My thoughts on animal cruelty

Did you know a horse can feel a fly land on his back? A tiny little fly can be felt through all of that hair on the back of a horse. Do you know how I know this? Because I have sat and watched horses swat those flies off with their tails. I’ve seen a bug land on a horse’s leg and the horse bend down and nudge it off with his nose.

Did you know that one deer knows when another deer has an injury? I know this because I have watched a deer with an injured eye, groomed by another deer. The baby deer licked the mama deer’s eye repeatedly trying to help her mama.

Did you know that a dog has the ability to see for the blind, alert it’s owner/parent to seizures, comfort an individual at the exact time they are having PTSD triggers, and guide another human being to an injured person? I’ve seen all of these things.

I did not train my dog to be a seizure alert dog. His love and brilliance did. I did not communicate in any way to my dog that I had a biopsy of my leg and could not walk. Yet, before the biopsy he had never laid on my floor next to my bed, and after the biopsy he did not leave my side until it was healed.

Did you know that pigs and rabbits can be taught to use liter boxes?

Did you know that elephants and many other mammals mourn the loss of a family member much like humans do?

If a horse can feel a fly and react, why do humans whip them with whips and dig spurs into their sides?

If a pig is smart enough to use a liter box, why are they raised in cages so small they cannot even stand?

If a rabbit is smart enough to use a liter box, why do humans think it is ok to torture them with chemicals in their eyes for cosmetics and think the rabbit feels no pain?

If my dog was smart enough to know I was having a seizure, why is the University breeding that same kind of dog with a genetic muscle disease, like mine, to test on them? To watch them suffer like I am suffering, but in a cage.

How is it ok to stab an elephant, to make them do tricks for humans to make money when they are capable of the same compassion as a human being?

How is it ok to put a bird with the ability to fly in a prison/cage just so we can have a bird?

How is it ok to put a bear in a tiny enclosure at a zoo so family day will bring in more money when that bear was not put here for a HUMAN TO MAKE MONEY.

Yet our society thinks it is perfectly normal to keep a greyhound in a pen, never allowing his feet to touch anything but a race track and concrete so that humans can gamble with no conscience about the life being harmed to make or lose a buck.

We have laws against human cruelty. We have laws against animal cruelty. But it is up for debate on what and who deems what cruel. Apparently putting poison in a rabbit’s eye is not cruel or against the law. Apparently, breeding an animal with a horrific disease just to test new drugs is not cruel. Obviously, taking an elephant from the wild and forcing him to do tricks at a zoo or circus is applauded by all the fans who watch and padding the pockets of many.

Everyone has their own opinions. When is a human a human. Is it when a cell divides. Is it when a heart beats. Is it ok to freeze and embryo or an egg. Should there be the death penalty. Should there be abortion. We could discuss opinions until the cows come home on politics and social security and the homeless and disability rights and who does and does not like Trump.

I don’t mind different opinions. I listen to different opinions with an open mind. I don’t like suffering or cruelty or intentional cruelty in any way shape or form.

It disheartens me to know that animals suffer because humans dominate them and have the power to make them suffer if they choose. Most often for their own benefit or a profit.

How can a person think that one animal’s life is worth it and one is not. Their Pomeranian who sleeps with them is worth the groomer and 2 walks a day and sleeping in a fluffy bed, yet, another dog can be kept on a concrete pad to run a race and be gambled on.

We fostered a dog who had only known concrete. We had to teach her how to walk on the floor, on the grass. Even with her horrid life before us she still licked our faces and loved us.

A few months ago I learned that dogs were being bred and tested on at UF for muscle diseases. I saw photos of these dogs. I stayed awake night after night thinking about these dogs. Basically, bred for me! But I don’t want a cure if it comes from the suffering of a dog. Suffering that could have been prevented! If suffering can be prevented it should be!

I could say it is because I have PTSD, am sensitive to suffering, have a gentle heart, that I do not want another creature on this earth that is innocent to suffer. But it is not because of my PTSD or my own suffering or even my own heart that I think animal cruelty for human entertainment and profit is wrong. It is with all of my being that I KNOW it is wrong. Just because man has the power to do the wrong thing does not mean he should. The stronger should not use that strength to abuse.

