Sunday, May 16, 2010

Postings By Others Dedicated to Furthering the Understanding of Animals + People In the Support of Animal Welfare

Tips and Tricks in Helping You Communicate with Your Best Friend:
It is hard to recognize what we do not know; especially when we were not raised to understand it.
As people, we are raised to understand and communicate with other people, and we innately tend towards them as a result of that upbringing.
People are no different from animals in that respect. Animals, like humans, instinctively tend towards those that are similar. Unfortunately, due to these upbringings, we have limited our exposure to everything outside our realm, and it has lead to repercussions:
Our nurturing has blinded us from understanding other animals; even our pets. While this may seem irrelevant, it has lead to difficulties along the way. As people expand into new areas, many choose to adopt animals, since they have more available space. In addition, as living expansion have continued they have forced more and more interaction with animals they have never been exposed to. As this happens, animal and human contact zones overlap. Animals have no problem adapting to this change. Domesticated animals are used to human exposure, and are able to find a comfortable place for themselves within the designated area. Non-domesticated animals are also able to adapt to adapt as long as it has no effect on their availability, or convenience of food. People, on the other hand, react in dismay. They are used to their exposure of people, not animals, as they should be. It reflects their upbringing. But, unlike animals, they are not as responsive to change. Growing up in a wooded, suburban area I am comfortable with the additional exposure. Although through observation, I recognize that many are not. People are used to their space, and take pride in their privacy. Sharing their space with animals they neither don't understand, nor feel the need to understand, is not an easy task to overcome. In response to this, many leave their pets outside, considering them as "outdoor" animals. Others consider the exposure to be too much, and choose to abandon the animal, or give them to a shelter. When concerning non-domesticated animals, I've witnessed people chasing the animals, throwing stones at them, even odorizing their plants, all in an effort to prevent this excessive exposure. While these responses may seem like an appropriate answer to the problem at the time, they can only act as a temporary solution. The wild animals still come back at some point in search of food, and the pets you've chosen to abandon, can often wind up in residential areas, scavenging out of hunger. Even the shelters are limited in their carrying capacity, and will often have to euthanize the animal as a result. So where does it all end? In order to answer this question, I think it is equally important to consider how we get to this point in the first place?
I truly believe that it all relates back to our lack of exposure, and ultimately our lack of understanding. Making the effort to expose ourselves more to species outside our own realm, is an easy first step towards furthering our understanding of one another. If that means letting a group of deer pass through your yard unannounced, or simply fitting in more time with your pet; every piece of exposure strengthens our communication among one another. Too often we assume we know what animals intentions are; domesticated or not. Too often we misunderstand. We assume a dog barking means he is angry, or upset, when that it not always the case. Observing and attempting to become more receptive is meaningful in the eyes of the animal; domesticated or non-domesticated alike. I have found that often times if you are patient enough, the animal is able to communicate with you in ways you never bothered to notice. Ultimately, the more we are able to foster these characteristics, the more we should be able to overcome this lack of understanding and dismay. Because abandonment and flagrant harm are often a result of this lack of understanding, the more we are able to overcome this mis-communication, the more it should essentially lower that outcome of abandonment and harm. The transition towards respect and camaraderie is a universal task though. What you as an individual may understand, is of only limited use to you. The more people are willing to discuss and share their own knowledge, the more universal and effective advancement of people and animals will become.
In an effort to further this movement of overcoming abandonment and advance our understanding, I have generated a blog which offers people the opportunity to post their knowledge and experiences they have discovered along the way. It is through the cumulative knowledge of many that will ultimately further our understanding. The more we know, the less common abandonment and flagrant harm should occur!
The effort of understanding can go a long way with a many inquisitive minds. Post a tip, or trick that has helped you in becoming one step closer to understand a specific animal, or just animals in general. The help of one, can soon become the help of many,
So Post Your Thoughts in Support of Animal Assertion/Respect!


Katy Mack said...

One thing I've come to recognize is that you must provide animals with consistency. You may find begging at the dinner table annoying at times, but if you've fed them once from there then it becomes habitual for them. Just like a non-domesticated animal may have a faviorite hunting technique, domesticated animals recognize familiar places where they have the opportunity of receiving food.

moyra_b said...

I think it's extremely important to never deceive your furry friend...never offer something you are not going to follow through on. Trust is the most important connection you have between you.

Matt E. said...

Humans. Animals. We speak of them as separate categories, when in actuality, no such partition exists. Strip away the clothing, the technology, the superior mental faculties, and gaze upon humanity in its raw, naked form. To appreciate animals, one must first accept their own animality.

Erin M said...

I was sitting with my dog a while back, and I noticed she was looking me in the eyes. I'd never really thought about it before, and it was surprising to me to realize that (some) animals know to make eye contact. They recognize that something about our eyes is different from the rest of our body; they're the "window to the soul." I can see emotional expressions in my dog's eyes, and when she knows she's been bad, she looks away, breaking that connection.

Katelyn S said...

I never realized how many emotions animals have. After one of our golden retrievers, Maggie, passed away, our other golden, Sierra, became beside herself. It was so upsetting to watch Sierra bark at her reflection in the oven door, knowing that all she wanted was her companion back. A few months after Maggie passed, we were driving down the country road that our house is on and my dad stopped for what we thought was a coyote crossing the road. It was misty out that night because it had just rained, and when we came closer we realized that it wasn't a coyote but a collie. My dad stopped and put her in the back of his truck and we proceeded to drive to all our neighbors houses asking if they knew who she belonged to. None of them knew so we took her home with us and cleaned her up. After weeks with no responses about a lost dog we decided to keep her. We named her Misty, after the night we found her and she has become the greatest addition to our family. Sierra adapted so well and you could tell that she was so glad to have found a new friend. Our family has always said that Maggie sent Misty to us, and Sierra. I believe that fate had its way that night, and none of us could imagine our lives without Misty.