Monday, December 27, 2010

Crazy World News - 8 - Inter species marriage.

First there was the Russian Siberian guy, Boris Gabov, who sought permission by asking the president if he might be permitted to marry his beloved cow claiming that all the girls in the village had left already, moving to the city..

I'm unaware if the president ever replied, but likely this mans ridicule was not nearly as bad as a young Balinese guys, who caught with his pants down with a cow, was consequently forced to marry it by other locals. Apparently he passed out from the humiliation of the ceremony, and his new wife, the innocent victim, was immediately drowned (I thought the Balinese were Hindu and that thus the cow was considered a sacred animal!). I always found the Indonesians to be a majoritively bizarre lot.. (see: The Jakarta Globe).

In a somewhat similar incident, a Sudanese man was also forced into marrying an animal, in his case, it was a goat. Unlike In Bali, it's still possible the couple have remained together. (See: BBC News)

Those last 2 aren't exactly cases of people willingly entering into wedlock with different species, but bizarrely enough, that happens sometimes too.. Just relatively recently a millionairess British woman, and self proclaimed nonpervert, Sharon Tendler, of her own free will, married a dolphin in Israel. (See: Sydney Morning Herald) - How did she know that the dolphin wasn't already married? I thought they were supposed to be monogamous creatures..

Then, over in Taiwan, there's the story of the Taiwanese office worker who unable to find a suitable partner, and tired of waiting, decided instead to marry herself. (See: Taiwanese Woman Marries Self).. She's even honeymooning by herself in Australia.

Then if you think that's weird, there's a Japanese guy, who so engrossed in his virtual make believe fantasy world of some alternate reality game he plays on his Nintendo, has now married his virtual girlfriend.. (See: Japanese guy Marries Virtual Girl).

Enough already? One last one first though:

The most recent example I've seen of clearly one sided obsession that leads some humans to act strangely with mostly full disregard for their objects of desire, is a British guy who is in love with and wishes to marry his christmas tree.. (See: Man In love with Christmas Tree)

Actually, wikipedia even has a page dedicated to human-animal marriages:

It would certainly seem to me that in such cases, humans, as per usual, generally have little respect for other species, doing with them as they wish with no real thought or concern given to the welfare or desires of the animal in question..


Mr. Zed said...

"It would certainly seem to me that in such cases, humans, as per usual, generally have little respect for other species, doing with them as they wish with no real thought or concern given to the welfare or desires of the animal in question.."

The act of marriage doesn't really "do" anything to them though. Many people really do love their pets and they love them back.

I know many including you frown upon pets for very good reasons, but what if for example a dog genuinely and clearly loves them?

Fruitarian Mango said...

Ahh.. Mr. Zed, nice to see you're comment as always. You raise an interesting question, and one that as you know I am pretty opinionated on... I feel there is so much to say really..

Firstly, I'll start by agreeing with you, that performing marriage with an animal, apart from any likely confusing physical restriction for the ceremony, need not per se harm the animal. The animal would likely have no idea what the fuss is about.. It's just a little eccentric is all, and generally I'll be the first to admit that there's naught specifically wrong with eccentricity.

However, as for the people loving their pets, and being loved back in return. That I would contend. I guess the word "love", can be interpreted in many ways, but if you have a being that you've likely bought predominantly for your pleasure and company, and you sexually castrate it, believing you know what is best for it, and force it to spend hours alone in boredom each day, can that really be considered love? at least on the same kind of par that we would consider it love if it were a same species relationship?

I mean, if we had our children sexually mutilated, rendering them sterile for life, or left a loved one alone all day while we went off to work, or out enjoying ourselves, would/could that be considered an act of love?

Of course, pets, dogs especially have a unique ability to forgive, and seemingly not bear grudges, so after 8 hours or longer of confinement, will still jump up pleased to see you, tail wagging, excitedly, etc, and it can be difficult to not interpret that as love, but to be honest is such devotion something we are really worthy of? Have we earned it, do we deserve it? What does it really teach us? It doesn't make us work any harder on our relationships when we know that no matter how badly we treat someone, they will still forgive us and seek our company and physical contact..

If you lock your partner in a car on a hot day, and your dog, even for just 30 minutes, see which of them will be happy to see you upon arrival.. Whose reaction would resemble more your own?

Dogs are naturally social animals that roam in packs, often with territories spanning several 10s of, or hundred or more, kilometers. The lives we give them in exchange for a constant supply of food, and hugs when we feel to, are nothing in comparison. They are deprived of what's natural to their species, often lucky if we can take them for a walk around the block once a day. Or let them sniff another dog while we carefully hold them back with a rope around their necks..

Of course, there's more to pets than dogs, and the issue goes a lot deeper too.. with countless pets being euthanized daily due to abandonment or over breeding. Many issues I plan to address further.

