Working in the garden or taking the dog for a walk I hear the guns popping all over the place as the intrepid Cretan hunters try to eradicate what is left of the tiny wild life on this beautiful island. I absolutely despair of humankind. I have been putting off and putting off this Blog all day because I really do not want to write it but it must be done because it is a horror story; not the ersatz titillating violence and horror story that comes out of Hollywood but true life and death horror. The evil deeds man perpetrates against his own kind is horrendous enough: think of what is happening in Zimbabwe where Mugabe and his cronies grow fat and rich whilst half the population evidently are starving, have no recourse to medicine and are literally brutalized: then the latest atrocity being the unholy massacre of 300 innocents in Mumbai presumably by Islamist fundamentalists, but this is mainly not about man’s inhumanity to man but about the atrocities committed by man against the animal kingdom, in particular against inoffensive, friendly, trusting, affectionate, defenceless creatures. The list is a fairly lengthy one. We can start right here in Greece where too many people have no empathy with animals at all. Dogs and cats suffer horrifying deaths by poison, even though it is against the law. We have lost both a dog and a cat to this outrage. Dogs on chains no more than a yard long are kept day and night in steel barrels, fed on a diet of stale bread and water when an owner puts his mind to it, roasting in the summer’s heat and freezing in the winter, with no affection, no stimulus other than to bark at strangers passing by which is presumably what they are there for, and to frighten away predators that could be after a farmer’s chickens. Once it has outlived its usefulness it is not unknown for it to be hung from the nearest tree which means death by slow strangulation.
Further afield, where does one start? The patient little donkey in various parts of the world we know doesn’t have too good a time of it and a charity for horses has this advertisement in the newspaper, “Every year 100,000 terrified horses from Poland, Romania, Spain, and other countries are packed into trucks and driven thousands of miles across Europe in appalling conditions, predominantly for slaughter in Italy. Many journeys breach EU legislation with insufficient stops for water, food or rest. The horses often travel for days at a time. No horse should be made to suffer these unnecessary journeys. Other animals due for slaughter suffer the same way.
What about that gentle giant the mountain gorilla, a truly wonderful creature, being hunted almost to extinction for bush meat served up not just in Africa but, from what one gathers, trendy restaurants for those who should know better but whose taste is all in their mouths?
My sister has sent me two e-mails with attachments, the first concerning happenings in Denmark, the second the flaying alive of animals so that their pelts can make cute little toys. I opened the first set of sickening photographs showing the Danes butchering dolphins wholesale – Dolphins! Those wonderful friendly innocent creatures, the sea running red with their blood, crowds on the shore watching the slaughter, how can this ever be justified? As for the second attachment I’m afraid I simply do not have the courage to open it and never will. The description in the e-mail itself is horrific enough and every time it comes to mind my blood runs cold. A petition has been started to try and stop this atrocity and somehow it must be stopped as must the slaughter of the dolphins.
Christians, Jews, Muslims, how can you believe in an almighty merciful god who allows his all things bright and beautiful all creature’s great and small to be treated in this hideous fashion? It simply does not make sense. I hope all who read this agree with me.