A Little Bit of Everything

Archive for December, 2009

Why is there a divide?

Okay, so I watched a little bit of a documentary show called ‘The Passionate Eye’ on CBC and it was about this particular orca who had been seperated from his pod and as a result was seeking out human companions.  I soon had to stop watching simply because I was so enraged.  Why? Two words; stupid humans.  And I’m not talking about the people who touched and played with Luna (the whale), oh no, they were great; they were careful and didn’t try to take advantage of Luna or anything.  I’m talking about the scientists and government people.  They just up and decided that they didn’t think people should interact with this whale because oh, apparently it is more common for whales who interact with humans to be injured and killed.  Paraphrasing one of the lead scientist in the department of fisheries’ words, ‘we should keep up a barrier in between us and ‘wild animals’.’

So basically, this whale who was very lonely and just looking for attention was denied that because some humans who just happen to have power in human society (even though it is all in our heads and really has no practical impact in the real world beyond society’s delusions) decided that they knew better.  Because don’t we always?  Know better than other animals, I mean.  Of course, I’m being sarcastic.

For a second though, imagine I wasn’t being sarcastic (That is basically the opinion of the majority of the human race).  Didn’t I sound like a self-centred, egotistical sociopath? We have absolutely no concept of anything outside ourselves.  We think we do but as we only ever try to understand things in terms of ourselves, we cannot possibly expect to understand the way the minds of members of another species works.

One of the things that really disgusted me was when the show talked about how scientists discourage the use of words such as ‘friendship’ in relation to what they deemed as ‘animals’.  I put that in quotation marks because we are in fact, animals too so it’s quite strange that we would be placed in a different group to them.  I’m going to go more into that later when I bring up the whole concept of putting up a barrier between us and ‘wild animals’.

So, apparently this whole whale thing has ‘revolutionized’ the set idea that scientists have that non-human animals do not experience emotions or even consciousness like we do.  Because obviously, we are so. damn. special.  Sarcasm again.  You can tell this ticks me off.  I just can’t stand this stupid superiority complex that humanity insists on having.

On to this whole ‘barrier’ concept.  I’ve already started to express my opinion on our self-imposed separation from other animals.  Why? (notice the relation to the title of this post)  Why has it been turned into an ‘us’ and ‘them’ thing?  We are all animals that are sharing this earth and have gone through the exact same amount of evolution.  We all have our individual responsibilities to maintain the fragile ecosystems that encompass us and we all have our individual ways of fulfilling those responsibilities.

Scientists claim that we are sentient and other animals aren’t.  What are signs of sentience?  If I remember correctly, language is one of the major qualifications of ‘sentience’.  So am I interpreting this correctly?  When dogs bark, that isn’t language?  When one wolf howls and then another one howls back, that isn’t a form of communication which is the definition of language?  It seems to me that the only reason to not consider the above mentioned circumstances language is that they aren’t the same as our language.  The same thing can be said of the way the Japanese communicate, or the french, or the chinese etc.  So, what?  They don’t have language?  They’re not sentient?

But wait a minute, that’s dangerous ground, that’s sounding like racism. Woooooh

Oh, the hypocrisy.

Well, I could probably carry on with my rant but I think I’ve got my main  idea across so I’m going to publish this and go to bed.  If I have anything else to say, I’ll just make another post.

I hope everybody is having a great holiday

-Daine

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What is Logic?

I think this is a question that people should think about because it has gotten several connotations over the years and is, in my personal opinion, often used misleadingly.  Now, I love logic, even more than science and math so would it surprise you that I have been studying the use of magick for quite a long time?  I’m going to hazard a guess that it does surprise you.  Science says that magic doesn’t exist (if you noticed the slight spelling difference, we only add the ‘k’ to separate our idea of magick from the sleight of hand magic), right? so why would I, a strong believer in science, believe that magick works? (Well, actually I know)  Simple.  Logic is first and foremost more important to me.

Of course, I don’t just believe that something works without perceiving it working with my senses but I am definitely more open to the possibility because of my strong belief in logic.  A lot of people will see something with their own eyes, hear it, smell it, feel it, taste it and then say “Oh, that couldn’t have happened, it defies logic”.  Ummm, logic is what says that something must have happened if you perceived it with your senses.  It’s not that hard yet people regularly abuse the concept of logic.  If I get a scratch and it really hurts for a day, then I get another scratch and rub it with my bloodstone, to find that it only hurts for 5 minutes; logic says to me that the only possibly variable that could have caused a different result was the bloodstone rubbing my cut.

Yes, the scientific community has not ‘proved’ the existence of magick but the thing about science is that it is defined by logic, not the other way around, and logic is what proves the existence of something.  Therefore, science may say that something doesn’t exist when logic shows it does.

