I know... I know… You are going to say please just not another blog post about some kind of rant. But I am sorry; I am going to rant because I am fucking piss off! As most of you know I am an avid animal lover to which my ever expanding menagerie is a testament. I love all animals. Ok, that’s not entirely true. I hate spiders, snakes and all worms with fur on them. Well, technically they are insects and reptiles but apart from them I am like Noah but without a message from God or an ark. I must also admit that I sometimes like animals more than I do people as animals have no malice, don’t start wars or are not responsible for gross violations of human rights. This is why when animals are being abused, mistreated or neglected I lose my shit and this is exactly what happened this weekend.
You see this weekend hubby and I went to our local nursery to have a look at some plants. In December last year hubby took out all the invader plants in our backyard and it now looks like a drag queen’s face who have been out in the rain smoking crack. We decided to take out all the invader plants not because we had some kind of xenophobic plant attack but because the invader plants were taking over our back garden and killing all our other indigenous plants. Invader plants are assholes like that and you should never ever trust a sword fern. They are evil and very hard get rid off and difficult to kill! So with our back garden looking sad and barren we decided that this weekend we will get some indigenous plants and start with our backyard’s rejuvenation. Also, the plants that we need to buy must not look scrumptious to our bunnies and also not be poisonous to them either. Quite a tall order I know.
When we arrived at our local nursery it was right in the middle of the heat of the day and they were busy watering their plants with their sprinkler system. Good for the plants. Not so good for us. It is really difficult to do plant shopping when you are constantly being sprayed with water. I was also wearing flip flops (don’t judge me) and I was busy getting grossed out by all the water puddles that were forming. So I eventually told hubby that we should call it a day but first I wanted to have a look around the pet shop they have at the nursery. This is where the problem started.
While walking around I noticed that the pet shop had their normal range of small rabbits. All bundled into different cages separated by breed. It wasn’t long before I spotted a bunny that looked really despondent and was kept separately in his own cage. He was an adult French Angora rabbit and rather huge one at that. He was sitting in his small cage with his back towards the outside; his cage littered with the feces of other animals that were there before him. He had no hay (which is an essential part of a rabbit's diet and especially that of Angoras), no rabbit pellets but only what looked like dog food and water. He looked depressed and when I acknowledge that I had seen him he turned to me and I could see he was also starved for interaction of any kind. Rabbits are social animals after all.
Later that afternoon when we got home I told my husband that I cannot stop thinking about that rabbit. Hubby also said that it upset him to see the rabbit being held in those conditions. We then mutually decided that the next day we would rescue him. Of course my husband’s conditions were that the rabbit had to be neutered and thoroughly get checked out by our vet to which I agreed. On Sunday morning we returned to the pet shop. Hubby warned me to not cause a scene or to go all PETA on their asses and that I had to be diplomatic which is sometimes hard for me as I suffer from foot-in-mouth disease. After questioning the shop assistant about the rabbit’s history I learned that he was one year old and had belonged to a breeder who wanted to get rid of him because he was fighting with the other rabbits. So it seems that if you are a rabbit at a breeder and if you do not behave or have served your purpose you are either killed or thrown away. Great way to treat animals, ain’t it?
The sad part is that adult rabbits rarely get bought at pet shops or get adopted. The general public always seems to go for the cute baby rabbits and the older ones are over looked. The distressing reality is that when people buy bunnies as pets they know very little about them. They don’t know what their nutritional and emotional requirements are or the fact that rabbits are high maintenance pets and are expensive to keep. They are not suitable pets for children under the age of 8 and if you do want to keep them inside the house you need to bunny proof or else the bunny will destroy things. When these people then wakeup to the reality that rabbits are more labor intensive than cats and dogs and more expensive to maintain they tend to want to get rid of them. Some “set them free” and think that the rabbit will be fine. What people don’t realize is that domesticated rabbits cannot survive in the wild and they will die.
After speaking the shop assistant and checking out the French Angora up close we were told that we would have to speak to the owner before “buying” him. We ran into a snag and to make a long story short, if all goes well, we will be able to fetch him on Wednesday. Only then will we be able to access his health and determine what effect having been kept by an unscrupulous breeder has had on his physical and emotional health and determine what kind of rehabilitation he may require. Luckily our cats and bunnies are all very chilled and I am sure they will help him become the happy bunny he is destined to be, instead of an animal whose sole purpose is to breed.
I sometimes wish that all people who consider themselves to be “animal breeders” would be required to obtain a license from the SPCA to do so. Also, I wish that the SPCA could inspect all the animal breeders to make sure that the animals are taken care of properly and that their living conditions are acceptable. There are so much animal abuse and neglect going on in the world and I don’t understand how people keep animals if they cannot care for them.
Lastly, I also wish that people who adopt rabbits would educate themselves about these highly intelligent animals before they get them. Animals are not your property that you own. They are not things. They are living creatures which you cannot just throw away when you are tired of them or when they misbehave. When you buy or an adopt an animal that animal is your responsibility and the way you take care of and treat that animal says a lot about who you are as a human being and the respect you have for life around you.
Till next time.