knew how. His animals did not always get the best care even before the war. They were in small cages and he was giving a baby lion whiskey, etc. I know he envisioned building them an area where they had room and could move around freely. In the meantime, these animals did not have the best situation despite his efforts. Watching National Geographic does not make someone an expert in animal care. Was Abu-Laith a good person, despite his flaws? Probably,


Posted Feb. 12, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 273

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

I believe there was much empathy showing that many people involved in the story were good, concerned people.


Posted Feb. 13, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BuffaloGirl

Join Date: 01/13/18

Posts: 90

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

No. Hitler loved dogs and was one of the most evil humans that ever walked the face of the earth. But I also believe that one cannot be a “good” person without caring about animals, the old, the infirm of body and mind, and the less advantaged.


Posted Feb. 17, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vivianh

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 72

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

No. I love my pets; however, I know many people who are kind to humans who don’t love animals. I have no use for people who are cruel to animals. That behavior indicates sociopathic tendencies. But there are serial killers who have loved their pets. So, I do not equate one who is kind to animals as one who is humane. PETA members have often placed the value of an animal’s life over that of humans, which I do not condone.


Posted Feb. 19, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jennie r

Join Date: 08/06/17

Posts: 48

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

Although I’m an animal lover, I don’t feel it’s fair to expect everyone to feel the same way. Different cultures, or different family values, contribute to how much one cares for animals. So, no, in my opinion you don’t have to care about animals to be a ‘good’ person.


Posted Feb. 19, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Junebug

Join Date: 01/25/20

Posts: 21

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

I do feel cruelty to animals is a warning sign for a person's tendency to lack of respect for all life. I, however, also know that my children would always come first. I also agree with susiej that Abu Laith was not an easy person to understand. While he voiced great concern for the animals, he frequently did not put himself in harm's way to care for them, but rather paid others to risk danger.


Posted Feb. 19, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jennie r

Join Date: 08/06/17

Posts: 48

RE: Caring about animals is used as a litmus test for being a good person throughout this story. Do you agree with that?

While I agree cruelty to animals definitely put a person in the ‘bad’ category, there’s a big difference between cruelty to animals, and simply not caring about them.


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