Just something that’s been tumbling around in my head lately.

-Daine

I’m back home…I should be happy, right?

So I’m back home in Ottawa and have three weeks before I have to think about school again.  I expected to be ecstatic and to have tons of fun.  Contrary to that, I find myself feeling really low.

I guess, when I left Ottawa and went to Guelph, I left quite a few of my problems and bad memories here.  Although they didn’t fully disappear in Guelph, they were certainly in the back of my mind.  Now that I’m back in Ottawa, they’re suddenly prevalent again.  It’s frustrating because I know my family absolutely love that I’m here but I can’t muster much excitement because of all the negative stuff pressing in on me.

It’s weird really, some of this stuff didn’t really bother me before I left so I guess I must have gotten used to not thinking about it in Guelph.  I delved into my schoolwork, knowing that it would take my mind off the stuff I didn’t want to think about.

I also started building some friendships in Guelph too.  That’s probably another reason I’m sad here.  Besides my family, I really have nothing for me here.

Ah well, hopefully things will pick up for me; after all, I’ve only been here two days.  I guess I was just musing on the reasons for my sadness.  I wanted to make a new post since the last one has been up for a while.  I’ll probably have another one up in a day or two once I have an idea for a good one.  Happy Holidays!

-Daine

Kevin Richardson and other stuff

Okay, I did my third exam today so decided to take some time to post a blog entry.

A month or so ago, I stumbled on an amazing video on youtube.  It’s actually a clip from a news show.

Intrigued, I searched out all the other videos on youtube about him.  You have to mention lion in the search box because apparently there’s a Kevin Richardson who used to be part of the Backstreet Boys.  Anyway, this person is a truly incredible individual and the relationships he has with the lions are awe inspring.  Probably the clip that reveals the most about how strong his relationships with the lions and lionesses are is this one;

Like the speaker said, lionesses are extremely protective of their cubs so the fact that one offered her cub to Kevin speaks volumes about her relationship with him.

After ferreting out all the clips I could find, I discovered that he had written a book with someone else; basically an autobiography of his life with the lions and how he came to start working with them.  As soon as I could, Iwent to the local Chapters and bought it.  It was fantastic!  Such an enjoyable read.  He had little individual stories for each of the different animals he’s formed relationships with.  The only thing I would say was a bit of a downside to the book was that it hopped along the timeline rather than following it chronologically.  One story would lead into another story which came years after, which would lead to another story years before and it could get a bit confusing sometimes.  That’s my only complaint though and it’s technical.  The actual story content is awesome, I had to fight to make myself put it down so that I could study for midterms.

I have looked through all the courses available to me through my animal biology major and I have decided to take the two animal behaviour courses available, largely because Kevin’s work has reall piqued my interest.  I have also been interested in psychology for a while so this is a good way to tie it into what I’m doing.  Kevin Richardson has been a great inspiration to me and I hope to sometime be able to do something like he is doing, that would definitely be my dream.  Even if not professionally,  I now know that I can hope to acheive a relationship like that with any exotic animals I decide to raise.  Believe me, I know what it’ll take and I am willing to put it in.  I could go on right now about how raising an exotic animal and raising a child might not be all that different but I’m going to leave that for a future post as it will be rather lengthy.

—————————————————————————————————–

On to the other stuff I mentioned.  I found a youtube clip I love and think you’ll like too;

I thought I’d put that as your humour source since I’m too exhausted to put up a quote from “How to be a Canadian”.  I probably will in future posts though.  Until next time.

– Daine

Quickie

I haven’t posted here in a while because I’m focusing so much on studying for my exam tonight but I thought I’d just make a quick post with two fan-made videos I love that have to do with Harry Potter.

First, the hilarious Harry Potter rap;

And now a parody trailer made with Harry Potter clips.  It’s a very cute Harry/Hermione video in a  weird, sort of twisted way lol.

And now another quote from “How to be a Canadian” It’s talking about the average 8.5 hours of sleep is spent by a Canadian.  It is particularly applicable to me;

“From our own estimates, this includes 5 hours and 10 minutes of actual sleep, 15 minutes of pillow adjustment, 10 minutes of lying still with your eyes closed while you wait to fall asleep, 25 minutes of tossing and turning, 30 minutes of longing for sleep, 40 minutes of thinking you will never get to sleep again, 55 minutes spent staring at the ceiling contemplating your own mortality and 15 minutes (broken up into three convenient 5-minute periods) of fitful sleep squeezed in between repeated bashings of your clock when the snooze alarm goes off, waking you up to face another day of being alive.  Hoo-ray.”

