One additional reason why I remain quietly optimistic. You can add it to the ten from yesterday.
As bad as things might seem we are actually starting from a reasonably manageable position. By and large most dog owners in this country are decent people who do their best by their dogs. I can walk around my city and I will almost never see strays, I do not witness open abuse on a daily basis and most people are still very much angered by these issues.
That’s a much better starting point than many other countries I could name. Many countries in Eastern Europe are in a far worse position than this. Strays are common place, abuse is rife and I don’t think the people or even the Governments of those countries share the same perceptions as we generally do about these issues.
We are starting out from a much stronger and healthier national position than that. I’ve been assured from various sources that the conditions in Romania and Hungary are eye popping compared to here.
Then you look outside of Europe to say Asia. Imagine trying to do what we do in China. I’m not convinced their leaders would be as cool about me mocking and deriding them as our leaders. I’d probably be served up with noodles for my troubles. Not to mention the fact that the Chinese themselves have a completely different perception of dogs and cats. They eat them for one thing. Imagine trying to over turn an entire culture like that and deal with such a Government as well?
I’m not sure if Chinese people always did that by the way. When I was reading up on about the Shar Pei last week I read that the breed nearly died out in the 70’s’. Why? Because when China became a hard core Communist country Mao slapped a ban on breeding dogs and he placed a huge tax on anyone with dogs. In already meagre Communist conditions the people had no choice but to get rid of their dogs – and many were eaten. It was only the fact that a man from Hong Kong contacted an American magazine in the 70’s that stopped the Shar Pei becoming extinct altogether.
We are obviously in a far better position than that.
I cannot help but note that the countries where dogs tend to come off worse in are either communist or former communist regimes. All of E Europe was once under their grip. Its not amazing coincidence. The reality is that in the insane ideology of Communism they attempt to equalise everyone … by forcing them into a situation where they are all equally poverty stricken – save for those at the top.
Then you have the fact that under Communism the people themselves were grossly under educated. What do you end up with after a few generations of that? You end up with a downtrodden people who are terrified of their Government and whose very existence is just survival. It will clearly alter their entire perception of everything – including toward animals.
We in Britain have a very good chance here and should thank our lucky stars. We are not working with a Government who are going to vanish us into the night. Britain is a wealthy nation – we have not inherited a people who were spawned from decades of harsh Communist rule. We do not have any of those historical or cultural issues that we need to spend many years cutting through. We already live in a country where most pets are treated fairly well and where most people would see abuse as abhorrent.
We should all feel fortunate that we are starting from a position which should be winnable. My only critical observation is perhaps we’ve had it too good and for too long and now our people have grown complacent? I think we’ve become a little too decadent and a little too ‘fattened’ as a people. We’ve sort of kidded ourselves that a good and healthy civilisation is assured to us by dint of us being Britain.
It does not work that way. You are lucky to have been born into a nation whose people were not from these harsh communist regimes. You are fortunate that you’re not required to tackle something woven into the very habits of the society, such as the Chinese dog meat trade. You are lucky that organisations like ours can exist freely without genuine fear of us being murdered by Government agents. You are fortunate that you are so freely able to condemn Governments in the harshest of terms without consequences. You are also fortunate that most people in this country still have high enough levels of empathy to automatically see pet abuse as disgusting.
The reason that you have inherited all of the above is purely down to the fact that our ancestors made sacrifices. A nation is like a garden. If you do not keep tending to it it will go bad and run wild.
And that’s where we are today. We have a great ‘garden’ in many ways. We have freedoms that were secured by the blood and sweat of our ancestors. But we have grown bloated and we have grown complacent. We have ceased tending to the garden and now the poison ivy is running rampant.
We need to do some serious ‘weeding’ here.
That’s why you should step up and give us your support.