Tag Archives: animals

A Sign of the Times?

As those of you who follow my blog regularly know, it has been bloody hot where I am. So much so that I have pretty much stayed inside my apartment within touching distance of the air conditioner. Well on Sunday that trend broke. So, I decided to do one of my favourite pastimes and go down to the lake to watch the birds.

There has been some recent flooding so my favourite spot was out of bounds. No worries. I chose another and sat back to watch. I saw ducks playing in the water and I saw a big beautiful swan preening within close proximity to those ducks. Everyone seemed to be getting along.

And then . . . an ear shattering sound erupted from several feet behind me. It was a woman who had perhaps never seen a Swan before. The air around me shattered as she burst forth to the edge of the water with camera tightly gripped in her hand or perhaps it was a phone. Evidently the Swan was not facing in the appropriate direction so she proceeded to stage direct this beautiful wild creature. ‘SWAN! HEY SWAN! LOOK THIS WAY!”

Now a few minutes prior to this incident it was quiet. I could hear people in boats a few hundred meters away quietly speaking to one another. I could hear the water lapping on the shore as paddle boats went by. The gentle swish of the canoes as they made their way to open water. It was an idyllic setting. And then she exploded on to the scene.

The Swan looked. As did the ducks, the people across the bay, the paddle boaters and I’m pretty sure most of my small town were jolted out of their reverie and looked. She screamed “I GOT IT!” Whirled around and left. That’s it. She didn’t see the beauty; she saw an acquisition. She had her picture and I doubt she noticed anything else that was going on around her.

A few minutes later a duck with nine or 10 ducklings in tow came to within a few feet of me. These ducklings were so young they didn’t have their flight wings yet. Adorable little bundles of down. There were some sandbags placed to, I guess, stop the flooding and they hopped up on to them and nestle down for a nap. It was an incredible sight!

Every now and then one would stretch its little wings or raise its bum and deftly poop to a distance. Mom kept an eye on me but I didn’t move. I didn’t want to disturb them. After about 15 or 20 minutes, mom and most of the ducklings moved on. Three them sat and watched me for another five minutes. Then one of them raised his little head and the three of them hopped into the water to follow after mom and the rest. I felt blessed to have been a witness.

I feel sorry for that woman. Those ducks would never have approached amid her loud observations of her surroundings. And I’ll bet she wouldn’t see anything anyway. She was too concerned, too focused, on one trophy. She’s going to miss the world. She will have proof of being here but no memory of the experience. Perhaps that is a sign of the times. Life will become a digitized trophy in a .com file somewhere.

I am important too . . .

I recently read an article about animals being using for medical experimentation. It is a horrible practice.  However if the use of animals for scientific experimentation is morally wrong, what do you tell the people who suffer from incurable diseases?  People like me.  How do you explain to them that their suffering is not as important to the world as the suffering of animals?  How do you explain to the child that is unable to walk that we can’t look for a cure because animals must have their rights?  What about the rights of the child?

Every time there are complaints about the sins of medical experimentation they show the most adorable animals with sorrowful eyes and vulnerable demeanors.  Just once I would like them to show the eyes of the child that is dying of an incurable disease.  I would like them to show the demeanor of the man forced to watch his wife die slowly from a degenerative and fatal disease.  I would like them to watch a close friend deal with debilitating pain for which there is no cure.

I do not like animals to be harmed in any way.  In a perfect world all animals would be able to live their lives as nature intended – free.  Just in case you missed it, this is not a perfect world.  Our towns and cities grow and animals are displaced.  We slaughter animals for food and clothing.  We are predators.  We use animals in medical research and I can only hope it is done humanely. I may not like it but I will continue to support it.  I want them to find a cure and unless some of these activists are willing to take the place of the lab rats, I will continue to condone the use of animals.

I need to believe that there will be a cure for multiple sclerosis.  I need to believe that there are people who are trying to find a cure for this disease that has robbed me of so much.  I will not apologize for my disability as if I am an embarrassment to the healthy people of the world.  Listening to some of these activists it is if they want me to one day cease to exist and cease to be an embarrassment. Animals are important to this world in many, many ways.  But so am I.