Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Where have all the animals gone?

There's nothing like a major trauma in your life to encourage you to stop and smell the roses. As I wrote about in my last book, The Art of Terror, animal rights activists are working non-stop to remove animal from our lives. In doing the research for this book it occurred to me that there are so many animals I've never seen and experienced yet I am an animal lover. What about the
generations of Americans who are growing up in sterile cities and subdivisions?
What animals have they ever seen in person?  It's easy to believe propaganda from animal rights activists if you have never experienced animals in person. Pictures and video just do not give the same impression as seeing the animal up close and personal.  Read this story of a woman who came through this same journey in horses and now realizes that her professor in school was an animal rights activist who misled her about animals.  

With this in mind I've made it my goal in the last two years to experience as many animals as possible. 

Yes, the attack on me by animal rights extremists has caused me to become MORE involved with animals, not less. 

For farm animals, I've interacted with cows of various breeds, sheep, goats, bison, donkeys, pigs, chickens, rabbits, etc. I've watched them be judged in show rings.  I've been to a longhorn cattle ranch.  I've seen probably a hundred breeds of chickens. I've seen turkeys, geese, emus, and peacocks. I've seen probably a dozen different kinds of goats.  I've been in a barn when it was feeding time for a whole mess of sows and hogs. It was bedlam. 

They were shrieking loud enough to hurt my ears. They were ramming their steel barred gates and the concrete blocks that lined their pens were shaking from the force. After experiencing this, I understood how some farmers have been killed and eaten by their hogs.  Ugh!  While I love bacon, I"m more than happy to let someone else raise it for me.  I lived in horse country for 14 years and saw horses of various types every single day. I've experienced everything from Clydesdales to miniature horses.  I've watched a team of oxen pull a wagon. 

I've communed with more alpacas than I ever thought I would. I love alpacas!

 I've also learned the differences in them. As with dogs, I've meet "Show Alpacas" with bad temperaments who wouldn't come near humans and I've met "Pet Alpacas" who were just darlings that enjoy being petted and followed me around everywhere I went. I've met alpacas owned by the rich who got into them just for the "profit" (hint, there isn't any) who were so un-socialized that they wouldn't even come within an acre of the fence line where a person was standing.

In fact, alpacas seem to fall along class lines... The richer the owner, the ruder and more unsocialized the animal. The "lower" the class of the owner, the sweeter the alpaca seems to be. Yet as this sad story from author Jon Katz reveals, the animal rights movement is largely class warfare.  Animal rights activists are mainly rich white members of the upper middle class and upper classes with little to no experience in animals. Their targets are mainly minorities, the poor, the elderly, single women, or other targets of opportunity. The very people most likely to own the best loved animals. 

In this journey, I have now met lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!  
The bears were pretty slothful and slow moving.  A nap seemed to be their only goal.   In real life you see how compactly built they are.  Some seem to be just as wide as they are tall.  

The lions too sleep the greater part of every 24 hours. But the real surprise, something you'd only realize in person was.... tigers are much bigger than lions. Tigers are much bigger and much more fierce than a lion. In fact, after seeing the two on the same day, I pretty much have little fear of lions. They are just big cats happy to find a comfortable place in the sun and snooze their days away.  I'm sure a lion "could" hurt me but I'm not too worried about the possibility.  Tigers on the other hand, different story. Much more fierce.  I've even seen white tigers, a tiger that animal rights activists truly hate.  I've read many a false story on the internet about dastardly breeders who "inbred" these awful white tigers, blah, blah, blah.  You know what?  The ones I saw looked perfectly happy and healthy to me and yes, this is a natural variant that does occur in the wild, like it or not.  

It's possible I've simply seen small lions and large tigers... which is why I'm on a journey to see even more of them in different settings to make sure my impressions are correct.  I can't wait!  Lions and Tigers are awesome! 


I've fed a camel! Who else can say that?  I know how they feel and how they chew.  Their mouths were very soft and delicate as they picked the treats out of my hand.  I've met zebras, kangaroos, monkeys, lemurs, and macaws.  

I've actually met a Pennsylvanian Amish dog breeder in person.  You know what?  His farm was immaculate.  His farm put everyone else I know to shame. His farm was magazine perfect.  Better Homes and Gardens perfect. He was more educated and articulate with his 8th grade education than many brain dead PhD holding Washington, DC bureaucrats that I've dealt with.  Animal rights activists slander the Amish as horrific brutal puppy mills in the media.  The Amish don't answer back because that's against their religion, AND they don't use computers or the internet so they don't know the horrors that have been passed around about them in social media.  They also don't allow cameras to take pictures of them or their animals leaving a one sided impression in the media.  (They view pictures as leading to ego and against their vows of humility).  I made it my goal to see for myself what the truth is.  After seeing this man's farm and operation in person, I was ashamed at what has been done to these wonderful people.  You know what?  The love and bond between him and his dogs was a wonderful thing to see.  They adored him.  They were clean, healthy and happy looking and they obviously adored their owner.  Isn't that all that matters?

I've visited the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth, Minnesota and watched a multitude of fish in action in various 85,000 gallon tanks. I visited their aviary.  I've seen river otters, turtles, frogs, and sea horses in person.  I watched my cousin touch a sting ray in one of their "touch tanks".  I wasn't about to touch it myself because the thing kept charging the edge of the pool when people came near it and had an evil glint in his eye.  (Seriously!) 

In fact I now have a bucket list of places to see and animals to experience. All those places that animal rights extremists want to ban and slander in the media as evil "animal abusing" places, I'm going to see. No matter how many years it takes, I'm going to see the Ringling Bros Circus. I'm going to take a horse drawn carriage ride. I'm going to SeaWorld. I'm going to the National Zoo and see a panda.  To see a Giraffe is on my bucket list.  I want to touch an elephant!  My soul sings with joy at the thought of all the fun experiences I will have in the future. I will see these animals for myself and make up my own mind on issues, not what I read on the internet. 

I challenge you to take the same journey that I am.  Visit a farmer, both large and small.  Organic and conventional.  Visit a dog breeder in person.  Go to an aviary.  See a Zoo.  Take a horse drawn carriage ride.  Go to SeaWorld.  Visit an Aquarium.  See for yourself the wonderful world of animals and their loving owners.  

An open mind, what a beautiful thing it is.  

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