Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bugs Bunny?

Wikipedia Bugs

He was a cartoon character who showed up in 1940 and did lots of carrot eating. You can see the image I borrowed from wikipedia and read all about this zany and resilient fantasy bunny.

Heartland Rabbit Rescue now has their own resident Bugs Bunny. He came to us because of a reported allergy to rabbits. Someone had bought him at an auction but then couldn't keep him because of the allergy.

Heartland's Bugs isn't a cartoon character yet he brings as many smiles and laughs as the entertainer because of his exuberant personality and his physical antics.

Heartland Bugs
As you can see...he's a beauty on the outside and I can assure that his personality is just as excellent. He's a youngster and appears to be still growing. He's always interested in having his head caressed and comes as close to dancing when putting on a binky show as any bunny can. He's a happy fellow and it's almost impossible to be around him without having a smile appear or a laugh. Thanks Bugs, you remind us everyday that the joy of living belongs to every being.

He's a big practitioner of the bunny stare. I've noticed that some buns have magical eyes and will focus  on the face of a human that they're interested in having them do something for them and they will send out some sort of bunny rays toward you until they get what they want. Bugs possess this magic power fully and it's almost impossible to avoid or ignore him when he turns on his magic generator.

Bugs investigating.
 Recently we took some bunnies in for medical attention and while there the vet asked if we could make room for a bunny that had been dumped outside the clinic. Yep, humans dump bunnies (which is essentially a death sentence) all the time and these humans dumped a baby bunny right at the vets...after having approached the personnel there wanting to know if anyone took unwanted bunnies and having been given information about  and contact info for Heartland. Apparently that was too much trouble so...abandoned bunny.

BB the abandoned bunny.

Here she is, and while she (we think she) has colorings that aren't quite as pronounced as those of Bugs, they're similar enough that she may end up being named BB (Baby Bugs). We're guessing she's about 3 months old and is very friendly and tolerant of humans.

This month marks my 3rd full year of retirement from doing stuff full-time to get money. Since then I've spent several hours a day for 5 or 6 days a week out at the rescue. I've pretty much focused on bunny house cleaning (including potty boxes) and getting the bunny people outside so they can enjoy their planet and play or dig or nosh on tasty plants.

On a given day usually 10 to 15 potty boxes will get emptied, hosed out, splashed with white vinegar and then scrubbed out, rinsed, air dried and then refilled with hardwood pellets and returned to a cleaned bunny enclosure. That means, conservatively (10 boxes per day times 5 days a week times 50 weeks a year times 3 years) that some 7,500 potty box cleanings have been accomplished. If you up the number per day to 15 that would mean over 11 thousand potty box cleanings. I was sort of surprised when I first ran the numbers. It's sort of cool how much gets done when you just stick to it. Like Woody Allen said, 80% of life is just showing up...that goes for getting clean areas for bunnies too. And by the way, my efforts are as nothing when compared to Jeannie and Brad (the director of HRR and her husband)...they've been at the bunny caring stuff for over 15 years. I can't even wrap my mind around all that they've done for the lagomorphs...and donkeys and little horses and ducks and Tag (resident cat) and sometimes a stray dog.

If you possibly can, please look into volunteering at a local rescue and/or sanctuary or at least donating funds to them. The amount of care (and expense) involved in looking after the refugees from human indifference or harm is simply unbelievable. And, go vegan if you haven't already. I can assure you that the rewards for helping and for living vegan far outweigh any that are available from the consumer society that surrounds us. Plus...we owe it to our fellow Earthlings...especially Bugs. :-)

(P.S. I'm really not trying to toot my own horn about the potty box numbers so please understand that...I'm wanting to show how much can get done with a little time and persistence and also to highlight the staggering amount of effort and attention and care that are involved in helping out the refugees we've created by our massive failures at being the "superior" species. Sometimes we end up doing things that are much more important and meaningful after we retire from active full-time "workforce" participation than we ever could imagine. Thanks.:-) )

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

All our fellow Earthlings...

are Trayvon Martin. It's only been a few days since the ending of the trial of the slayer of the adolescent human named Trayvon Martin and the reactions are still unfolding. For those of you unfamiliar with the incident, a man armed with a gun killed an unarmed adolescent. The man said he had a good reason to and initially that was going to be the end of the incident. Eventually the killer was arrested and tried and found not guilty of murder. Because apparently the jury agreed he had enough reason to justify murder.

This case has outraged and upset many many humans. Justifiably so to my mind, but then again I don't hold with killing or violence, period. And...I'm outraged and upset anytime I think about humans behaving violently toward other beings whether human or not. There may be some extreme cases...really extreme where some kind of serious and understandable case can be made for killing...but those are few and far between.

The furor over this instance of evidently gratuitous harm offers the opportunity to remind us that in fact every Earthling on this planet who doesn't belong to the human species is Trayvon Martin in the sense that they are at risk of (and billions are actually killed) being killed every day by any human animal they encounter for no reason except the human wanted to kill them.

Another part of the furor has to do with the victim looking different than his killer (the killer was white, the victim was not). It is quite likely that difference contributed to the motivations and behaviors of the killer. Killings often occur because someone looks and acts and sounds different...that's the way encounters often are for those beings who don't belong to the human species. And many of us, justifiably so, get really upset when it happens among human beings. Those to whom this happens who don't happen to be human animals are worthy of upset and anger too. As long as we engage in the ranking of the significance of a life because of appearance, of race, of gender, of ability, of species....such horrors (mistakes?) will continue to occur. Racism, sexism, speciesism...all are equally wrong and despicable. Period.

