Thursday, February 06, 2020

Our nutty attitude to animals ... and each other

A wise quotation that dropped into the inbox today was a serious reminder of our very conflicting attitude to our, well, fellow animals.
Over the weekend, my conscience had been prodded about our approach to animals when cycling through some gorgeous Surrey countryside.
I passed two paddocks only a field apart. In one, a number of ponies stood in a circle, heads in tails out, as though they were in conference.

Standing in mud

They stood in mud that seemed to reach their ankles, and it’s true that each wore a sort of canvas cover round their middles, but they looked miserable. Utterly miserable in the cold and the freezing puddles.
Their conversation, if they were able to pass messages, seemed to be about the appalling state of their lives, particularly in winter.
Just fifty turns of the pedals and I saw two or three horses with their young owners. The animals wore smart jackets and were being groomed.
Of course, it could have been my imagination, but it really seemed the ponies shared verbal thumbs up over the pleasure of their pampered lives.
I'm a vegetarian and have been for 20 years and five months and one week (but who’s counting) so I feel free to reveal the wise words of Michael Pollan, a professor and writer, quoted in an admired daily email from Wordsmith.
‘There's a schizoid quality to our relationship with animals, in which sentiment and brutality exist side by side. Half the dogs in America will receive Christmas presents this year, yet few of us pause to consider the miserable life of the pig …
Continues on my blogs for Sailing to Purgatory


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