Marchbooks' Blog

April 3, 2010

Remember the Other Victims

Filed under: Comments from our Authors — marchbooks @ 6:12 pm
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Today’s recession has been hard on everyone. People are tightening their belts and hunkering down like never before. It is a time when we need to all pull together and remember what is important. It is not the big screen tvs, the ipods or the gold rings. The truly important thing is what it has always been – life.

Let us not forget the smaller lives, the lives that some think of as dispensable. The dogs and cats, who are always there to give you love, need to be remembered in these difficult times. As more and more people find themselves losing their homes, the shelters will be filling up. Some people won’t even bother bringing their animals to the shelter, they will just abandon them on the streets to fend for themselves.

It is more important than ever to consider rescuing a pet and saving its life.

Tempers will run hot. People who are angry about their jobs, their finances or their living situations will look to vent their rage on something smaller and weaker. We need to be ever vigilant for signs of abuse and neglect.

Some owners will find it all too easy to neglect the care and feeding of their animals. Horses, in particular, may be left to subsist on just hay. They may be fed only sporadically or out-and-out starved. We need to all be more aware of signs that indicate that these abuses are taking place, then we must intercede and make a difference.

Be aware and, when necessary, step in and save a life. You can make a difference. Rescuing a shelter animal is good for the heart. Give your heart a treat today and adopt a pet – and be sure to have them spayed or neutered.

September 16, 2009

Yet Another Human Cruelty by M.J. Claire

Filed under: Comments from our Authors — marchbooks @ 3:01 pm
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Have you ever wondered about the price of that egg on your plate? I have to confess that I never did. I always considered eggs to be one of the less cruel food choices I could make. Apparently I was wrong. See the article that changed my mind.

What an eye opener this article is. I didn’t/couldn’t watch the video, but I may have to force myself to bear witness to this cruelty. I am always appalled by the way ‘human beings’ trample anything that does not serve ‘our grand purpose’. I was completely ignorant to this horror. I have lived w/the belief that eggs are a source of protein that does not require the murder of its animal donor, just like milk. Why is it always necessary for people to bastardize everything in their pursuit of the almighty buck? This is a brutal and wasteful practice, however, as ignorant as I was in regard to the egg industry, I have no such delusions about the chicken industry & I have to wonder if we would be doing these chicks a favor by relegating them to that system. It would be great to snap our fingers & eliminate the use of fowl/livestock for food. I doubt that will happen in our lifetime. The problem is extensive. Even if we called a halt to this practice tomorrow, what would be the fate of those birds? We, as a country, cannot even treat the animals we consider to be our pets humanely. Livestock does not even have a fighting chance. Add to that the fact that these industries often attract people who enjoy inflicting abuse on smaller creatures (after all, who else would willingly take such a job?) & the outcome is predictible. Awareness, however, is the first step. It takes sites like this to wake people like me from our blissful ignorance.

May 29, 2009

Competition by Janus Kane

Piggybacking on M.J.’s commentary from the other day, I would like to open this discussion – why is competition so important to us? Why are we so driven to compete? It does not sustain us. Competition is not a necessity like food, water or air and yet some of us crave it and hold it in greater reverence than the oxygen they breathe.

I begins early, when we are children. Many parents stress about getting their children into the ‘best’ schools, pushing them to get excellent grades and join and excel at sports and other groups. We soon start to define ourselves by our GPA, sports achievements or other awards. We are encouraged to; jump higher, run faster, be smarter and hit that baseball harder. Parents have become violent at their children’s little league games – all in the name of good, wholesome competition, while children are shunned by their peers because they are not wearing the best shoes or designer jeans.

We continue to compete as we grow older, scrambling for the most attractive spouse, the biggest house in the nicest neighborhood, the most expensive car and the best paying jobs. To what end? The fastest man in the world must some day step aside as someone new steps up to break that record. The prettiest model must someday accept the fact that her looks have faded in the natural aging process. The most affluent among us must still accept the inevitable end that we all must face. All of their prosperity amounts to little more than a number on a balance sheet and a few luxuries that most of us will not enjoy. But, at the end of the day, they will lie, just as cold and dead in the ground as we will.

