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! 

image

Big Nipper, I love you.

Advertisements

Slaughter of the Innocents

My host here,laughs a lot. And likes to understand people.He’s seen a lot and laughed a lot and been perplexed by people at times.I think he got it that loose rats might make me scream. Anyway, he’s kind.So he locked the school rats in a cupboard. Just for me. So it was I agreed to take the dissection class.A Rat and I.
The class mentioned before are a great group and we had a lot of fun and overstayed the lesson time.
So.
Mrs Ratty… No,I cannot say I liked you .But you were skinny and much smaller than the giant rats of my imagination. Alas, a skinny expectant one.

image

Mrs.Ratty

image

Four fetuses

So we learnt a lot.Four amniotic sacs to open,four fetuses to handlens. Limbs, eyes, umbilical cords and placentae with a 1cm crown rump length.
And the class did so much work on the five. We saw kidneys,liver, lungs pancreas,heart and then the budding neurosurgeon stepped in and explored spine and brain

image

Oh! Mrs Ratty. You will not be forgotten. And neither will your babies. Six young scientists learning and questioning and curious. A high in their academia will be kept for you five.
Nevertheless, Mrs Ratty did raise a paradoxical emotion. Five less rats in the world = good. Killing before the very first breath of such intimately developed fetuses = bad. And the city of York came to mind….in a land with free contraception we abort the fetuses that could populate a city  the size of York, every year.Nearly 200,000.Remember the city of York as an annual memorial for those not with us and may we strive harder for wanted and loved pregnancies.