In a touching opinion column in today’s New York Times, Nicholas Kristof shares his perspective on animal rights. While he is no sentimentalist, he came to love and respect farm animals during his childhood on a farm:
“…Then there were the geese, the most admirable creatures I’ve ever met. We raised Chinese white geese, a common breed, and they have distinctive personalities. They mate for life and adhere to family values that would shame most of those who dine on them.
While one of our geese was sitting on her eggs, her gander would go out foraging for food — and if he found some delicacy, he would rush back to give it to his mate. Sometimes I would offer males a dish of corn to fatten them up — but it was impossible, for they would take it all home to their true loves.
Once a month or so, we would slaughter the geese. When I was 10 years old, my job was to lock the geese in the barn and then rush and grab one. Then I would take it out and hold it by its wings on the chopping block while my Dad or someone else swung the ax.
The 150 geese knew that something dreadful was happening and would cower in a far corner of the barn, and run away in terror as I approached. Then I would grab one and carry it away as it screeched and struggled in my arms.
Very often, one goose would bravely step away from the panicked flock and walk tremulously toward me. It would be the mate of the one I had caught, male or female, and it would step right up to me, protesting pitifully. It would be frightened out of its wits, but still determined to stand with and comfort its lover.”
In November, California voters will have the opportunity to make life for farmed chickens, calves, and pigs a little better. Proposition 2, or the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, will require that these animals be able to turn around in their cages. It’s not much to ask, but it is far more than they have now.
This video of an elephant painting is astounding. Yes, there is Cheetah the artist chimp, but let’s face it: that’s abstract art. But making representations of three dimensions onto two dimensions, with aesthetic considerations–didn’t we all learn that’s something only humans can do?
Well step aside, Janson. Time to add this elephant to the history of art.
Earlier this year I wrote a story that seemed to touch many people’s hearts. It was about my friend Pamela and her beloved Brigandi, a wise soul in the outward form of a chow.
After 16 years of constant companionship, Brigandi had to depart this world.
To know him was to understand what deliberation meant. He understood his mortality, but more to the point, he understood how difficult his absence would be to his best friend. So he determined that somehow, some way, he would find a means to manifest his bond with her after he had gone.
Call it karma or what you will. Brigandi figured out a way to guide to his Pamela another little soul in need of love. Her name is Bramwell—and as you can see, she is strong, Welsh, and overjoyed to be with her new companion.
Love never ends. It just has new beginnings.
Recently a 50-ton female humpback whale had become hopelessly tangled in ropes and crab pots. Fortunately, a fisherman spotted her and called for help.
Divers took to the water in a daring rescue attempt. They had to cut the ropes with knives, and had the whale reacted, they could have been killed with a flip of her tail.
“When I was cutting the line going through the mouth, its eye was there winking at me, watching me,” Moskito [one of the rescuers] said. “It was an epic moment of my life.”
When the whale realized it was free, it began swimming around in circles, according to the rescuers. Moskito said it swam to each diver, nuzzled him and then swam to the next one.
“It seemed kind of affectionate, like a dog that’s happy to see you,” Moskito said. “I never felt threatened. It was an amazing, unbelievable experience.”
Thanks to the San Francisco Chronicle for this heartwarming story.
Normally I would have put it down the drain, but for some reason I didn’t. And when I came back again an hour later, the spider had taken on more of a form. I nudged it again, and it reacted. I was so happy! I whispered to it that we would get it to a nice place, and with that, I carried it out into the garden where it could be in the sun and find all the food it needed.
Such a little story. But don’t all of us creatures need a little help sometimes?
Happy New Year, Friends!
‘I’m NOT a surfer’, originally uploaded by Cynr.
When a surfboard is within sight, she runs to it, jumps on it, and implores her human friends to take her surfing. What a sight she is! With her human standing on the back of the board, she balances on the front, ears flapping, mouth open in the widest possible smile.To see this bulldog throw herself into the water with total abandon is to understand what it is like to do something passionately, wholeheartedly. If only all humans could experience such total joie de vivre!