Dear Orkney News,
Animals are not commodities. The ‘Orcadian’ newspaper had an advertising feature for a shop selling exotic animals in their ‘Pets’ feature last week. I strongly question the wisdom of this.
All too often people buy, even ‘straight-forward’ animals, such as puppies and kittens, only to find that they can’t really deal with them, or that their life-style doesn’t fit around living with an animal – and then the animal ends up in a rescue centre. How much more so, when the animal is un-usual, and takes real knowledge, great commitment, and, often, great patience, to live with successfully.
For the owner, it can produce a troublesome situation, for the animal, it can cause great discomfort, illness and even death.
Try asking the folk at Fern Valley Wildlife Centre near Tingwall, about what happens to many reptile ‘pets’.
I don’t need to labour the point – it’s obvious enough, if you think about it. In fact, I was in two minds about writing this, then decided that I would, as the animals can’t speak up for themselves, so, we have to speak up for them.
Please, ‘Orcadian’, think a bit harder before you feature this kind of item.
And, please, anyone reading this, think hard before taking on a living creature, that you might not be able to properly provide for.
While I’m at it, here’s something relevant to this issue……………
Yours, Bernie Bell, Orkney
A poem by Philip Larkin………………….
“Take One Home For The Kiddies
On shallow straw, in shadeless glass,
Huddled by empty bowls, they sleep:
No dark, no dam, no earth, no grass –
Mam, get us one of them to keep.
Living toys are something novel,
But it soon wears off somehow.
Fetch the shoebox, fetch the shovel –
Mam, we’re playing funerals now.”
‘ve seen it happen, and when the ‘owner’ was a grown-up too.