It is enough to know, I don’t need to see as well

I am against animal cruelty.  I don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to prove this.  I am careful about what I buy and where I buy it.  There are some things I do not eat and never will.  I studied animal science at university so have a basic understanding of farming practices and animal husbandry but even if I hadn’t some things are obvious.  I believe the farmers responsibility for an animals welfare does not end when they sell it and if they are prepared to sell their livestock to people who brutalise and torture them they are equally responsible for the pain and suffering inflicted.  Because of this, I have no sympathy for anyone who lost money when live export from Australia to Indonesia was shut down.  They may think I do not see the bigger picture, they lost a lot of money and this is how the industry goes, they may say they didn’t know – I do understand this, and I argue that it is they who do not see the bigger picture and should not be allowed to turn a blind eye as soon as they have sold their product, they should have known, they should have made it their business to know.  They are just as responsible.

I am against animal cruelty.  I support Oscar’s law.  I believe in responsible pet ownership.  I think anyone buying a pet should research into their needs and what to expect first.  I believe all puppies should be vaccinated and socialised from a young age.  I think all dogs and their owners should complete at least basic obedience training and have an understanding of (and compliance with) simple commands like; ‘no’, ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘down’ and that children should be educated in interacting with animals – for example it is important to ask an owner before patting their dog.  If an owner does not train their dog or socialise it and it ends up with behavioural issues this is their own fault, not the dogs. I believe that any cat or dog that is not intended for breeding should be de-sexed and I also believe that cats should either live inside the house or in a cat run – for starters; cats kill wildlife if they are allowed to roam the streets.  If a cat owner lets their cat out and it gets injured or killed the responsibility lies with the owner, not the owner of the dog whose yard the cat got into, not the driver of the car or the person who put out bait for snails.  The pet owner is responsible. Here is a fantastic blog that says all this a lot better than I do!

I am against animal cruelty, very much against it BUT I do not require constant reminding of what humans are capable of.  I do not need to see pictures of mutilated animals, videos of puppies being skinned alive or stories of crimes against animal kind in my facebook feed.  Making me, or others who care, upset is not going to change how we feel about animals but it may change how we feel about you.  I understand you want the world to be aware of what can and is happening but you’re preaching to the choir here and surely I have a right not to see these things.  I love animals, sometimes more than people – they can be sweet, caring, kind and downright hilarious at times and it breaks my heart to see what humans do to them so I would really prefer not to if it’s all the same to you.  I have a choice of course, I could hide status updates or even un-friend people but surely that is unnecessary as I am interested in other things you have to say.  Sure you have the right to post whatever you want but please be considerate of the people who will be seeing what you post, I mean, you wouldn’t put up a picture of a child who had been tortured and mutilated and expect not to upset anyone now would you.  Put up a link by all means but it doesn’t have to be a graphic one – if I wanted to see disturbing images I could just google them.  Seeing them in my facebook feed will not possibly make me any more against animal cruelty than I already am.

I have written this post in response to a barrage of videos and images that have been appearing lately in my facebook feed not to any one post in particular.


medieval madness revisited!

I can’t believe that this time last year I was in Spain spending the day at a medieval festival in the little town of Hospital D’Orbigo.  Or that a few short days will bring the one-year anniversary of the start of my Camino in Sarria.  The first weekend in June each year is a weekend of celebration in fabulous Spanish medieval style in Hospitale and people come from miles around to participate in dressing up, shopping, dancing, traditional games, displays of medieval life, fabulous food, jousting and general merriment overlooking a bridge steeped in history (and scaffolding along with most of the rest of Spain’s wonders that have seen a lot of history) – part of that history is said to have inspired the tale of Don Quixote.

Never having been to a medieval festival before (well, Australia doesn’t date back that far so it’s not a huge tradition here) I wasn’t sure what to expect but hoped it would be marvellous and I certainly wasn’t disappointed!  Here is a picture of the roving clowns performing a tale of the Camino – I got that much out of it at least even though I couldn’t understand most of it!!

The small town evolved into a riot of colour and sound and I spent several hours happily exploring all the festival had to offer.  My biggest dilemma of the day was what, out of all the beautiful things on offer, should I buy to commemorate the occasion and my Camino that I wouldn’t mind carrying with me for the 100+ kilometres of my journey on foot through Northern Spain.

I finally settled on a beautiful copper colour enamelled scallop shell necklace on a leather chain which I then wore for every step of my journey until I returned to Paris and family where such things are not really en vogue (in Paris that is, I don’t think my family would have cared!).

Looking through the windows today at the miserable weather, strong wind, rain and a gloomy, never-ending white cloud cover it is not hard to wish I was back there again in the sun and heat of the Spanish spring/summer but I have those memories and I plan to go back soon and make more – probably the same time of year again so I can visit Hospitale on that first weekend in June and re-live one of my favourite festival days to date! Here’s the original post from a year ago.

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