I have a dilemma. It’s about rescue dogs, although it could be about rescue cats, rabbits, monkeys, rats or mice. In fact it could be any animal which has been rescued from harm, cruelty or abuse either in an abusive location, a “testing” facility or one of those dreadful meat farms or bear bile farms. I am not thinking particularly about furs that have been voluntarily surrendered for instance due to illness or change in circumstances where there are no nefarious activities suspected or perpetuated.
Most people are aware that furs can be, unfortunately, abused. We are physically and mentally traumatised and often times discarded and left for dead in all sorts of places. My fur cousin Minnie, for instance, was found tied to a tree in the middle of Epping Forest in Essex. Thankfully she was spotted, rescued and now lives a wonderful life with love and fun surrounding her. She is a lucky one.
My brother Lenny was rescued from Cyprus by the wonderful ladies of Cyprus Beagles who sent him to the UK and he is now also loved very much, despite his tendency to bite me regularly. We don’t know how he was treated before he was rescued. We think he was initially going to be a hunting dog but either escaped or was deemed unsuitable so was just discarded. He doesn’t seem to have any irrational fears although he does bark at people on bicycles as well as people who carry rucksacks.
Anyway onto the point of all this. There was a video on one of the accounts I follow on Twitter. I watched a little pup being rescued from the middle of a waste water system, possibly somewhere on the West Coast of North America. The little chap was emaciated, frightened, mangey, had discharge from one of his eyes and generally looked pretty beaten up. The kind people rescued him, took him to the vet and when they took x-rays it looked like he had also been shot with a pellet gun. The vet fixed him up, the people gave him plenty of baths, cleaned his eyes, fed him and generally gave him love and cuddles. He’s now in a happy home. Many people commented on the post, expressing their sadness, their anger and asking if the little chap was now ok. The comment that made me wonder was “I just fast forwarded to the ending”.
Herein lies my dilemma. If people know about the abuse, and they see how it happened even without the graphic part of the actual abuse, are they in a better position to do something about it? If people “know of” the abuse and avoid actually seeing the condition and trauma of the relevant dog before the good bit at the end, are they doing themselves and the dog somewhat of a dis-service? I don’t mean that in a horrible way as I know that there are people who do not like seeing violence or injuries inflicted upon humans or animals . I completely understand that. Let’s be honest it isn’t very pleasant.
Some of the videos floating around the internet just cheapen and glorify the terrible condition of the fur involved. Other videos show the triumph over initial adversity suffered by the person or fur which usually makes our hearts sing and we feel happy. But without seeing the initial adversity, how do we know what has happened in each instance and thereby invoke our rage, fear or concern? I suppose I am wondering if people are aware of the abuse or if there is a perception that abuse happens so it must be bad and “I don’t need to see it”. Maybe people have seen it and been so upset by it, they don’t want to see it again. All are valid and completely understandable.
I know I am going on a bit however I would like to give one example. Beagles in laboratories. Pretty much everyone knows that some of my beagle brothers and sisters are routinely tested on for all sorts of “reasons” from making us inhale stuff, to squirting stuff in our eyes, burning us to test creams and lotions and testing our vital organs whilst we are conscious. All pretty awful and I am thankful that I was not a laboratory beagle. However what people don’t usually know is that, in some facilities, they cut our vocal cords to stop us crying out in pain when they’re doing these experiments upon us. Not all places but some certainly use this practice. There are companies that breed us specifically for use within a laboratory environment, with beagles living in wire cages and never seeing grass, smelling fresh air or running around playing. At the end of our useful life often we are killed. I could say euthanised but that puts a pretty glow on it for me. Do people actually know what goes on in these terrible places?
I am not sure if I have explained what I really feel in this blog. There isn’t really an answer to this conundrum for me. I apologise if I upset people by bringing up a sad and horrible subject. I shall go back to watching over Lenny to make sure he is safe and loved.
4 thoughts on “To see or not to see”
Some dogs have a very sad life
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We do what we can to move forward.
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I applaud your wanting to delve into a hard topic. Hard, because we humans cannot find our way out of it. If I and all the lovely beagles who had ever lived with me had their way, there would be no more beagle puppy mills catering to the laboratory business. As you say, there are some hard, hard videos out there, and how to get people to watch when these pictures are so sad. I have watched some of them, and I have to tell you, I too have turned away. It is too hard to watch our beloved furs tortured. How do we make people see the awfulness? What can be done?
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Thank you. I don’t know what can be done. The problem is multi faced. I can understand that some people are squeamish and don’t like to see horrible things happening to animals in general, as well as to humans. The breeding of puppies for use in experiments is, in my view, abhorrent. The use of animals to test all sorts of household products (for instance) is outdated, cruel and utterly unnecessary. Take shampoo. Everyone knows that shampoo stings when it gets in your eyes. Your parents tell you that when you are small and you always remember these things. Shampoo doesn’t need to be tested on us, not even due to the requirements of certain countries that these conglomerates sell to. Maybe these companies need to grow some morals and say no we aren’t trading with you whilst this barbarism exists. However, that hits profits which hurts the owners of the puppy breeding facilities amongst others. The testing of other products such as bleach is equally barbaric. Everyone from a very young age knows that you dont drink, smell, sniff or play with bleach or drain cleaner. So why make us drink it or have us inhale it?
Then we turn to deliberately injuring animals so people can test creams and lotions and sprays which help to stop burns, sores and lacerations. Why? Why are people seemingly so hellbent on hurting one another and in the course of getting better at maiming and killing, they need to test how to make themselves better. Just stop trying to be mean and awful to one another.
Sorry I am getting upset with it all. Back to the point. There is violence towards animals. I realise why some people don’t want to see the videos. I also realise why people do need to see the video so they can actually see the awful actions of a relatively small number of people. Then, I think, they are better prepared to do something about the terrible cruelty. I think it’s the “perception” of cruelty that I wonder most about.
I don’t know really. As you can see I am as confused about it as I was before.