Friday, July 17, 2009

Bullfighting - What Do You Think?

Okay, apparently I'm just a chatty little wench tonight, because I'm on the third post of the evening...

But I was reading about a book that has something to do with Spain and its famous matadors and bullfighting and Hemingway, etc. -- all that excessively butch stuff. And of course, bullfighting is one of those just absolutely lovely inventions of man (and yeah, it's a guy thing -- I just can't even imagine a woman coming up with something so vicious and blatantly unfair) that ends up with wounded (and I guess, usually dead) animals.

Ouch! WHY would anyone voluntarily DO this kind of thing?

This topic may be a stretch for a disabled pets blog, but...well, it's on my mind and it's kinda related. I think this practice disables animals in more ways than one, so please indulge me.

My point -- and I do have one -- is that I'm wondering how you all feel about this -- ahem -- sport. It's pretty clear how I feel about it, but I just really wonder about what others think, and why. Because it's clear there is at least one country that feels pretty strongly in favor of this practice as a venerated cultural icon, something to be proud of and celebrate. And I just don't freakin' get it!

The whole thing just blows my mind, to be honest. What possible thrill can someone get out of standing in an enclosed ring, flicking a red cape about in a clearly too-tight outfit with this funky little cap that looks like misshapen Mickey Mouse ears (or an outdoor faucet handle, I can't decide which is a more apt description), and tormenting this enormous, angry, tortured beast? All the while, having lots of other people around the ring there to protect the guy (or gal?) from getting what's clearly his due: a goring from the unhappy critter.

I mean, come on: If this isn't the epitome of a testosterone-fueled, ego-stroking yet ultimately sad and demeaning (for both participants) ritual -- then what the hell is it? Something akin to another bull-related event, the Running of the Bulls (in Pamplona and other such cities), as a prelude to previously mentioned bullfight.

Here's a bit pulled from Wikipedia:
"The purpose of this event is the transport of the bulls from the off-site corrals where they had spent the night, to the bullring where they would be killed in the evening. Youngsters would jump among them to show off their bravado. Injuries are common to the participants who may be gored or trampled, and to the bulls, whose hooves grip poorly on the paved or cobbled street surfaces." word just comes to mind, over and over: DUH!

I mean...really? What's the deal with these people? Do they have a death wish? Are they just lunatics? And -- most interesting -- do they REALLY think this is in any way attractive?

I'm open to any and all responses, except those who will tell me I need to respect a cultural difference I can't understand. I am SO not open to that lame argument. This is NOT about culture, unless you're talking about a culture of cruelty -- in which case, I have no desire to "understand" any part of it.

Fact is, this practice ceased to be a "cultural" thing as soon as at least some of our (too-often sorry) species evolved to the point of realizing that we really don't have any right to be the arbiter of how much torture of another species is justifiable under the guise of our own "entertainment."

I just found myself wanting to read this particular book until I learned it contained a good bit on bullfighting. I realized that I am so repulsed by this practice -- even by the very idea of it -- that I must forego reading a book I think I'd otherwise at least find interesting, if not enjoyable, because of this part of the content. And I'm really against censorship, even self-censorship (maybe even MOSTLY self-censorship). But I find most of the news around me every day so appalling, so sad and depressing, that when I read I don't want to just pour more of that crud on myself. I read to escape, and I just don't want to spend my free time with this kind of content.

So, what about it, folks? Blast away! In the meantime, perhaps I'll get sleepy and not need to post again tonight. You can only hope.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Puck Needs Help.

Okay, I already posted today, but this is something that can't wait, so I'm adding it now:

Kayla and Puck

I'm posting about a cat named Puck, who I learned about on Twitter. I'm telling you right now, I don't know this cat, I don't know Kayla, his mom, and I can't even vouch for the veracity of the story. All I can tell you is that I read the blog post at the end of this link and I thought, "There but for the grace of God go I."

So I'm choosing to believe the story, because I can't imagine anyone being so crass as to make up something like this just to get money. I'm sure it's possible, but I don't want to live in that world. So I'm sharing it here for those of you who will understand.

Kayla is a student at Oberlin College, about 2,000 miles away from home, where her beloved cat, Puck, lives with her parents. She learned via an email that he was gravely injured in the kind of accident I think any cat owner can imagine happening to their own beloved pet.

Read the rest for yourself and respond as your heart moves you.

From Chop Shop to Edward Scissorhands

Warning: This one's a little hard to take,
until you learn of the happy ending.


“We got this phone call from Escambia County Animal Control and they asked us if we could take a dog whose feet, ears and tail had been cut off,” said Nikki Headley, co-manager of New Beginnings, Destin, Florida’s newest no-kill shelter for disabled pets.

Eddie was brought to a shelter in Pensacola on July 5 by a woman who found Eddie wandering the streets as a stray. The dismembered pooch had a friendly demeanor that did not match his tortured appearance.

Escambia County realized the dog they had affectionately dubbed “Chop Shop” had a slim chance at being adopted in his condition, so they contacted the shelter. Read the rest of the story – It's truly one of the many examples of how disabled pets overcome situations that most humans would find completely debilitating.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ivan - A Love Story

Every once in a while, Barb Techel over at Joyful Paws lets loose with one of her "Occasional Paws" feature stories. I just had to share this recent one about Ivan the Beagle, because it so perfectly embodies what we're about here at Almost Perfect Pets.

Those of you who've been following for a while might recognize Barb's name - we featured her blog a bit ago: You know, the one about Frankie, the Walk & Roll Dog. Frankie's another example of the absolute best that can be brought out of a difficult situation. Barb wrote about her wheeled dachsie in her own book, too!

You know, when I started this blog, I wondered how I was going to keep up with it among all my other obligations. But I've come to realize that I look forward to coming here and sharing with you all the beauty of what can happen when humans learn to look past the disabilities to the shining, pulsing vibe of pure love and, yes, joy that just emanates from special needs pets. It's such a balm against all the bad news that threatens to beat us all down each day, and I'm happy to be able to spread some of the good stuff around this place.

When I got the idea for Almost Perfect, I never dreamed how it would change my life. I just thought it was a neat idea for a book. But through this project, I've met some of the most incredible, dedicated, loving and just downright decent human beings I will ever know. And you know who you are. :)

Frankie, the face of inspiration

I feel truly blessed to have stumbled upon the wonderful community that has arisen around this topic. Barb was right on when she named her blog and her website "Joyful Paws." Thanks for sharing all the wonderful stories with us all, and for being part of the solution, Barb!