As for the cows and the goats.. well my thoughts run similarly and more and deeper.

keep your questions and views coming!

Mr. Zed said...

Hi Mango,

After some disasterous attempts to split up the file and post it here, I've found it a much better idea to post it here instead: It also won't clutter up your comments section this way. Peace.

Fruitarian Mango said...

MR.Zed, just to let you know I read your comment, and will attempt to answer the most relevant points. May take me a while though.

By the way, feel free in future to post your comments in full here if you wish. I don't believe there are space restrictions on blogger..

parsley said...

Hey Mango!

As always I find your posts interesting and relevant to current issues. The pet one is hard for me though, as I have two dogs whom I love dearly. My family's dogs do admittedly have it better than most pets; they get a 45+ minute walk everyday, and my mom supplements their dogfood with carrots, apples, rice, and eggs, as well as the occasional meat. They are given birthdays and birthday presents (although they don't understand this), they each have a very soft bed to sleep on, and have each other for companionship when my mom is at work.

Rudy came to us from a situation of neglect. Before he joined our family, he was confined in a crate 24/7. He was accustomed to wetting the blankets in the crate and wasn't accustomed to going for walks. He was overweight and nervous. To this day he doesn't know how to play.

My point isn't to say that we as humans can or should "own" other animals, but that there is a system in place, as unfortunate as it is, in which species such as cats and dogs need to be under the protection of a good human family, in order not to be euthanized or neglected or abused. I guess you could say the same thing about when slavery was popular back in the 1800s: that unfortunate as the whole slavery thing was, there was a system in place and what was most necessary in the immediate situation was a "master" that was kind and conscious of the fact that you can't actually own anything sentient...

Fruitarian Mango said...

@Mr.Zed, thankyou. I do try. (to that, my father always answers: "yes, you're very trying!").

OK, you're first point, on this issue, I am used to hearing that I'm not seeing the full picture, and that i'm generalizing too much. mostly it comes from people who in some way think my thoughts are personal moral affrontages on their own choices. So I should make it clear that I am not trying to point the finger at anyone particularly, and that for those who have already entered into the commitment of owning and caring for a companion animal, I don't wish for it to sound like my recommendation be for you to ditch the animal, even though, yes, I strongly believe that it was a mistake in getting it in the first place, to noones benefit. But if that damage is done, it is our moral obligation to come to terms with it as best we are able. I only hope that some deeper thought on the subject might lead one to think twice before allowing oneself to make similar such future choices.

I sort of get your comparison toward the unnaturalness of humans too, but to be honest, I don't fully see the relevance. For sure, I will be the first to admit that we as a species have moved far off the beaten track as close-to-nature beings. But just because we may have, does not in my opinion make it morally acceptable for us to encourage/enforce other species to do likewise. Clearly we have our own issues that need addressing and dealing with, but I see these as distinct and separate to our relationship with animals, and thus things that can be dealt with separately. (although, having said that, I acknowledge too that it's all really intertwined, so there is a tangling somewhat too. hmm.)

I would actually contend that pets are closer to nature than us humans. I don't really see that as being true. I think there is about as much distancing between let's say a city dweller and a tribesman in the Amazon. as there is between the average household dog and an Alaskan wolf. Both us and the dog would likely have minimum chance of survival thrust into the worlds of their distant cousins. Perhaps, to the advantage of the dog, it would be more willing and capable of eating a wider range of foods than we would consider.

Sure, pets are different species, and thus behave differently to us, but that still doesn't mean they are genuinely closer to nature. I suppose though, cats generally have an easier time slipping back into nature, especially if they are taught some basics by their parents before being sold or removed as pets elsewhere.


Fruitarian Mango said...

@Mr.Zed (cont.)

You're scenario of humans encroaching on and destroying the natural habitat of animals is likely realistic, and I am all for rescuing other beings that are clearly in need of such help, with the intention of seeing them big enough to fend for themselves and being released later into more suitable environments when and if available. Perhaps living close to such areas, it would be difficult to just ignore animals clearly in need of help. But more specifically I was referring to the pet trade. Such animals generally do not derive from the wild. They are produced/bred by a massive industry whose heart and soul is intent on breeding for profit. Sure some are given away, some are abandoned and refound. Countless end up in pounds, and are consequently put down. But all of them are ultimately out of their element. Now we can continue supporting this scenario, ad infinitum, or we can acknowledge that we've denatured certain species, and slowly begin to let them go. Sure the species population would diminish. Especially once certain business people realise there is no more profit to be made in the battery breeding of more animals. Pets would become more and more of a rarity as people begin slowly respecting animals instead of treating them as play things.

