Where’s your mama gone?
Anyone who homes an unwanted dog is, in most cases, unlikely to see how they looked when they were a tiny ball of fur.
After taking Snowy, we never saw his rescuer again, but we’ve sent the odd few emails to each other. I sent some of Snowy at a year old, and she sent some to me of him as a tiny pup.
Except I lost them in the sheer volume of emails that swamps us all, so, I determined to find them again, and record them for posterity on the interspheres.
A quick reminder
Puppy Snowy was chucked out at a few days old, by/or in a rubbish bin. The detail is irrelevant, he was discarded as rubbish.
Rocio took him in temporarily, contacted her vet, who is also ours, and he put us in touch with each other.
By the time we took him, he was four or five weeks old. He’d survived being thrown on the street, no mother, no siblings, and continued to thrive with us, well under the age when pups normally leave their mum.
The quote about you can often judge a nation on how it treats its animals is often ascribed to Gandhi, although researching around, it seems to be mythical.
Today, yet another inevitable story arises about problems with dead animals in supermarkets in the UK. Chickens, not for the first time, are full of campylobacter. Or almost full, I add hastily, in case the supermarket libel police are lurking.
The usual arguments abound:
- Cook chicken thoroughly to eliminate all nasties (and dry chicken out so it is inedible)
- Do NOT under any circumstances touch or wash said chicken
- Buy chicken from M&S which now comes double wrapped so, praise be, human fingers and dead chicken flesh shall never meet in mutual contamination
- This is all down to greedy livestock farmers, slaughterers, producers and supermarkets wanting more profit and cutting costs
- No! This is all down to mean consumers who want the cheapest products available
- Organic food is better
- No! It’s got even more horrible dirty diseases
- If you were all vegetarian you wouldn’t have these problems
- Smug, sanctimonious vegetarians, what about soya and mung bean sprout contamination? And your food is handled by these same chicken producers. [maybe us vegetarians need a disclaimer if there is cross-contamination of meat and veg eh?]
- And, on cross-contamination, the old one about not mixing raw and other meats
Talk about re-inventing the wheel. I have little patience with these stories.
- People are in business to make money. That means maximum profit at minimal cost. If you don’t understand that, well, I offer my sympathies
- Organic farmers are in business to make money. They may want their chickens to have a healthy happy life, but they still kill them at the end of the day, or send them to a slaughterhouse
- Buy a cookery book. Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a good start. Although I’m not sure they advocate buying the double-wrapped germ-free chicken from Markses
- Take responsibility for your own life and your own food. I’ve managed half a century of mixed diets and not suffered from food poisoning. And that includes—shock, horror—using the same board/knife for raw and prepared meats and vegetables
- It’s not a time to bring out the same old arguments
But, if Gandhi’s quote about treatment of animals isn’t proven, here are a few others.
Rousseau, because I like him, even though he think he was slightly whacky. Some of what he said was good:
In consequence of the sensibility with which they are endowed, they ought to partake of natural right; so that mankind is subjected to a kind of obligation even toward the brutes. It appears, in fact, that if I am bound to do no injury to my fellow-creatures, this is less because they are rational than because they are sentient beings: and this quality, being common both to men and beasts, ought to entitle the latter at least to the privilege of not being wantonly ill-treated by the former.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality (1754), preface.
So, don’t throw your puppies/dogs in the rubbish bin.
Shelley, because the Romantics were an interesting bunch:
It is only by softening and disguising dead flesh by culinary preparation that it is rendered susceptible of mastication or digestion, and that the sight of its bloody juices and raw horror does not excite intolerable loathing and disgust.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, in A Vindication of Natural Diet (1813).
That will be, make sure you buy your animals in plastic wrap so it doesn’t actually look like dead animals.
If the use of animal food be, in consequence, subversive to the peace of human society, how unwarrantable is the injustice and barbarity which is exercised toward these miserable victims. They are called into existence by human artifice that they may drag out a short and miserable existence of slavery and disease, that their bodies may be mutilated, their social feelings outraged. It were much better that a sentient being should never have existed, than that it should have existed only to endure unmitigated misery.
Percy Bysshe Shelley, On the Vegetable System of Diet (c. 1815; posthumously published, 1929).
That’s a difficult one. I think it’s no to factory farming at the minimum.
And, finally, the last word with Tolstoy:
A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.
Leo Tolstoy, Writings on Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence (1886)