A very powerful and hard to watch documentary was aired in Canada this past Wednesday July 28th on Global TV: Revealed: No Country For Animals
I’m not terribly proud to be a Canadian knowing how far behind we fall in the welfare of animals. Dedicated investigators such as Twyla Francois have documented, video- taped proof of the abuse and cruelty that takes place in public and behind institutional doors. Some of the most outrageous cruelty happens at farm auctions in plain sight! And don’t even get me started about what goes on in agri-farming…the conditions these sentient beings are forced to live and die in, the unbelievable pain and suffering that goes on in transporting these animals to slaughterhouses…driving to their destination sometimes as long as 52 hours – 52 HOURS!! – without a break, food or water…crammed into trucks in all kinds of weather conditions…prodded, poked, beaten and thrown into trucks!
Where is the disconnect here? How does this happen? How can we on the one hand kiss and cuddle our pets, buy them expensive gourmet food and toys and clothing (!!) and yet buy meat and dairy at the supermarket that has been the result of suffering animals? Animals that feel pain, loneliness, fear…animals that have just as much a right to a peaceful, well adjusted, HUMANE life as any other living creature. There is also a whole other focus of this documentary surrounding puppy mills…I will say no more, seeing is believing.
We have a long way to go as a species, but thanks to a growing number of caring, conscientious, awake- to- the- plight- of- animals humans there is a shift taking place. For many, myself included, this shift isn’t happening fast enough. Another day that any creature has to suffer at the hands of humans for food, entertainment and money is a day too many. How can we turn our minds and hearts away from the truth? And if we are able to…for how long?
I urge you to watch this documentary. If you have ever loved, felt compassion for another, known kindness…you cannot help but be affected by stories like these. It’s through these awakenings that change can happen.
CLICK HERE to watch and learn what you can do.
I opened my morning paper and on the front page, top right corner was a picture of a gecko with the heading: “XMAS exotica-Pet presents don’t have to come wrapped in fur.” – pause – hmmmm….excuse me, what?! Let me think about that for a minute. Ok, now I’m curious and little warning bells are rapidly firing off in my head….So I go to to Section E1 to read on.
A story about buying pets for your kids for Christmas. Oh! the whole family better be on the same page when it comes to committing to something as major as a dog. You don’t want Fido to end up back at the pet store on boxing day. Then it suggests alternatives to dogs – why not look into smaller, easier to care for pets such as snakes, or turtles – or hey! – cute little geckos (!!!). I could go on and on about what this article says but I want to shout about what it doesn’t say.
First- why on earth is this reporter writing about buying puppies, or ANY pet from a pet store? I wish there were no pet stores that actually sold pets. Please, let’s just buy pet food, toys and other supplies – not actual live animals! There are plenty of rescue organizations where one can adopt a beautiful pet. There are rescues for practically any type of “pet” you could want. It has been well documented that many puppies found in pet stores come from puppy mills. So, given that a dog is such a big commitment, she suggests looking into exotics instead ?! What is the Toronto Star thinking? There are tons of articles out there on endangered species, climate change, environmental issues ( the whole world is focused on the Copenhagen Climate Conference right now, for pete’s sake!). Why promote going out and purchasing a turtle or a gecko? Even if the animals mentioned are not endangered- the mere indication of buying an exotic pet makes my head explode. In case the world doesn’t know – there is a thriving illegal pet trade out there. THIS ARTICLE IS NOT HELPING.
So, go buy little Tommy a Western Hog Nosed snake ( PLEASE DON’T! ). It’ll teach him some sense of responsibility ( GIVE HIM A PLANT OR A PAPER ROUTE! ). This poor snake will get handled by people, live out its life in a glass aquarium – no taste of freedom to live in its natural habitat. What if Tommy loses interest in his snake? What then? Back to the pet store? Neglected ? Or worse…!
It appears to me we still have a long way to go to change the way some people see animals and our relationship with them.
It’s news articles like this one that reinforce my sense of purpose and spur me on to try harder to be a voice for these creatures that can’t speak for themselves.
Thanks for listening.
© anouk bikkers 2010
If you are reading this, obviously you have – or have access to – a computer which implies ( to me) that perhaps you may live in a part of the world that can afford to buy gifts this holiday season. We’re all bombarded every day by ads urging us to buy such and such for so and so. C’mon! Make your loved ones happy! Buy the watch, the flat screen tv, the latest box set of the hottest tv series….blah di blah blah…BLAH.
Now, what if your gift could make your loved ones happy AND help those less fortunate. That’s a win-win, right? There are lots of ways to accomplish this. Donate to a cause, an animal or an organization that appeals to your loved one’s sensibility and put the donation in his/her name. Buy online eco friendly, ethically produced, fairly traded products ( all those great buzz words!). There are a growing number of options – google away!
For example, there’s one site I recently used and would like to recommend- they source the above mentioned type gifts AND with every item you buy they tally up how many bowls of food you have helped purchase that will go to animals living in shelters and sanctuaries.
I love this one: ” 1 Darfur Relief Bead Bracelet provides two months of education or feeds a malnourished child for one week” …AND you are also providing 14 bowls of food to an animal in a shelter or sanctuary AND you are buying a beautiful bracelet. How cool is that!?!? That’s what I call a win-win-win. They are the Animal Rescue Site. Check them out and see for yourself. 🙂
© anouk bikkers 2009
Being a proud companion to an incredible greyhound/lab mix rescue dog ( she’s the dog in my Anouk’s Ark logo! )…this story is very distressing to me. There is a greyhound racetrack in Wisconsin that is closing down. It has 900 dogs! A large number of them are being dispersed among other race tracks – which is horrible!!! There shouldn’t BE any race tracks! These dogs are just a commodity, an entertainment, a source of money- all for our pleasure and their abuse?!?! It’s ridiculous and backward. Aside from that though, there are several hundred dogs that are in need of homes and if they don’t find them they will be killed. Unfortunately the well meaning person who wrote the article can’t spell euthanize (!)…but at least the word is spreading about these poor creatures. They deserve the one on one care and love of a human companion to live out their final days…not to be run ragged until they are no longer “useful” and killed and in this case just killed because a racetrack is closing its doors.
If you want to learn more click here to read the article.