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!
Big Nipper, I love you.