So I yammer on, producing details such as:
- her father is an alcoholic
- he's been mentally and physically abusive to her and her family
- then I usually add, "not sexually abusive." Some people are drawn to such accounts, the more lurid the better, but I don't want them to think that's part of the veterinarian's growing up years because it just isn't true.
- the father can't understand why she won't give him the same merciful injection she gives animals in similar circumstances
- meanwhile, I bring up the fact that she had to work her way through college and veterinary school, and if she were to be caught euthanizing a human being she could lose her license and end up in prison
- then we usually have a discussion about why it's OK to euthanize a suffering animal but not a suffering human being
I still believe Brute Heart is a compelling read, especially for any child with an alcoholic parent or parents. Most of these kids, even after they become adults, could use a boost to their self-confidence.