Farmers Almanac advice on love
By: By Sheelagh Matthews
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 06, 2013 01:33 pm
ďThe world needs all the good you can do.Ē I discovered this quote in my copy of the ever-popular ďOld Farmerís AlmanacĒ a year or so ago. I donít know who said it, but I took it to heart. It being February and the month of love, I thought it appropriate to explore this topic a bit more.
Love, as we know, comes in many forms. Thereís the pulse-quickening love of romance that we most often associate with Valentineís Day. While this heady stuff is what we write songs, poems and stories about, thereís also the quieter, more steadfast, and less flamboyant type of love we share between family and friends. This type of love is more about mutual respect and being able to count on one another when we need a helping hand, an unjudging ear, or a leg up.
We often think in terms of human-to-human interaction when we think of love. But, what about the love we share with our fellow animal friends? Evidence abounds for this kind of love.
Everybody knows that little Jackie Paper loved Puff, the Magic Dragon, that little girls love ponies, and that little boys love puppies. Any number of adults would admit to being dog people, cat people, or both. (As for me, Iím a ďboth.Ē) Jane Goodall, smitten by the apes of Africa, devoted her life to spending time with and studying her primate friends. What about all the volunteers and donors associated with wilderness and river cleanups, or animal rescue operations and facilities? All show their deep love for animals in one way or another.
Yet, all too often, we also forsake our animal friends ó sometimes for a frivolous fashion trend, sometimes because we simply donít know better. Often we are not even remotely conscious of what it takes for us to enjoy our privileged North American lifestyle. I am sad to say it too often requires the suffering of innocent animals to feed our fashion frenzy, whether itís for the latest clothing, furniture or foods.
Did you know that international trade in cat and dog fur is on the rise in a big way? A lot of this fur comes from China, where labour costs are low to make garments and where dogs and cats arenít thought of in the same way as we think of them here. Some of the reports Iíve read tell of grossly inhumane treatment of these animals, including animals that are skinned alive only to trim the hood of a jacket that may well end up on retailerís rack in Canada.
Doesnít Canada have laws against the import of furs, you ask? Yes, it does. Canadian law strictly forbids the import of furs from animals listed as endangered. The loophole exists because dogs and cats are not on that list.
If you think labeling will protect your karma as you purchase a fur-trimmed garment or upholstery, think again. Do you really believe a supplier to Canada of dog and cat furs, or fur items, would admit they are taking part in this reprehensible activity? Letís face it, not everyone is as polite as we Canadians. The real answer, of course, is to just say no to items made with fur of any kind. If we put a stop to the demand, weíll put a stop to this dirty, little secret.
Besides, what give us the right to treat another living being inhumanely? Some would argue thereís no hope for animals until we first start treating our fellow man with love and respect. I say thereís no hope for any of us until we start treating all life with love and respect. After all, arenít we in this world together? Isnít our very existence based on our ability to live together, in harmony and balance, with the natural world of which we are a part? Heck, even savvy Super Bowl fans understand they have the bees to thank for their brewskies and half-time party snacks
Whether itís the banning of bee-killing pesticides you want to support, or pledging to never buy or wear fur again, we could all use a whole lotta love like this. Doing the good the world needs us to do ó now thatís in our best interest.
For more in your best interest, follow Sheelagh on Twitter @sheesays.