♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Why ____________ matters to me. Share what you’re passionate about. Strong opinion pieces allowed.
Welcome back to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop! If you’re new to the series, the authors included are grateful for your reads and appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Be prepared to become a regular reader.
Strong opinions make up a good number of my responses to the blog hop prompts. This time, I want to do something different than that. It’s not that I don’t feel strongly, but what I feel so very passionate about is something that brings me great joy.
You’re probably expecting me to say books, reading, or writing. Well, I have a surprise for you. Here’s a hint: my passion is on my list of topics.
No, not that one either.
Ah! There you go. Yes, Sadie Sue Shagbottom.
Why would I say that my dog is my passion? I am an advocate for adopting not shopping. Sadie happens to be my rescue pooch. How we came together can be puzzled together from allusions to the event in other posts on the site. Sadie also did an interview for the blog here. She’s the star of Shagbottom Theater, a fun part of the blog and my YouTube channel. (Yes, I understand she doesn’t really talk, but do you need me to break the fourth wall for this and take away from the fun?)
Rescuing animals is important to the fabric of culture as well as the well-being of our world. You won’t find me supporting the efforts of PETA, who are anything but ethical about their treatment of animals. I don’t throw money at the lavishly appointed SPCA. I keep my donations local, and I write about adopting on the blog. Shagbottom Theater is an effort to make adoption attractive to more furever homes that haven’t come over to the option. You’d be surprised how many people aren’t aware of the true issue of overpopulation and the dire need to take animals from shelters.
It’s people like me who have ensured that animals obtain better status on our planet, and the biblical and archaic idea that they are soulless tools for our sole pleasure is eradicated. The very idea of that makes me sick. Pagan ideas are much more attractive—until you get to sacrifice, but at least they were equal opportunity and we didn’t get out of the deal just because we’re the dominant species on Earth. Much like I don’t go in with PETA, any radical idea leaning too far either way is too far either way. I am no vegan, and I justify that by understanding that I too am an animal and require food to continue living. Part of the food sources for me are other animals. Veganism isn’t healthy, despite what many vegans would say on the topic. Unfortunately, they listen to a lot of pseudoscience that backs up what they want to hear about their beliefs. Whatever helps you sleep at night. Pass the bacon.
Having grown up with pets, and really communed with animals, my perspective is that they’re entirely sentient. These moments when they are in thought and awareness are the most precious to observe, and unless you’re soulless and blind, you can see them, too. Some might dismiss those observations as anthropomorphism. However, I ask, why do we have the market cornered on any thought or action? Why does it make more sense that only humans think or act and animals just react? People even site training animals as proof, saying that animals merely mimic what we teach them, if they’re capable, and that depends on brain size and kind. So children don’t learn just about everything by mimicry? Only human type brains are capable of seeing color and making connections? Isn’t that just a form of arrogant privilege speaking? Egoism?
A great cognitive scientist named Dr. Irene Pepperberg has been studying the sentience of parrots since the 1970s. Her The Alex Foundation has been blowing conventional understanding out of the water with breakthroughs in animal cognition for years—breaking down walls for female scientists as well as dismissing notions of bird brains. I highly recommend her book, Alex and Me. It will change the way we view our natural world. One thing this world needs more of is empathy.
Check out this video on Dr. Pepperberg and her team of African Grays, then hop on over to some of the other blogs to find out what the other authors in the group care deeply about.
While you’re at it, check out Alex. You won’t regret it. (I’m such a fan girl!)