Well I'm getting really pissed off with writing about this topsy-turvy weather this year, just as any readers must be at reading about it. Yesterday was the first morning this year so far, that the blue skies and warm sun allowed me to walk round the reserve without a coat on. Today, under heavy grey skies, showers of rain and temperatures barely above freezing, it was back to the winter coat and gloves again - so depressing!
To increase my depression, today is the day that that alleged great spectacle of English sport takes place, the Grand National. A day which see many people spend an awful amount of money on clothes that make them look like clowns and even more money on betting which horse can survive the hardship and win the race. I find it incredible that so many people, even those that allege to be compassionate about their own livestock, can sponsor and enjoy watching, tired horses being twice forced round an arduous course that often sees them fall out of tiredness and get shot, because they will not be of any use any more. Yes, I know they're shot because broken legs are difficult and expensive to repair but with a bit of compassion they could at least have a full life. Perhaps if the shooting was also televised it might focus a few minds on what they're actually sponsoring.
Another example of how we are increasingly seeing animals as machines and altering their normal life-styles for profit with lack of compassion, was seen last week on BBC's Countryfile programme. It showed an example of an increasing style of dairy farming whereby the cattle are kept in huge barns for nine, or even twelve months of the year, purely to exist as milk machines. Their whole life consists of standing together in muck and straw and being milked twice a day in huge revolving milking machines. They never experience blue skies, sunshine, rain, or the joys of eating green grass and clover, they are purely milking machines kept in artificial conditions, just as many chickens still are for their meat and eggs. Contrast those cattle with another herd in the same programme that when let out into green meadows after the winter, ran around the fields for the first half an hour, kicking their legs up and being thoroughly delighted to be there.
You do have to wonder at times whether we are actually moving away from many of the bad practices of yesteryear.