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Nicholas Kristof in the NYT:

I mourned [our family dog’s] passing on social media and received a torrent of touching condolences, easing my ache at the loss of a member of the family. Yet on the same day that Katie died, I published a column calling for greater international efforts to end Syria’s suffering and civil war, which has claimed perhaps 470,000 lives so far. That column led to a different torrent of comments, many laced with a harsh indifference: Why should we help them?

The numerous comments defending sympathy for the pet and indifference (or worse) for the person only illustrate Kristof’s tragic observation.