The cruelty that mankind inflicts on animals knows no bounds. Care 2 Action has started a petition site to try and stop the production of foie gras and I only hope it is successful. I have long thought that this barbaric custom should be outlawed and have said as much in my writing. I wonder what bizarre mind first thought of it? The whole process is too revolting and the cause of too much pain and should be stopped. We have had battery hens and calves for their brief lives kept in the dark in a confined space so that they could hardly move in order to make veal. In the Ukraine about to host a football bonanza ten thousand street dogs are being slaughtered, some burnt alive. This is akin to the Chinese skinning live animals for their fur in order to make furry toys for the West. It really is beyond belief but unfortunately only too horribly true. The details are quite sick-making. Rhinos are hunted for their horns because idiots in the Far East believe powdered horn is a potent medicine, particularly evidently as far as sexual problems are concerned. The rhino is sedated, the horn cut off, and the animal left to bleed to death. Elephants are killed for their tusks. Seal pups are clubbed to death on ice floes and every hear hundreds of dolphins are herded into a bay in Denmark and there brutally hacked to death. This evidently to “prove your manhood.” Is there no way to stop it? The Danes seem impervious to worldwide condemnation. I don’t know if the custom continues but in Italy a small bird in a cage was blinded so that its plaintiff cries attracted other birds. On Crete people keep what are known as barrel dogs; that is in all weathers, in the fierce heat of summer or the cold of winter, the dog is chained by a very short chain to a metal barrel laid on its side which is its kennel. It is lucky if it receives bread and clean water. Evidently, or so I am told they are there to bark and so keep polecats or badgers away. A Cretan simply cannot understand how people can let dogs into their houses. Dogs are for hunting, dogs are for working, dogs are never pets. This all harks back I believe to the Turkish occupation of the island, the Turks considering dogs to be dirty. When a neighbour was told we had three dogs his response was, ‘What are they for? Are you going to eat them?’ Thankfully it is improving slightly as children are made more aware of the cruelty involved.
The story of Buddy – When we were first on the island our friend Menuous was showing us properties and we discovered a house not too far from here that would have made a truly beautiful home. Unfortunately the owner was xenophobic and was prepared to sell only to a Greek. (As far as I know the house is still unsold all these years later and falling to pieces). It was unlocked and on entering a dark room, no light whatsoever until we opened the door, Menuous said ‘mind the dog.’ Dog? What dog? In the far corner there was the remains of a large dog. I say remains because he was so emaciated there was simply no flesh on him at all and he could hardly get to his feet to stand. Menuous was thoroughly alarmed when I put out my hand to it, ‘No, Glyn! No!’ and I gradually gained its confidence. Up till then I would think its only contact with a human was either a beating or the boot. He was shivering violently. It was heartbreaking. I called him Buddy and for the next few days I walked around there with a bowl of dog biscuits and fresh water, making a fuss of him while I was there. Unfortunately the owner must have twigged or been told what I was doing and resented it because the last time I went around the door had been firmly locked and I never saw Buddy again. He couldn’t have lasted much longer and I would dearly like to know what the man’s thinking was in keeping him. In the UK of course there is the RSPA to look into the mistreatment of animals Here there is nothing like it and stray dogs and cats are lucky (like Merrill who was a stray) if they find a good home. There are ex-pats who take them in and try and rehome them but there are so many and you can’t rescue them all.
A Robin Redbreast in a cage puts all heaven in a rage – William Blake.