Friday, August 24, 2012

Eye candy...

Few beings are more appealing when they are babies than are bunnies. For proof...take a look:

"China" and sibling.
These babies were born in a local animal shelter and came to Heartland when only 2 days old. The photo was taken when they were about 4 weeks old. Their appeal is a double-edged thing because while baby bunnies look so warm and huggy and beautiful...they grow up. And for many bunnies the growing up results in behaviors that cause them to be avoided and neglected and abandoned and sometimes abused. But...they are, like all babies, beautiful indeed.

Here's a photo of Merlin.

Merlin is not a baby. He came to us as a grown-up and has been at Heartland for a while. He's not real impressed with us humans. He flinches and cringes when approached and while this is not common in the rabbits that are rescued...neither is it unknown. The likelihood is high that Merlin has been abused...probably he has been hit or struck or hurt or repeatedly terrified in some way by human animals. I'm pleased to report that he is slowly beginning to accept touches and petting and handling without cringing or flinching...but it will be a long time before he is able to trust that an approaching human means him no harm. He has a fairly exuberant personality when not suppressed by humans being near him and it is fun to watch him being his true bunny self when he is allowed to free range in the fenced area near the warrens.

Rescue means not only providing a home for a living also means coping with and attempting to remedy (insofar as possible) the effects of neglect and abuse. It means trying to make up for harms done by others. It means trying to provide opportunities for those rescued to taste some of the good things of life....those good things that are the birthright of every being living on our planet.

"China" and sibling again.
  If you are going to live with a member of another is totally your responsibility to care for them, to meet their needs and to love them and to never never neglect or harm them. That's a big big responsibility and a demanding and daily and sometimes difficult and sometimes expensive undertaking.

Those baby bunnies in the photos will grow and grow and change and change and no one can predict what their adult personality will be like. They will go through adolescence, they will sometimes be grumpy, they may not want to be touched or bothered. They may chew on something they shouldn't...they may fight with another bunny...and on and on.

In other words a bunny is not a toy, nor is any living being. Bunnies aren't stuffed animals, many many bunnies don't care for being picked up once they aren't babies (even many babies protest being lifted off of the ground). The money hungry businesses and individuals that have the blind harmful audacity to "sell" animals care about profit and about the animal only insofar as profit is enhanced by animal. They don't tell the "customer" about bunny behavior....they rely on the "eye candy" appeal of a baby bunny or baby cat or baby dog or baby ferret or baby rat. Living beings are not objects to be bought and sold. Period.

Here's a good measure of the depth of comprehension and understanding an individual or a business has. If they sell or profit from selling animals or any "product" from animals then you are dealing with someone or something who has some serious comprehension, compassion and moral shortcomings. You are dealing with a harmer....with a destroyer...with a contributor to the misery and suffering that exists on planet Earth. Don't support them...we've way too much unnecessary suffering and harm already.

If you want to live with and befriend a member of another species...adopt a homeless Earthling. There are plenty of them. But...educate yourself thoroughly first. Responsible rescuers will be glad and eager to help you learn about the bunny or cat or dog you want to adopt. Responsible rescuers will support you and assist you for as long as you need it. Heartland Rabbit Rescue insists on bringing your new family member to your home...because we want to know where our residents are living....we want to know who they are living with...we want to know they will be well cared for...we want to know they (and you) will be happy with one another. That is the way of not increasing misery, that is the way of doing no harm, that is the way of contributing to joyous life...not sadness.

Sometimes people who want to adopt get put off by our insistence in knowing about them, about their home. It is likely they are thinking "it's just an animal, why is this information your business?". Well, we're all "just an animal" and we're all equally important and worthy of care and respect. That bunny they may want to adopt has been failed by humans before...or they wouldn't be with we're going to do everything we can to avoid another failure. Merlin and China and all the other bunnies deserve that. And that's what Heartland does. We're there for the bunnies...not the humans. Once a bunny comes to Heartland...they are forever a Heartland bunny...if circumstances cause a bunny to have to leave their adopted home...we take the bunny back. We are their "forever" home. Because each of us deserves a forever home...