Bad Day

This day has been absolutely craptastic.  I slept in till 3 PM, missing out on half of the day, decided to go for a walk to get some food only to find out that that it;s freezing outside, find out that the place I wanted to go was closed, go somewhere else and end up throwing half of the food away because it was making me feel sick, then lost my student card somewhere between the place I ate, across campus, and here.

Ugh, I guess I need to buckle down and study for physics then maybe watch some TV.  Hopefully by the time I go to bed, I’ll be in a better mood.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to cheer myself up, here is another funny quote from “How to Be a Canadian.”  It is talking about how American dialect is becoming closer to Canadians’.

“The Americans are now beginning to adopt this pronunciation, meaning it will be evn harder to pick the bastards off when it comes (inevitably) to war.  The move towards a common North American dialect: natural linguistic evolution or nefarious American plot to destroy the Canadian way of life and pillage our land and culture?”

LAWL, I’m cheered up now XD

-Daine

My Stance on Exotic Animals

Okay, you might have noticed that in my bloglist, I’ve posted some links to some sites that are all about exotic animals.  About a year ago, I accidentally came across an article that was against exotic ownership.  After reading it, I was intrigued by the issue and decided that if I was going to properly understand it and come to my own conclusion as to what my opinion on it would be, I needed to find some pro-exotics articles.  After a fair amount of searching and reading through of negative articles, I managed to find some positive information, which then led me to more positive information.  Although all of those articles contributed to my decision to work towards eventually owning one or more exotics, a youtube video is what really tipped the scales for me.  It is called ‘Exotic Animal Owners Under Attack’ and it is a slideshow of images of exotic animals and their people interacting, put together by REXANO, the organisation of REsponsible EXotic ANimal Owners.  Here it is;

How can you not be convinced that exotic animals can make great pets after that?  Notice that I used the word ‘can’ because exotic animals are not for everybody, just like domestic cats, dogs, and horses, respectively, aren’t for everybody.

As a note, REXANO has collected statistics that show that only 20 deaths in between 1990 and 2008 were caused by captive big cats.  That’s about 1 a year, which can be compared to 4 a year from fireworks discharge, 48 a year from lightning and 45,343 a year from automobile accidents.  From that information, you would think that cars and fireworks would be banned before ownership of big cats.

I could go on and on stating my opinions on this subject and explaining why what a lot of animal activists say is wrong but I’ll try to not make this too long.  First of all, I want to confront the whole “they should be in the wild, they’ll be happier there” thing. 

1) There is very little wild left because of humans.  Oh sure, there are humongous nature reserves, but as those are surrounded by a fence, any animals that reside there are technically in captivitty.

2) In the ‘wild’ the typical life of an animal consists of; not always knowing if it’ll have enough food, living in constant fear of predators/rivals, and eventually dying a very painful death due to starvation, disease, or being ripped to pieces by predators or rival carnivores.  Compare that to living in something that protects from the elements (whether that be a house or a constructed den in an enclosure), being guaranteed food regularly, getting vaccinated and therefore protected from the majority of diseases they would encounter in the ‘wild’, having a large enclosure to run and play in, and last but not least, being loved on and spoiled by their human family.

Now, you might be shaking your head at the computer screen going ‘no, that’s not how it is, exotic animals are alway kept in horrible conditions and spend their life angry.’  Unfortunately, the only times you’ve probably heard about exotic animals being kept is when they’re being abused, neglected, or have attacked somebody.  That is for two reasons; because animal rights activists want you to see only the bad stuff, and/or the media only shows you things that are considered ‘news’.

When I first got into researching exotics, I was most interested in tigers.  Now through being at exoticcatz.com, I know that I will be getting a serval first and possibly own a slightly larger cat like a lynx or cougar before finally getting a lion or tiger.  I’m also starting to like the idea of a lion a bit more partly due to hearing about others’ experiences with them and partly because of the work of Kevin Richardson (whom I will probably post about in the future).  Other exotics that I would like to eventually own at one point or another are;

a wolf or wolfdog

a kangaroo

an arctic fox

a jackal

a hyena

a bear

a peacock

a deer

a wallaby

and probably quite a few others I will decide that I would like.

Although there are other things I would like to discuss on this topic, I’ll leave them for another post.

And here is yet another quote from “How to be a Canadian”  They are actually two different sentences; one on being a newfoundlander, and one on being a quebecker, that are linked.

“Nefoundlanders rank-far and away- as having the most sex of any Canadians…Newfoundlanders are also the friendliest people in Canada.  Of course they’re friendly.  They want to have sex with you….The Quebecois are among the friendliest people in Canada outside of Newfoundland.  And yes, their motives are probably the same.”