Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Those are NOT Firth pavers!

I would guesstimate that less than 1% of the animal suffering that goes on in this country is as a result of genuine cruelty. Most people, with the notable exception of myself, if certain folk are to be believed, do not set about to be deliberately nasty.

Things go horribly wrong for many animals however, when indifferent, or alarmingly often, "nice" people fail to either, inform themselves, take action, or take realistic stock of the situation they find themselves and their animals in.

Proverbially ignorance may be bliss, but that is generally extended only as far as the person involved, and the animal/s existence is usually FAR from blissful. NOT KNOWING the minimum care requirements, nutritional needs, or basic signs of illness in your pet/s or livestock is all too common, but NOT acceptable. If you don't know these things it is a bloody good idea to inform yourself BEFORE you acquire the animal/s, but failing that, as shortly after acquiring them as possible. The correct time and place to be asking for nutritional advice for your pony is NOT 3 weeks after it's condition score has dropped to 1, on a message board!

There are some great resources out there online, which can tell you exactly what your horse, (or other animal), needs every day, and Google will find an awful lot of them. It amazes me too, how many competent, knowledgable horse owners know plenty about how to feed, but have never stopped to think about the actual numbers and energy quantities involved, and therefore find explaining how to feed to someone less experienced quite difficult. I personally find it very helpful to have concrete numbers.

As certain major historic events tell us fairly pointedly, major atrocities can happen when people turn a blind eye, or fail to take action, and animal atrocities, (and more minor suffering), occur all too often as a result of these. Sometimes, like in the case of intensively farmed poultry, or pigs, society, almost as a whole, turns a blind eye, in the interests of economic gain, which I guess may make it harder for individuals to stand up and be counted, or take action when they see smaller more personal suffering occurring in their own, or neighbours' backyards. Those who are prepared to take action are often all too few, but deserve our thanks, provided the action taken is reasonable and responsible.

By far and away the hardest people to deal with are those who cannot grasp the REALITY of the situation with their animals. If you cannot convince someone there is even a problem, then there is no way in hell you can hope that they'll endeavour to fix it, and for some reason an awful lot of "animal" people seem to have anything ranging from smallish blind spots, to elaborate fantasies and delusions regarding the animals they take on, or own.

It might be anything from refusing to see that Fido, is no longer the gleaming, flowing, golden coated, retrieving wonder he was in his youth, and is now dragging his arse end around leaving a trail of urine, to thinking it is a good idea to "rescue" an animal whose prognosis is so poor that it dies somewhat horrifically on you, to sincerely thinking the 3 year old that has been severely malnourished since it was in utero, is actually going to make a decent racehorse.

It is often helpful, if you have people around you whose opinion you value, and judgement you trust, to ask for their advice or input regarding whether it's time to have Fido put down, whether the half dead newborn kitten/s you've just brought home should have a one-way, or bi-directional trip to your local vet, or whether you should sell, or give away 90-99% of the horses you own and concentrate on feeding those left, and paying your bills. And if perchance you've managed to drive anyone remotely helpful like this away, then forking out some money and paying a professional, like a vet for example, for their advice is a fucking good idea, and more or less the only responsible option left open to you.


  1. Wooohooo paragraph three Nessie - absolutely brilliant. Although I still feel there is a very fine line between ignorance and arrogance. Sometimes while they know - they 'think' they know best, but to me, that translates to "I know but stuffed if I care".

    Oh and this is thezoo13/tanzychins on TM lol

  2. Few people are prepared to surround themselves with friends who tell the truth, they'd rather be patted and stroked and told they truly care and that's all that matters. They have a very narrow viewpoint and don't see the bigger picture, or even a realistic picture in some cases.
    And Lycia is right... arrogance is all too common. "No one else could possibly care as much as me, therefore I'm the only one who can look after this animal. Never mind the fact I have no food, no money for a vet, and not the faintest idea about what the animal needs."
    People go on about Back Yard Breeders.... a more dangerous bunch are the Back Yard Rescuers.

  3. I totally agree Vickie, the first things anyone wanting to rescue needs to do is take a long hard look at their own motivations for doing so, and set themselves serious, and realistic ground rules regarding what SHOULD be genuine rehab chances, and what is better off PTS.
    Where the line is drawn is best established at the get go, and stuck to, as it removes the blurring that happens when faced with something cute and fluffy

  4. very well put nessie well done.. couldnt agree more

  5. Vicki has a good point "back yard rescuers" *shudders* Ok, yes I do rescue work, think everyone knows that, but I do see a lot of "well I have been doing this for years" that may be the case, but there are always things to learn and it's really (in my personal view point) when we think we don't need to learn anymore - that's really the day to stop. I have also seen so-called rescuers take on a lot in a short time frame and get sick of the 'idea' shortly afterwards and flick them off to other homes where there are no contracts for various things and to me, that is tragic.

    Sorry, but this is something I am really passionate about.

    As for friends who tell it like it is - isn't that a real friendship? Ego stroking - what's the point! I know which one I'd rather have.