"..a bardy view!"

“And they call it Puppy Love” Philippines style……

Puppy The Philippines is not renown as a pet loving nation.

The concept of keeping pets as lovable companions is a remote one.

In the main, Filipinos keep animals for practical purposes, which are well looked after as they are a vital economic resource.

For example for work – horses and caribou; for food – chickens, pigs, cows, goats; for pest control – cats; security – dogs; for sport – cocks, and unfortunately for novelty – monkeys, parrots, owls, turtles and lizards which tend to be common as attention gatherers in some restaurants and even shops.

I believe this to be a cultural phenomenon, more than a sadistic streak of inherent cruelty. With the exception of the working domesticated animals, the others serve little purpose, and keeping a pet is just one extra mouth to feed. The welfare of such pets tend not to be a priority, and this is down to education primarily.

This is why conservation and the protection of flora and fauna in the Philippines is a struggle.  It's education, education, education – and the lack of it results in exploitation and ecological destruction. It's not about education in the context of literacy or academic success, many Filipinos have qualifications coming out of their ears. It's about a universal education relating to the welfare of animals, a general blanket to incorporate all – rich or poor – and an emphasis that compassion is not a weakness, but a strength and something to be proud of.

Let's not forget that it wasn't long ago that people would flock to circuses in the UK and think that performing elephants, lions, tigers and dogs as well as dressed-up chimpanzees making monkeys of themselves was regarded as totally acceptable.

What we didn't think about was the cruel methods employed to train these creatures, often by sadistic and heartless owners. It's certainly no fun for a kangaroo to box, or a chained bear to dance – the latter being a shocking practice continuing in several countries today.

There are no dancing bears in the Philippines to my knowledge. The country still has a long way to go to start treating some animals with care and respect, as highlighted by the story of Jerzon Senador who pegged up his puppy on a washing line.

The thing is I doubt it occurred to him that he was being cruel – he just thought it was funny, and posted the pictures on Facebook (yes, it's that Facebook factor yet again).

He's been truly condemned for it, and has issued an unreserved apology, but it highlights the attitude of some people with regard to their animals. Many Filipinos keep a pet, but they don't understand their responsibility towards them, and fail to grasp that certain behaviour is cruel. This is where education is crucial.

Lets look at the behaviour of some in the UK. Recent stories tell of cats thrown into rubbish bins or cooked alive in microwave ovens. We hear about youths stoning swans and beheading ducks, and stealing small dogs to provide pit-bulls and mastiffs with fighting fodder.

These are genuine acts of cruelty, premeditated and done not out of boredom but sheer viciousness. Some get prosecuted, and many don't get caught, and they never, ever express remorse.

So before we all flip our lids in disgust at the young man who stuck his puppy on the washing line for a laugh, lets also give him some credit (as difficult as that may be) for realising the error of his ways and making an apology.

He sounds very contrite. You see, he has now been educated the hard way, and I suspect he will treat this little innocent life with much more care in future. If it makes others think and change their ways, then so much the better.

One interesting question is would he have actually done it if facebook didn't exist? Do sites like FB and You-tube encourage idiocy? I'll leave that question to the psychologists.


June 15, 2011 - Posted by | Conservation, Culture, Dogs, Education, facebook, The Philippines, United Kingdom | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I was more horrified by your description of what is happening in the UK, than this isolated incident in the Philippines. There is a distinct difference between wanton cruelty and a joke (which was in bad taste), but, I very much doubt he had cruelty in mind. As you said, education, education,education and a big dose of common sense.
    As to your last question, well yes and no. It has been with us (eejitry), since time immemorial and will stay with us, except now, we can make a video (fillum) of it. Free enterprise at its best? I’ll leave that to the ‘shrinks’ as well.


    Comment by Spook Moor | June 16, 2011 | Reply

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