My last post was about a mother opossum who was killed by a hit and run driver who drove on and left her body and her living children lying in the street. That's the world our fellow Earthlings live in if they happen to encounter a human. Their life may be taken by accident, carelessness or intent and there are no sanctions or rules against it (mostly) and that's "just the way it is".  There is no justice for them beyond what might be dealt out by their friends or their family or their companions. And that rarely happens.

If you aren't a human, when you encounter a human you enter a "free-fire zone". Death, injury or imprisonment can occur at any time and there is little or no appeal, no justice, no fairness, no retribution, no nothing.

Do we want human to human interaction to be that way? Take away all the societal constraints and rules and prohibitions and let it be anything goes that you can get away with? No punishments, no consequences, no restraints. What would human society be like? I don't really want to find out but It would be like it is for all non-human animals. An almost unimaginable nightmare.

One of the things that is an ongoing and evolving process for me post-vegan is that I look at many news events from the perspective of living vegan...of minimizing my harm to all Earthlings that are sentient.

Mr. Martin, unless he was vegan, was responsible for the deaths of many Earthlings. His killer was already a killer, unless he was vegan, he already had a history of harming others.  That doesn't excuse what happened, but it does make it look rather different to me than if I didn't "think" vegan.

A life is a life and that life belongs to the being living it...and no one else has any business unnecessarily interfering with or harming or ending the life of another. Period. What happened to Mr. Martin happens all the those that are not members of our species. They are at risk of unprovoked and random violence and death. And the violence inflicted on them by human animals is a tragedy and a horror, just like what was done to Mr. Martin.

We must get off this treadmill of death and destruction. Go vegan. Behave toward others like you want to be treated...give others the same consideration and respect and freedom you want for yourself...even if they don't look, or sound, or act like you. Living vegan reduces the pain in the world, reduces the harm and increases the joy...why would you not live this way?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Headline you won't see...

Mother of nine killed in hit and run crime.

Norman, Oklahoma. Sometime in the late evening or early morning hours of Thursday night or Friday morning (7/11-12/2013) a mother of nine children was hit and killed by a driver on a residential street who then left the scene. Two children were also killed and their bodies, along with the mothers and the remaining seven children lay in the street for several hours. It is presumed a number of motorists passed during that time but no one reported the crime nor did anyone stop to attempt to render assistance. The living children clung to their mothers cooling and stiffening body until about 7:30 on Friday morning when a motorist finally stopped to check on the condition of the mother. The living children were discovered at that time and the deceased mother and the children were then transported to a facility for medical treatment. The seven survivors were reported to be in fair condition when the treatment center was contacted the next day.
The mother and children happened to be opossums therefore their lives are considered to be without value by the dominant human culture. A dead body in the road is ignored or avoided if that body doesn't conform to artificially created human standards. Hitting one with a car isn't a crime, leaving the scene of injuring or killing an opossum with a car isn't a crime, even when children were with her and they are left alive and clinging to her mangled body.

I think we are all lessened by these kinds of travesties, we are related to all Earthlings, those are our relatives lying there in the road.  We are all children of the Earth, don't we care about our siblings?

I found her and the babies just a few blocks from my house when I was on my way out to Heartland Rabbit Rescue. I took them to Wildcare and they seem to be as well as could be expected now....about 24 hours after I took them out there. It was a horrible start to a day that really didn't get much better after that. A fairly serious rabbit fight at the south warren left one bunny bleeding from the mouth and then later news that a long time resident of Heartland had cancer spreading through her eye and jaw and that the most merciful thing was to not bring her out of the anesthesia from an exploratory surgery. Lots of death and pain. Friday the 12th should have been Friday the 13th.

I felt and feel so horrid for the babies, I couldn't help but imagining their terror and their hours of horror and fear. And that we humans, for the most part, treat it as nothing. No headlines, no news story, no note, no nothing. It left me bleak and dark and despairing and sad...just sad.

I plan to follow the babies and to donate to Wildcare to help them with the cost of their care. If a safe place isn't available for their release, I will find one. I feel responsible for them, I think we are all responsible for all the little ones...especially those who become orphans because of our malice or lack of caring. Aren't we all in this together? Aren't we all related? Shouldn't we look out for the innocent and the helpless ones? Isn't that the best way to live, to be? So many don't seem to think so. So many seem to think I'm weird or "strange". I truly don't get it. I just don't.

I firmly believe what I did was the absolute minimum anyone can do and continue to live with any genuine and valid sense of connection with life on this planet. Doing the minimum doesn't deserve thanks. it just should be what we do. Please live vegan, that's part of the minimum of living as if you're connected. Volunteer and support with donations your local rescue and sanctuary organizations. We have so much to make up for in terms of how much pain and loss and death we've inflicted (and continue to inflict) on our fellow Earthlings. We all owe these victims more than we can repay and our repairing or mitigating what we've done and do to them is partly the path to our redeeming ourselves from the horror we've created and the monsters we've made of ourselves. Help them in order to help yourself.