Posted By Ann

A younger Bantam hen lived with a rooster and two more hens I had decided in my wisdom (or lack of) would be good companions for her. They were a self contained group who had been together since hatching, and they didn't want her. She ate alone, and slept by herself at the far end of the perch. Eventually I moved her to another run where the resident rooster was her clutch sibling. There was none of the usual disturbance when a fresh hen joins a group, the rooster welcomed her joyfully and she is now one very happy little hen. I learned something about family ties and memory in these so-called simple creatures.

Hens are not alone in being the victims of our patronizing attitude. We talk about “silly asses”, “stupid donkeys” and “stubborn mules”, not only about the animals but people who we believe are foolish. We more often than not call animals stupid when their intelligence exceeds our own!

Cats are not at all “catty” as we use the word. They do not gossip and say spiteful and hurtful things behind people’s backs, they are honest and up front.

We profess to love, almost revere, dogs calling them “Man’s Best Friend” and rely on them to do a wide range of very responsible tasks from guiding the blind, herding our flocks, assisting law enforcement officers and helping in dangerous rescue work. They give us companionship and unconditional love ungrudgingly, yet when we want to say something really denigrating about another person we call them either a bitch or a son of a bitch.

Most unfairly we refer to people unable to get on together as “fighting like cat and dog” yet the vast majority of cats and dogs sharing the same home do so far more amicably than many humans.
Pigs - forced to live appalling and unnatural lives have given us expressions like “Greedy pig”; “pigging out” and “living in a pigsty”.

If we say a person is “bovine” or “cow like” we mean lacking in intelligence and sensitivity. The list is endless and speaks more for the superiority complex we exhibit in our relationship with our animal friends than their shortcomings..
We need to revise our way of describing badly behaved people as “behaving like animals” and instead say that anti-social animals are “behaving like humans”!

Time to think before we speak- and remember we are the species lousing up the world for ourselves and the other creatures who share it with us.

1 Comment(s):
Jennie said...
Totally agree with you Ann. I have just come across your site after re reading cats company, which I have had for some ten years or so. I also love domestic birds and cats, not really into dogs, I find them most un-sustainable. I gues it is being brought up in a farming community as yourself.
August 31, 2010 11:26 PM
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