Newstalk Breakfast gave air time to a member of the new Animal Welfare Political party during the week. There is something a bit ‘untuned’ about this station when it comes to any topic related to animals. One of the presenters the other morning had an issue with the word ‘sentient’ in relation to animals. He questioned it in a ‘jokey way’! How can someone who juggles all sorts of political and sensitive news stories on a day to day basis struggle with animals being sentient? Last time I checked we don’t unplug them or take out batteries! Is it too much for some people to accept that animals feel an array of emotions – in fact sometimes even more than we do. Is it to get some people off the hook when it comes to dealing with animal cruelty! Well if they don’t feel – ‘sure it’s grand!’I do know some animals I’ve rescued and rehomed here have a huge emotional quotient and are very empathetic – What the world needs more of! And a lunch time presenter from the same station one day dealt with the topic of vegetarianism with a stomach churning sneery attitude, and her lack of ability to just accept people’s reasons for not eating meat was later reenforced when she later talked to a meat eater.
Anyway back to politics! This country needs an animal welfare party – for all the obvious reasons but if you really think about it – the ill treatment and abuse of animals in this country is a reflection of our ills in general. And society’s ills leads to more people engaging with the state’s supports and interventions. I don’t exaggerate! When I counsel young people, I am more concerned for the young people who have no empathy for animal, and feel ‘all will be ok’ for the teenagers who take their dog for a walk or who volunteer at a rescue. Because when we can think of others outside of ourselves and support them – we have more a chance of managing our own stuff and we are less ‘me me’ thinking all the time! Less likely to become narcissistic and we all know the damage narcissists can do! Think Trump Terror!
Anyway I’m off the topic! I think those outside of the animal loving circle need to really explore why they are so resistant to looking at all animals as sentient beings.
Last night I took in another kitten – all alone in the world. She had found pallets in an unused building site and made that her safe spot. My neighbour heard her cries and took her from behind the stacked old pallets. He knew something was wrong and asked me to collect her. She is this tiny bundle of black fur and she was saturated with urine and starving as she stopped herself walking such was her pain. Last night I sat up with her by the fire as I felt it was her last night in this world after the vet explained possible complications. I listened to her purring and watched her attempts to groom herself. Puppy pads and talcum powder have her in a constant dry bed as she can’t move to the litter tray so just pees as she lies down. The second vet visit today has given her till Monday to see will prescribed meds work. If they don’t – her time in this world will end Monday. But until then each day we will fight with her as she is a sentient being who enjoys being petted, loves her kitten milk and craves to engage with the other rescues here. We love her!
Someone somewhere did not neuter her mum. And somewhere out there are her siblings. Just like the three tiny kittens caught in Aldi car park during the week! No bigger than your hand and yet facing the world on their own because someone somewhere did not neuter their mum. And now they are another three sentient beings being cared for by the amazing An Cat Dubh.
So why do we need a ‘one trick pony’ political party? Because animal welfare is in crisis in this country – not because we don’t have the relevant legislation – oh no! We have some of the best – ON PAPER! The problem is – it is NOT being ENFORCED by those paid to enforce it. Yes we are going to need more than one trick to get named authorities in animal welfare legislation to do their job!But with a party there is more hope.
There is a foal on the motorway who will probably die this Winter. Her owners give her stale bread once a week and I give her hay when I can. They stole the bucket I left for water. She has been reported to the department but nobody ever followed up if she was taken! So yes, it would be great to have a party who will shine a spotlight on the horrific cruelty that exists in Ireland whether it’s the puppy farmers with their tomb like breeding facilities, whether it’s travellers who think it’s their right to own a horse to tether them at the side of a road, whether it’s the greyhound industry that dumps greys like household rubbish or Joe Soap who keeps a dog in his garden or on a chain with no interaction or shelter and minimum food! This party may be just about animals – but it’s one of the biggest issues that this country needs to sort out. After all the Dalai Lama said the health of a nation can be judged by how it treats its animals. And we ain’t too healthy at the moment!
Please support animal rescues! They are at breaking point!
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