What will it take for us to realize that these accomplishments are as inconsequential in the great scheme of things as the length of grass on a perfectly mown lawn. Time will come and do its will, leaving our petty accomplishments in its wake.

Once put into perspective, there is nothing wrong with pushing one’s body or mind to the limits of its endurance. Striving for perfection, whether it be faster, stronger or smarter is a worthy pursuit, as long as this drive does not cloud one’s focus on life itself. But, what of the unwilling victims of this lust for perfection? Is it fair for a child to be dragged along, unwillingly, in the wake of their parents’ need to be connected, albeit vicariously, to their spawn’s achievements. And what of the animals that are so mercilessly pushed and prodded for our entertainment?

If an adult male wants to run himself into a heart attack for the sake of pursuing the four minute mile, so be it. Most animal competitions are fairly innocuous: cat shows, obstacle and obedience trials and dressage events.  But, when it comes to blood sports and racing, where immature horses are ridden into the ground for ‘sport’ and animals are starved and tortured to make them aggressive, more sensible minds should prevail.

March 27, 2009

Talk to Your Animals by M.J. Claire

Filed under: Comments from our Authors,Uncategorized — marchbooks @ 5:34 pm
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A cute commercial, I believe the product is Pupperoni, shows an assortment of animals and how we communicate with them: a woman holds up a dress to a great Dane who is holding a sign that says ‘I like the red one’, a dog lies on his back holding a sign that says ‘a little to the left’ as his owner scratches his belly and a Bulldog, sitting by his burly owner, holds a sign that says ‘I’m not going to cry’ as they watch a sad movie. It makes me think about how we communicate with the animals in our lives.

Most of us have come to know when the animals we live with need the essentials: a fresh bowl of water, some moist food or a scratch behind the ear. One of my cats will meow and head butt me until I lift the covers so she can come under and snuggle against me. Another can go for days without any human contact but then she follows me everywhere I go, winding herself around my legs and trying to trip me up, until I give her some much needed attention.

It gets more difficult when these animals that we love so much are not feeling well, especially cats. Felines are so independent that we don’t always notice, especially in a multiple cat household, when they are not eating, drinking or using the litter box. More than once, I have had a cat become ill and I have wondered to myself if I should have seen the signs earlier. In those instances, I can’t help but think how nice it would be if they could hold up a placard saying ‘hey stupid, I’m sick’. For owners with AIDS infected cats, it becomes even more important. Oftentimes, when we finally realize that they are sick, it is already too late for their depressed immune systems.

But not all pet owners are even that mindful. How many households are there where the dog or cats in residence are nothing but an afterthought? In those instances, the animal may be lucky just to be brought inside on a night when temperatures dip below zero. In these homes feeding and watering the animals may or may not get done on a regular basis, shots and regular vetting doesn’t usually occur and the animal is probably not neutered.

These neglectful situations occur because many people do not see the health and well-being of their animals as an important consideration. If they did, our animal shelters would not be overflowing and there would not be astronomical numbers of innocent animals euthanized every year. For these owners, I would say; take a moment and look into the eyes of your animal. They are trying to communicate with you. They can communicate with you, but they cannot do it with a big sign around their neck. You have to look and listen.

On the far extreme of these owners  are the ones who can only communicate with their animals in a violent manner. These are the people who enjoy inflicting abuse on something that is small and defenseless. How can someone actually enjoy looking into an animals eyes and seeing pain and fear? It is incomprehensible to me and yet it happens every day. These people just do not know, or care, that human beings do not have a monopoly on suffering. To these people, I would say, talk to your animals. They are much more than so much fur and bones. Perhaps, if you let them, they can help you find a way to heal the anger that drives you. Because, no matter what abuse you heap on them, the animals in your life will accept you. That is a great gift that should not be squandered.

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