diumenge, 12 de maig de 2019

L'importància de compartir casa amb un animal de companyia

[CAT/ENG] "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." ― Mahatma Gandhi
“Es pot jutjar la grandesa d’un país i el seu progrés moral, mirant com tracten als seus animals”

Aquesta frase m’ha fet pensar molt durant molt de temps. També em fa pensar aquella gent que diuen ‘No us amoïnesseu tant pels animals, i penseu més en els humans’. He arribat a la conclusió de si volem pensar en els humans, si volem ser una societat amable i generós, Gandhi tenia raó – com tractem als animals és un bon indicador.

La meva teoria és que a les societats, malauradament, trobem mil raons, o excuses, per ‘maltractar’ als humans – interessos econòmics, de guerra, laborals, capitalisme, consumerisme, relacions personals... gairebé sempre acabem fent mal a algú directament o indirectament en benefici nostra. Sap mal, però és així. Però en el cas dels animals, la societat no treu benefici d’un maltractament als animals, només allò que alguns diuen ‘plaer’. El ‘plaer’ de fer mal pel simple motiu de fer mal. No sé si m’explico: vull dir que no m’agrada gens però puc arribar a entendre (a base de repassar els últims 4 mil anys d’història)  que els humans vivim en una batalla continua entre natros; però que estem en una batalla contra els gats, els bous, o els dragonets, doncs, no ho veig. Per tant, el primer pas per sanejar-nos com a societat seria això, deixar de torturar els animals. I potser això ens portarà al pas de tractar-nos millor com a humans també. 

Anant al grà, he dit això per a reafirmar la meva tesi de que és interessant tenir animals domèstics, crec que aporta molt a les famílies i les persones i ens ajuda a tractar millor tant els animals com als humans. M’he adonat que una casa no és una casa de veritat si no ho comparteixes amb algun animalet. Quan vaig néixer, mons pares van agafar un gos i vam créixer junts. Teníem un lligam molt fort i vaig aprendre molt sobre lo que significa estimar i l'empatia. En morir aquella gosseta, als 15 anys, vam esperar un any (allò de que ‘No ho sé, és molta feina tenir un altre gos...´), però mons pares van acabar agafant un altre gos – un gos perdut que se’ls hi va presentar a casa! Jo vaig marxar a l’universitat i després a Catalunya, però compartia temps amb el gos durant vacances i visites. Amb la meva vida nova a Catalunya, amb dos viatges llargs a Anglaterra  cada any, vaig dubtar sobre tornar a tenir-ne un animal aquí. També vaig passar 3 anys vivint en pisos, cosa complicat per un animal. Però finalment, temps al temps, amb la sortida en escena dels nostres fills i al poder viure en una casa al camp, hem acabat tornant a la bona vida. Peixos a una basseta que tenim al jardí, hamsters i conills que volien els xiquets, però que ara han passat al animal-heaven, tortugues, cucs de seda, insectes de pal, animalets que passen pel jardí i ara un gat, la Nala. 

Veig que els nostres fills també han aprés a estimar els animals i a mostrar les seves emocions. No veuen els animals com a una diana per a tirar-los pedres com alguns xiquets, ni parlen com aquella gent ‘adulta’ que no veuen el tristor en atropellar un animal amb el cotxe. Per no parlar, evidentment, d’aficions bastant cruels en relació als animals que es viuen molt en aquesta zona. Com he dit abans, crec que el primer pas en educar els fills en l’amor i la compassió en la vida pot passar per l’exemple de casa amb un animal de companyia.

I, com podeu haver comprovat, desmunto la teoria de que o has de ser 'de gossos' o has de ser 'de gats'. Pots estimar i apreciar les caracteristiques dels dos!
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"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." ― Mahatma Gandhi
I’ve thought a lot about what this means over the years. And my conclusion is linked to how I feel about the typical phrase people often come out with, “Stop worrying so much about animals, there are humans who are suffering – let’s help them first.” Well, my conclusion is that if we want a society which cares for humans, a society which is friendly and generous, perhaps Gandhi was right – the first indicator of a society is how we treat animals.

What I’ve come to think is that, unfortunately, we come up with many, many, 'excuses' to mistreat humans – economic issues, wars, work competition, capitalism and consumerism, personal relationships... there are endless situations where humans mistreat other humans for their own benefit, either directly or indirectly. It’s terrible, but the last four thousand years seem to indicate that there is no end in sight just yet to this ‘human eat human’ society. However, in comparison, there’s very little, if any, benefit in mistreating animals. Merely the so-called ‘pleasure’ some people obtain from inflicting pain on others. Not sure if I’ve explained this well; what I mean is that I can just about understand the fact that humans live in a constant battle among ourselves, but I somehow doubt that we are, or should be, in a battle with cats, ants, bulls, or lizards! To sum up, the first step to become a better and healthier society is to stop torturing or harming animals and treat them as you’d like to be treated yourselves. Who knows, a few lessons in love may then run over into our human-human relationships?

Getting to the point, that’s a long-winded introduction to today’s post about why it’s important to have a pet. I firmly believe having a pet around the house is excellent news for the family and household and definitely helps in the upbringing of your own children. My parents got a dog more or less when I was born and we grew up together. We loved and cared for her up until her old age, and when she eventually passed away at the age of 15 it was like losing one of the family – because that’s exactly what she was. Our parents had a year or so off, thinking of all the work involved in having a pet, but soon enough they fell into the trap again and took in a stray which turned up on our doorstep. Between university and moving out to Catalonia, I didn’t see so much of her but we spent time together during my trips back to my parents’ home. Here in Catalonia I spent the first few years living in flats – not good for certain kinds of pets. Plus, the twice-a-year long trips back to the UK would have meant finding a pet-sitter so we left the subject aside for a while. But when our children came along, we soon fell back into the habit, especially as by then we’d moved into a house with a big garden. Encouraged by the kids (though we didn’t need much encouragement), we’ve been through the usual procession of pets; fish, turtles, silkworms, hamsters, stick insects, rabbits, and now we have a cat, Nala. 

Thanks to all this, we’ve brought warmth and caring into our house and our children have learned to love animals and express their feelings and emotions. Though it may seem part of the past, there are still children – and, even worse, teenagers and adults - who think it’s fun to throw stones at cats or don’t see the problem in running over an animal with their car. Touching wood, I hope our children are growing up differently. And, obviously, avoiding the outright cruel ‘hobbies’ related to animals which are still common practice around these parts. As I have tried to say, I think one of the things we can all do to educate our children with love and compassion is to show them this through the example of having a four-legged (or 6-legged, 8-legged, no-legged...) member of the family too!
Oh, and as you will have noticed, I've discovered you don't have to be either a 'dog person' or a 'cat person'. You can love both!



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