The experience you had with your dog seems to have taught you that aggression and violence is right, and a behaviour to be encouraged, but I beg to differ. It sounded like you were living with a psychopath whose mood swings could change at any time from happy to viscous, and I don't fully understand how you can be in apparent admiration of such qualities. I'm not saying you shouldn't be, but I certainly can't relate to them and reciprocate them. I would hate to live with someone, anyone, any species, with that kind of threat available, and I don't see this as being a good example of nature. Certainly such examples exist, but they are not the sort that I personally find at all inspirational.

I will agree with you that the depth of personalities of dogs (or any other animal) can run deep. They have individualities, and for sure you are correct, some sulk, and indeed remember bad treatment. They are not dumb. Far from it. And you are surely right that my blanket statement that they forgive completely was an exaggeration. But nevertheless generally they tend to forgive much quicker and easier, and often have an apparent ability to forget their bad moods quickly too. Like biting you and an hour later being seemingly perfectly fine. Maybe they do that all the time with each other in the wild, what do I know, other than that I want no part of it.

other than shortly responding to Parsley's post, I feel I really don't desire to say much more on the subject at the moment. I very much intend to write more on this in my up and coming book, and appreciate what you've said as it will better help me to structure my thoughts on this more clearly.


Fruitarian Mango said...

@Lindsay, I guess when I wrote the above blogpost, it was never my intention to go into so much detail on my thoughts on the keeping of pets, but in a way I am glad I did. I have not said all I believe and understand on the subject, and as I've said, I do intend to write in more detail at a later date. I also have not stated what's stated in order to rub anyone up the wrong way. Like with everything, I'm just a bod with an opinion, whose generally not afraid to voice them, and really at the end of the day, it's up to everyone else to judge for themselves what they believe is right and wrong.. supposing they feel inclined to.

But as I've started, and as you have been quite honest with your own dog situation, and I believe are wondering my personal opinion of it(?), I will give it. Although it is likely one that will not sit easy. Personally I feel, that had you given me this story of the history of your dogs, and told me of how your dogs are being fed purely vegan foods, I would likely be agreeing with your clearly humane choice of helping out a fellow being in need. But in light of the meat and the eggs, I have to point out that what you are effectively saying is that the dog was rescued from a miserable life, but by doing so, you have effectively chosen to increase the suffering of other nameless invisible animals. turning a blind eye to their own individual plights. So although I can't disagree that the quality of life for your own dogs likely improved, by doing so you have set in motion a chain where countless other nameless animals, likely mostly cows, chickens and other such farmyard animals, suffer more. The suffering may be hidden, but each time your mum, or whoever goes to the butcher and says give me some cuts for the dog, and buys them, most clear support and voice is being given to the animal exploitation industry. Even if the flesh and bone is bought cheap, shucks even if it is given away, it would not be done so without some ultimate financial benefit to that bloody trade. Each time your dog is given an egg, chickens are suffering.. people tend to avoid looking at this issue, they tend to oversimplify, and think that egg laying is a natural process that does the chicken no harm, and besides they are free range.. But I think it is worth looking deeper. 50% of all eggs hatched are male, the male are not needed for egg laying, so generally are killed early.. once a chicken's egg laying days are over, they too suffer the same fate. free range is often just a way for people to put some growing nagging consciousness at rest and can mean many different things many that I am sure you would not agree with. If things were more graphic they could be clearly easier to grasp, like if you knew that that your mum (or whoever) went out and trapped killed and skinned and butchered squirrels for your dog, and collected wild birds eggs from the hedgerows, would you still feel that rescuing the dog was justifiable?

Peace and any luck with finding a suitable place to live yet??

parsley said...

Hey Mango!

Thanks for your honest opinion, one in fact I actually I agree with.

I called Rudy and Holly "my dogs", (although I don't actually believe they're mine, in the ownership sense, but rather in the familial sense, for example my sister) they are really my parent's responsibility. The dogs live with my parents (non vegans) and so eat a non-vegan diet. My mom unfortunately feeds them dry dog food, although she does supplement often with bits of apples, carrots, rice, and egg as I mentioned earlier. I don't agree with how my parents feed the dogs, for more reasons than just the meat-thing, but let's give the situation of Rudy's rescue a twist.

Suppose that I rescued Rudy, and being a vegan, fed Rudy a vegan diet? I do believe that dogs can be healthy on a raw vegan diet.

How would that change your opinion? It seems to me that your objection was mainly because the continuation of Rudy's life as a meat-eating dog means the death and suffering of many many other animals. Do you think the current system is set up in a way that encourages or necessitates the adoption of domesticated animals into human families? It seems to me that it does, because the alternative for these animals is euthanasia, neglect, abuse, or starvation.

As for finding a home, we'll be living out of our little Toyota Corolla until further notice. We're rethinking Florida, maybe California?

Mr. Zed said...

