I’ve been a dog lover since I was 3 years old. When looking through old photos, 90% of mine were of me and dogs, cats and even horses. As a product of the mainstream culture (even though I lived in Los Angeles), for many years, I had a big black line drawn between myself and my pets in terms of how I thought about them, and what I thought was GOOD CARE for them.
Fast forward twenty years and I started to see my animal companions in a different light, more like me and my family, not so much as a separate and sub-level species.
I always think more about the animals during late fall and the holidays, when it gets colder outside, and some hunters let their hounds loose in the woods so they don’t have to ‘waste’ money feeding them over the winter. Or poor little pet rabbits kept outdoors in 25 degrees weather in a wire cage because the kids forgot about them.
As I lived closer to animals, I found that the ‘animals” are really just like us – in every way.
Even my small house rabbits were mammals, they felt pain, even emotional pain. They experienced every ‘human’ emotion including love, hate, shame, jealousy. And I had a horse, too, and again, horses showed every single emotion…. And canines – how can we say enough about a creature, another sentient, self-aware mammal that not only exhibits every emotion, but will give up their life for their owner.
There was a special Time Magazine that was published in 1999 titled “What Animals Think”.
After pages of examples of animal thought, they reported that if we really understood how intelligent animals were, we would have to drastically change many aspects of our society.
I’m ready to start making that change now. After all my many pets, I have a wonderful beagle,
Roxy, who was diagnosed with cancer. I jumped right into researching all aspects of canine cancer and found that cancer is a very common cause of death for canines — Why?
Two major reasons are diet, and chemical exposure. Now that dogs are not DOGS, but part of our families and as beloved (if not more beloved) as our children, many dogs, and cats and other pets, still get chemically-laden sub-standard dry food. These foods are not checked and regulated by USDA. They are not adequate to protect dogs from cancer and disease.
The chemicals come from the lawns, recently sprayed with RoundUp and other toxins. Chemicals come from the flame retardants in dog beds, and rugs and maybe right in the local water. Or in Pine-Sol used on the floors of your home.
I have decided that animals, and our beloved companions, deserve much better. And I’m going to find a way to do something about it!