Any rescue organization that behaves in these ways is an organization that is doing their part to repair the world. We human animals are responsible for a horrid amount of "breaking of the world"...much repair needs doing. Responsible and caring rescue organizations and facilities are doing their part to repair that which has been broken. as an ethical vegan is absolutely necessary to contribute to that repairing of the world.


joan.kyler said...

What beautiful bunnies, both the babies and the adults. I can never understand how people can ooh and aah over kittens and puppies, babies of their species, and yet delight in eating babies of other species (veal, suckling pig, baby back ribs). I do not understand.

Amy Patterson said...

As someone who works in animal rescue, I often have to remind myself that the work I do is for the animals much more than for the humans. I would have quit long ago had I been in it for the human Earthlings. Animals are so much more appreciative, loyal and loving than humans in general.

Anonymous said...

Great post!!
I remember being so utterly surprised by my first cat: how he moved in and took over, when I had this idea that cats sort of perched on window sills. The whole house was changed by him :).

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Joan, Amy and DEM.

Joan: I don't either, a baby is a baby is a baby.

Amy: I agree, it is also the case that our fellow animals have suffered so much (and continue to) because of us. We owe so much.

DEM: You're right, a living being impacts all other living beings around her or him. Period.

Have Gone Vegan said...

Eye candy indeed -- so cute! Still love that word repair.

Help Repair the World -- Go Vegan! :)

Anonymous said...

Vegan Elder- If only everybody else in the world thought like you do. We would be a perfect society. I LOVE your blog, especially the bunny stories :) I love being a vegan and being a companion to Lynna (a former Heartland Bunny) and I agree with all of your ethics and I think you are extremely inspirational.

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting HGV and Anonymous.

HGV: Exactly! Help Repair the World - Go Vegan! I think I just might order that up on a bumper sticker...If you do your Tee-shirt shop please include that as one of your offerings. :-)

Anonymous: Thank you for your kind words...very much. However, I make no claim that my way of thinking would lead to a perfect society. :-)

If all of us human animals quit harming other living beings though...society would be guaranteed to be better than it is now. That's a claim I can agree with wholeheartedly. :-)

Thank you for making room in your heart and your home for a Heartland bunny. I have tremendous gratitude and awe for all who take in those beings who are homeless because of our human failings. Folks that do such are "repairers of the world".

Bea Elliott said...

Totally love this post... I didn't know the exact circumstances that Heartland carried out their adoptions under - But I would have figured on no less. Of course it's critical to see the homes the bunnies go into! It's not like in a week or two they can call and say - "Hey, this just isn't working out. Come get me." I'm assuming though that that doesn't happen often... If their new care givers weren't sincere they probably wouldn't be at a rescue to begin with.

I contrast this with a story I read recently about people (gang members actually) selling one and two day old unweaned bunnies in the street! These "vendors" told ignorant buyers the bunnies were miniatures... Of course they all the babies died shortly thereafter. What a sin and what a crime! On so many levels! (grrrr)

Now... On to the good or at least better parts starting with Merlin... I'm so glad he's being gently coaxed out of his fears caused by mistreatment or neglect. I've seen far too many bunnies stuck in car ports or garages - Their lives are simply painful boredom interrupted with frantic, sudden, threatening noise. Nothing would ever feel safe. I'm so glad Merlin is out of a bad situation! He's a big ol' cutie pie!

And so glad too that China and sib are off to a much, much better start... I'm curious - Whatever happened to their mom? Or do I not want to know? :/

Thanks for this great insight into "eye candy" - You're exactly right - Bunnies are irresistible! I just wish everyone would follow through with what keeps them beautiful: Respect, care and love. Always grateful, thumbs-up to Heartland for providing that and more!

Have Gone Vegan said...

Will do! :)

My job may be ending in October (I'm replacing a person on sick leave), so a shop on Cafe Press could be a fun (and hopefully good way to spread the vegan message) little income stream. Thanks for the inspiration for the slogan -- I might just have to pay you a royalty fee! ;)