Mango, I find your comments worthy of much consideration and will study and re-read them again in trying to find knowledge and inspiration on this subject and nature in general. It's just two things which caused me a bit of angst but I promise I won't say anything controversial as I know you said your last on this for now.

1) You are quite correct to say that animals aren't as they are in nature, and I will concede that in some ways my contention was inaccurate. However, I do believe that in some ways animals raised here could be even closer to nature than indigenous tribes, who often have very strange beliefs and hunt meat to eat. I think their lack of knowledge of language is in some ways wonderful thing. Now obviously some dogs are trained to act in certain ways, which leads me to my next point...

2) I never said aggression was to be encouraged or "right" in a general sense, I said that I was glad that he felt the freedom to do that if he disagreed with what we were doing. He wasn't living in fear, thats what I meant. He didn't have "mood swings", the only time that he ever attacked when I didn't expect it was that time my mom asked me to go out to help tie him up for the night on a long chain by his kennel. It was dark and I feel it was understandable. That wasn't a moodswing, it was either me not understanding or him not understanding. It wasn't something out of the blue that he just attacked me for no reason. I wouldn't have put my finger in his mouth or let him stand on me (while trying to avoid him licking my face) if I didn't. I would trust him with my life. He wasn't a really big dog like a rottweiler or anything, he was a kind of cocker spaniel, so I didn't have to actually trust him with my life.

Mr. Zed said...

If he was asleep on a couch, you wouldn't want to wake him up by pushing him off it, he might be cranky which you can understand. Once when he woke up on the couch, he saw guests we had that he didn't recognize, and he got very cranky and when my snobby aunt (who he knew) tried to push him off the seat, he snapped at her (I don't think he got her). Just like you wouldn't do that to a human. You would expect a human to show "aggression" for doing that, just like you would from this dog. How can you gain any expression for a dog if he's just a "yes man"?

It's hard to explain Mango. He made me respect him, just like how any animal wants respect for his personal rights and personal space. He would only snap if after repeated warnings you did not give him the respect he wanted. Sometimes in fact for small bones he would be fine and just eat it, it's when he got some large bone (possibly raw), that he wanted noone to go near him.

I wouldn't patronize him by saying that I "enjoyed" or "encouraged" any of his unfriendly gestures, that would be hypocritical and go against the natural order of things - maybe that is why you have issues with the idea. I was afraid of them, and tried to be fair to him and be a friend to him. But I feel that these gestures at times were NATURAL and in no way something "lesser" than all his acts of kindness towards me. He would go crazy with excitement every day as soon as someone who had been away entered the house, every single day he would welcome them by jumping up and wagging his entire body.

Fruitarian Mango said...

@Lindsay, yes, for sure, I think I already conceded that bit, raw vegan would surely be an all around better choice, and I can understand sympathy and a feeling of obligation to stop suffering. But I still want to underline the other issues I made mention of, that of sexual mutilation and neglect, both minor and major. Even if the dog was given total freedom, and clearly was given a loving caring home with no neglect or surgery and raw vegan food, I would still have a part of me that sees the situation as something to be fundamentally avoided. If I found a squirrel with a broken leg, I would want to help it, but never make it dependent on me.. Enforced dependence is in itself a form of abuse in my eyes.

And yes, I do see the trade and society as a whole as something that encourages and incites the continuation of this practise, even if it's just through the brainwashing of our children that pet keeping is "normal". The more examples of it there are, the more "normal" it appears.

In a way, I see it as ultimately more humane to totally boycott the whole scene, once we take on a stance of yes, we'll keep an animal, we are more or less forced to make compromises in our lives that otherwise might understand the moral objections.. I love that saying that believe in absurdities, causes atrocities, and I surely see that as being very true with the pet trade.. people believe it is normal to keep animals (an absurdity), and then they are faced with feeding it, often objectionable foods, getting it neutered, or leaving it to sulk all day alone while they go out to work. (atrocities).. Yes, I'm making blanket assumptions again, but even if the animal is fed well, left physically intact, not left unduly to fend off boredom, allowed to socially interact with other animals etc, the offspring could theoretically be there within a few short years, and then you are faced with selling or giving them away, and the whole issue continues ad infintum, and chances are the next owners wont be so open minded as you and see these issues at all..

Well.. Honestly, I think I've once more said really enough. Please don't take offense if I don't reply further, as I very much value all of your opinions, and I fully intend to address all these issues and more in my book. so you'll have to all wait for that I guess..

anyhow. Thanks to both you and Mr.Zed for shedding some light on the kind of things I need to focus on while working on that particular chapter.


efi said...

to me all these people are deeply lonely. And this is sad...

Fruitarian Mango said...

Agreed efi.. very sad people..

returning very very briefly to the companion animal/pet topic. in case yous were unaware, I have blogged about the subject previously:

Ethics of Companion Animals
Companion Animals Facts

peace & hugs,