On my way to work this morning, one of those aforementioned creatures decided to dart across the road in front of my car. It was a deer. Fortunately, Emi (my car) is able to stop quickly as well as go quickly. A good firm push on the brake pedal averted disaster. It was enough to toss some things on the passenger seat into the foot well, but it didn't squeal the tires or engage the anti-locks. I didn't quite have to come to a complete stop and the deer passed (visibly somewhat panicked) a few yards in front of the nose of the car.
I'm not sure how I would've reacted had I actually hit it. It would've no doubt done damage to the car to merit at least a stop to check. And the thought of then having to watch the poor animal suffer quite simply horrifies me. I'm pretty well jaded to television and movie violence, but that's because I still know the difference between fantasy and reality. I've seen animals get hit by cars. While it was quite a bit less graphic and gory than what you might see happen to a human in a movie, it had a much greater and more disturbing impact on me. I can only imagine the feelings of guilt that would accompany such a sight if I were directly responsible.