The second-century Christian philosopher, Clement of Alexandra, authored a great trilogy of works on the development of early Christian ethics and moral conduct. In book two, Paedagogus, he produces a scathing account of the wealthy, pleasure-seeking, gossiping, unfaithful women of the time. An excerpt refers to their preference for fine animals rather than the elderly, widows and orphans:
"These women…pride themselves not in their husbands, but in those wretches which are a burden on the earth, and overlook the chaste widow, who is of far higher value than a Melitæan pup, and look askance at a just old man, who is lovelier in my estimation than a monster purchased for money. And though maintaining parrots and curlews, they do not receive the orphan child; but they expose children that are born at home, and take up the young of birds, and prefer irrational to rational creatures."
From: Philospoher Clement of Alexandra, Paedagogus (Alexander translation) 3.4, by W. L. Alexander, from Ante-Nicene Fathers
In our time and culture we don’t typically expose our babies to die while saving chicks that have fallen from nests. But this dichotomy still exists to a degree, don’t you think?