Of course being busy with uni (and procrastinating on blog writing) has made catching up on the blog, well, difficult, but I beg to take a short diversion for a moment. Before we finish writing about our trip, and get you caught up on what else has been going on since uni started... which might take a while longer, I would like to share my thoughts for the day.
My day started out watching a preview for the movie "Earthlings", which is about human's cruelty to animals. I have seen quite a few images/videos of cruelty to animals, and even though I think it horrible, I am usually not much effected beyond that, as I am quite good at removing my mind from linking the actual life and spirit of the animal to the dead one. I grew up dealing with death in various forms, and being a hunter also has enabled me to separate myself a bit, but of course when hunting I always try and do what is right by the animal in every way possible. More than halfway through the video I was feeling the same as how I have always felt when watching these sorts of things, very sad about what some of my "fellow" humans (although in a way I wish I could not link them with myself) do to animals, but overall it was not having much more of an emotional effect than that. Then there was a scene of some men skinning a hyena, I believe, which I first thought "that's sad, but it's dead and I have done such things with deer", although I obviously didn't believe these men to being killing it for meat. And then the next shot cut me to the core, there was a close up of the animal's face, and it was still alive! I burst into not just tears, but sobs! At the same time I couldn't believe what I was seeing, and I also was very surprised at how much it hit me! It's interesting how this one particular shot brought out these emotions while all of the other horrible shots did not. Why? I can only really speculate, but I think part of it might be that I have always thought of being skinned alive as an absolutely horrible way to die (yes, I've thought about it, as I'm sure most people who have seen "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" have... most gruesome movie I've ever seen by the way, will never watch it again).
I then started thinking about my feelings, and realized something. When I see cruelty to animals, if it is for a reason I can at least understand (what humans are getting out of it, eg. money, meat, etc.) even though I might not agree with it (the brutality or the reason), I think I have a slight tolerance to in my mind (not that I don't think it shouldn't be stopped). BUT, when animals are treated horribly for no discernible reason at all, that just blows my mind! What the hell is the purpose of skinning the poor animal alive, why, WHY beat seals to death with a club!!! There's no fucking point (excuse my language, but I feel it REALLY is needed here)! I am not one of those "crazy" save all creatures great and small, vegans (I am not dissing them, I love them, I have friends that are them, we are all a bit "crazy" for something, and that's a good thing to be "crazy" about, but it still does not make me like that), but I just can't understand these things. Yes I am going to be a vet (and my God after watching that, it comforts me to know there are people like us that really do care for animals) but I don't care, even if you are someone who doesn't get on with animals much, you have got to be a bit messed up in the head to think some of those things are ok!
I will just briefly mention that there is a big controversy over here at the moment about live export to Indonesia. There were films taken over there of them slaughtering the cattle sent to them from Australia and they were being quite horrible to them. Australia saw this and out of panic from the shock of the public stopped it for a time. I won't go into all of the details, cause we'd be here a while, but I think live export should continue for MANY reasons, and that they should just find a way (and it won't be an overnight solution) to make the Indonesians use stun guns on the cattle first... or just find a more humane way of doing it. That's another thing I don't understand, why take so much time torturing these animals when it would be quicker, and thus more cost effective to just hit them over the head, slit the throat and move on to the next one! It would be better for cattle, and humans! Anyway, there's that.
On my way home from work on Roe Highway I was caught in sudden stop and go traffic (more stop than go) and stayed that way for about 30 minutes (just between one exit and another, it was pretty bad). Now, this never happens, so I knew something must be up. I assumed an accident, and after a short time I saw ambulances rush down the opposite side of traffic, then come up the exit onto our side; I then knew it was an accident. I started thinking about how people tend to get really annoyed in situations like that, and I admit I was starting to but then changed my tune and just enjoyed my music. But what about the people in the accident! It's something that people do think about in those situations, but usually briefly and without much real, honest worry (me included), but I really did tonight.
My inconvenience was nothing compared to what those poor people must be going through, were they ok? Even if they were, it would surely be a horrible night, maybe the worst in their lives, so me having to sit in traffic for an extra 30 minutes listening to Death Cab for Cutie was ok by me in comparison. I jokingly started to think, as I got closer to the accident, that if this just was a fender bender, THEN maybe it would be ok to get annoyed, but it wasn't. The speed limit on the highway is 100 Km/h (62 miles/h), as I drove by the flashing yellow arrow, the 4 police cars, one fire truck, and two ambulances, all with lights flashing I saw the two cars on the side of the road. Both barely resembled cars anymore, and the firemen had had to take the roofs off of both of them to get the passengers out. Looking at the cars I would be very surprised if no one died that night. It's something we tend to think about, but not at the same time, they were just like I was, probably coming home from work, or maybe going to a friends house when they collided into another car whilst merging. I found it very sad, but at the same time very refreshing to put myself out there, to think about these things. I wonder if I had thought about the same things had I not watched that video earlier today?
I challenge everyone to, when they are in a similar situation, instead of getting frustrated that you're going to be late for your hair appointment, or that you're really hungry and want to get home for dinner, to think that you were that percentage of people that gets to go on with your daily life that day.
Death to start and death to end the day.... not happy, but provoking....