Before I knew it, I gave a hint, betraying my intentions to take the lead and do another thing before going for a walk with the Duke.
Maybe it’s a picture of my laptop, the tone in which I talk to my wife, or the way I prevent one thing from doing another. I can see that a deep sleeping dog suddenly wakes up. Then his eyes get wet. Soon, they are blinking, then staring, bored in me.
Then I know he’s on me. Now there is no way I can hide what is happening next. And what’s more, there’s no way I’m going to disappoint her now. We must go for a walk and hurry up!
I have heard it said that being able to remember the past and see the future are qualities that set humans apart from other animals. But I don’t buy it. What my dog has taught me is that the memories of good and bad things of the past are very much remembered.
At least in a way that makes sense for the dog. My colleague Canine, Duke, a rescuer who came to us from a park when he was only eight weeks old, remembers well who would offer him the most tumultuous or best treatment on our tour.
He remembers that the other day in this piece of wood, we met one of his favorite people: Lee. He chased the rabbit like a dog to greet his favorite friend Lee (which he doesn’t, chases the rabbit).
Animal Welfare: Fish are complex, emotional and intelligent creatures and yet we …
For the next few days, when we get to the same wooden gateway, he will look anxious, his nose will be fluttering, his eyes will be moving like this, and that if he sees any sign of Lee again.
That’s how he looks to the future. Like other dogs, Duke does things that make sense to him. He guesses when he will get an invitation – when we come for a walk, or at night before bed. He expects
And if I forget, his frustration is obvious. Too much, it eats away at me, sharpens my memory and draws me to the corrective action.
There is no doubt that there will be some scientists who will explain why it has nothing to do with remembering the past or looking to the future. But then, some scientists and many other vested interests have long tried to degrade animals, leaving them as pre-programmed automata.
Thankfully, this self-serving belief is beginning to fade. More and more people are seeing the bleeding clearly. It has more in common with us animals than we have ever dared to think.
They are, after all, emotional creatures, capable of feeling pain, distress and feelings of happiness. They have desires and needs, hopes, dreams and expectations. They also know frustration, fear, hatred.
Far from the ‘they and us’ that are often used to justify cruel farming methods or animal experiments, they are companion creatures. We call the companions of this lonely planet Earth.
But more than that, this relationship between humans and other animals as sensitive, living, breathing, selfish creatures is on track to be incorporated into British law.
After completing its “Committee Phase” through Parliament, Animal Welfare (Sentence) Bill It aims to recognize the feelings of animals in British law. If passed, the bill would oblige the government to consider the negative effects of any new proposals on animal welfare. Establish an independent committee to hold the government accountable.
A dream comes true.
For those who have long argued for a better treatment of animals, recognizing the feelings of animals legally is a dream come true.
This is a recurring dream since the European Union first agreed to such legal recognition in 1997.
I remember being in Amsterdam for a meeting of European ministers. A newly elected Tony Blair was on his first visit as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
The deal comes after a decade-long campaign. The idea came from a former dairy farmer and animal advocate, Peter Roberts – a pioneer in global farming sympathy – who
saw the end of live animal exports as nothing more than a commodity for animals. Depends on getting legal status.
However, when Brexit occurred, that part of EU law did not automatically pass. It was included in an article of the EU’s founding treaty, rather than a specific law, so there were cracks.
For the love of animals
The United Kingdom has long been known as an animal-loving nation, and it is appropriate to include people’s interest in animals in the law. Or at least, our clear identity – that they are not insensitive property like TV sets or tables and chairs. That they experience the world. That they know him as a human being.
Which is amazing when you think about it. We are surrounded by life. Still, think of all the money that has been put into space research, in search of new life so that we as human beings can know that we are not alone in this vast open universe.
How ironic that we are surrounded all our lives. But then you knew that anyway. Living, breathing, thinking, sensitive creatures. And at this last point – the sensitive – law is finally catching up.
With St. Valentine’s Day traditionally being a time of greeting our loved ones, why not promote this idea? Why not celebrate the diversity of life and our love for it? Secure in the knowledge that deep down, we are all the same: proud, weak and sensitive. So let’s pick up a glass, for the love of animals.
Philip Lamberry is the global CEO of Sympathy at Farming International, the UN Food Systems Champion and Formjden: The True Cast of the Cheetah and Dead Zone: Where Wild Things Are. She is on Twitter. philip_ciwf