Saturday, 9 April 2016

Bad weather and bad attitudes

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.


  1. Totally agree. A bit like fox hunting for me. We are in 2016. No need to chase a fox looking like a tart on a horse. Scum. As you said, what horse will survive. Another unnessary waste of money and more importantly, a life. Perhaps we should have a human Grand National where we chase the fox hunters until they are within an inch of their lives. Yes, that sounds like 'fairness'to me!!

  2. Agree Marc, I disagree with fox hunting because of it's method. Foxes can be killed quickly and cleanly by shooting them, they don't need to be chased for miles for fun until their legs and lungs give out. In respect of the Grand National, it always appals me that an injured horse gets shot but the rider gets five star medical treatment, perhaps the jockeys should get the same treatment as the horses, or vice-versa.

  3. One of the highlights of the year for me Derek is the day our cattle go out into the fields. As the day draws nearer and the grass begins to grow then the cows get restless and sniff the air. But they have to be patient until there is enough grass to sustain them and until the fields have dried up sufficiently for them not to get covered in mud. Then one morning - usually in early May - the time arrives and the gates are opened. They always go out at a gallop, tails in the air and go round and round the field. Who in their right mind could deny them the pleasure of that?

  4. Nobody should Pat, it's a wonderful sight but some greedy, profit minded and allegedly modern farmers will and do. In the process, by guaranteeing thousands of litres of milk per day to the supermarkets, they can also be responsible for the glut of other and smaller dairy farmers being forced out of business.