I’ve helped many an animal while I volunteered at the Jungle Friends primate sanctuary, Mill Creek retirement home for horses, and wildlife rehab, but that is not enough. I have bought cruelty free products, but that is not enough. Just because we CAN does not mean we SHOULD. I look at the horses racing on the tracks all hyped up on drugs and being whipped with the crowds cheering and a tear runs down my face. I know that with these race animals, these animal testing facilities, these meat factories, these cosmetic testing, most people just don’t want to know. Some know and don’t care. It is because of the suffering I endured as a child and the lack of justice that makes me wonder when will what SHOULD matter actually matter.

Maybe I will be able to sleep now that I have written this and gotten it off my chest. My neighbor keeps her dogs locked in her hot Florida garage every day. Animal control is called repeatedly but because they have shelter and water and food then it is ok to have them literally baking in that garage. I sat in my garage one afternoon at the same time her dogs were in their garage. I was drenched in sweat and nauseous in 20 minutes. And I think I will end my blog post right there.

This week’s photo favorites

The first photo is of a great horned owl. You can tell by his ears. He was far away in a pine tree but we saw him fly there and land. His wing span was incredible. Then we ran into a sweet deer family. The baby was grooming the mother as she lay on the ground. It was very endearing to watch. Very! Then we stopped to photograph a snake. All photos were taken in the car. It has rained here non stop for I’d say a good month. It seems to be flooding everywhere in Florida and burning everywhere in California. I wish we could send them some of our rain. So there have been no outings other than some good ole car photography! My husband drives I shoot. He spotted the snake and we stopped near him. I know it looks like I was basically lying on the ground next to him but I never left the car. He is a venomous snake, water moccasin. I thought he was beautiful. Others have said the photo completely freaks them out. He was just sunning himself in the road.

The last photo is of our little squirrel Petunia. She has just given birth after making her nest. She had some drama earlier in the week where a storm blew half her nest down. She frantically came to my window needing help. I had no idea what she wanted because she normally just sits on the window sill when it rains. But this time she was banging on the window and chewing at the screen. I finally went out to see she was carrying her baby and then trying to mend her nest. So I sat outside with her in the rain. I think she was scared and didn’t know what to do. I was very upset for her knowing she was up there all alone with all of those babies in a storm and her nest falling apart. These kind of things really affect me and I know that makes me pretty abnormal in today’s society to fret over the feelings of this squirrel. But that is who I am. Yesterday, the rain stopped for an hour and I went to check on her. She was sitting outside her nest taking a break. I talked to her for awhile and she just looked at me so sweetly. I will post her video after this:

After I watched it I had a moment where I felt badly for telling her to stop chewing the screen BUT just as a mother would do her child…she needed some boundaries. She got my attention and I went right outside. She likes to listen to my daughter sing so when my daughter comes outside and starts to sing she will come down from her nest and forage around near the deck. As soon as she stops singing Petunia goes back to her babies. I’ve raised baby squirrels when I did wildlife rehab and I know the kinds of food she needs so I will set out something for her later. The problem is every other animal around here will come to eat it, foxes, armadillo, raccoons, etc. I’m contemplating putting a pillow under her nest on the ground incase any other babies fall out but with all the rain it would just flatten to the ground in a day.

That’s the sum up of the week’s positive. We saw a gopher tortoise and listened to him eating but for the life of me I could not get a clear photo. But it happened!

Poetry

Horses aren’t meant to stand in stalls

Nor elephants in chains.

Greyhounds aren’t meant for human gain

Nor tigers to entertain.

These atrocities 

Inhumane.

Only monsters remain

Humans replaced.

These monsters trick with their eyes glazed,

“They know not what they do”

I know what the Bible says.

As  these monster’s

Souls are dead.

The animals don’t matter,

No creature,

Nor child.

Their eyes are glazed

So they get by

With their fixed dead smiles.

The masquerading  vile.