Animal Harm

It’s not much good pretending that we are all the same in one culture at loving or loathing or using animals…or even eating animals. So cross cultural animal lovers may not hold the same things dear. Adam was told to ‘ rule over the  fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground ‘ interpretated in a variety of ways.

Fish. Fish here are magnificent, very large and delicious to eat.We can cross culturally agree on that. Fresh telapia from Lake Victoria, believe me,they are good. Very good.

And then there are the useful creatures. Goats tethered on the edge of the rubbish with piglets as their playmates.Scrummaging around for rubbishey nutrients for meat and milk production.Smuggling contaminants into the food chain unawares. And the masculinity of cockrels competing to be the  first dawn crier, before impregnating any passing she hen.The idea that these creatures can be pets is certainly alien here.Chicken, ducks and a goose have all been given to my host as gifts, tied at the legs and incidental overheating passengers in the hot bumpy car.They take a trip to a few days of freedom before filling the cooking pot.Just enough time to taunt the chained guard dogs with their day time freedom.Sentimentality,nay, even science about the psychological welfare of the useful beasts is an alien concept here.

So what of the speeding swifts who have cemented the patio cornice, raised their young there and have just departed for Europe. Fantastic catchers of mosquitoes, not differentiatiing between those carrying malaria and those which do not.Eating the other flying nuisances and for me a great asset. Perhaps I’ve persuaded my host not to fumigate the nest or perhaps they have just emigrated in time.

So as a Muzungu, I stand on the side of meat eating, fish loving carnivore with a backward glance at my food sources welfare in life.

But, help me with this one, please. Health theives and destroyers of equipment why would there be a laissez faire tolerance of rats? Not from uneducated or children only but from graduates who care about health,who even treat disease. Local rat traps are sticky pads that keep the beast alive until human comes and kills it…or,unbelievably sets it free again! So cultural differences have their limits.Right here.

No, Mr Ratty and Mrs Ratty and baby Ratties. GO GO GO…. I’ve had new equipment delivered you are dead dead dead. No Trespassing. Be banished! 

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Big Nipper, I love you.

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Nile horses and all sorts of others of God’s Creation

Today was a day of celebration.A celebration of Gods beautiful creation.

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Dawn crossing the river Nile and meeting hippopotamus,and more hippos .No wonder the German name is Nile Horse.These wonderful creatures abide in abundance here. It was a day for observing .
Safari vans are strange environments and need a strong team of lookouts.Only the human will pose and we wanted to observe and be surprised  by the diversity of nature.But one surprise was the human diversity.The keen ‘through the camera lens ‘spotter, the silent,the experienced and the sleepy snoozers,were all part of our team.I wanted uniformity of lookouts but humans offer diversity too  and  it made no difference to a wonderful stage of wild creatures who did not disappoint.Almost too many to mention, all things bright and beautiful ,strange and majestic ,the Lord God made them all.Crocodile and elephants,leopard and hyena,fish and kingfishers,warthogs and monkeys ,cliffs and waterfalls. Some humans wondered why the diversity,some explained ‘survival of the fittest’ .Diversity of worldview and lack of thought of  whom to praise for the staggering beauty of trim ,fit,birds and animals was apparent in our diverse humans. Species watching and mining out worldview and.sharing our own are part of our daily task in communication.We laughed together over supper in the evening at our own need for  a little bit of people watching.

But back to the day of nature .

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And the mighty Nile reduced to a gushing waterfall width of seven metres before spreading to the descending majestic waters lined by papyrus reeds of Ancient Egypt.

And the flies.Barely a bother today
but a great contributor to the wealth of today.After Mr and Mrs Baker ,discovered the falls for the Royal Geographic Society,it was not long before the helpful locals were struck down by Sleeping sickness .Some were eventually evacuated from the area and some were left to die. With the humans reduced to exiles the animals could flourish and a game reserve and national park was formed. The carrier of disease was the Tstse fly . We owe the abundance of Gods creation in part, to activity of the fly. As I write I can hear a fly .Do not underestimate the smallest of creatures or dismiss the stranger who’s human.