Wednesday, March 07, 2007



Animals are animals. They’re not cute, or cuddly or safe.

Have you seen the photograph in the press of the man with his head in the crocodile’s jaws – his ‘friend’, the one hes raised, the one who loves him? Oh yeah, lets all wait till the piece appears entitled ‘Man Decapitated By Pet’.

Animals are different to us. They’re not human. They don’t possess human qualities. Sure, monkeys use tools, and murder each other – very human characteristics – but they’re not human. They turn on you in a flash.

Haven’t you even been raked by sharp, malicious claws by the quiet, wouldn’t hurt a fly, family pet, the cat? You only tried to take his bowl off him and he attacked. Has you beloved pet dog, little lap dog – wouldn’t hurt a fly pet – turned on you with snarling teeth, ready to fly at your throat because you took a stuffed toy – his, yes – but he was ripping it to shreds – off him?

They are animals – ‘farmer gored by house cow’ – no matter how much we domesticate them, and give them human attributes. ‘He knows everything I say’ – well, yes, until you say ‘stop!’ and make a grab.

I like animals – because they are animals. My favourite animal is the tiger – he’s majestic, he prowls, he looks at you with a blank, but all seeing, stare. He has a lovely pattern. I like giraffes, they have long blue tongues, and I’ve been licked by one. Lovely! But both would kill you in an instance. Yes, even the giraffe. He would kick you to death, or swing that amazing big head, on that amazing big neck, and kill you with a blow.

Lets be real. You child is not Steve Irwin, with years of experience about how to keep his eye on the dangerous bit – bill, teeth, horn, fangs – your child is a risk with any animal.

You are the little old lady in her unit with her four Pomeranians, her companions, indulged with chicken while she eats baked beans.
She dies, alone, and guess what – when they find her she’s been eaten by the little fluffy dogs. Oh dear. Well, guess why? They’re animals. They’re different to us.

Thank God for the difference. Animals are essential, are wonderful, are photogenic, are suppliers of many good things, including meat and glue.

When we describe the rapist as an animal, we’re being real for once. Animals don’t think too much about what they’re doing or the repercussions – they act. They are brutal. They have to be. They have to survive. Why eat your young if its not for survival of the fittest?

Animals attack – that’s what they do. Even a pet bunny would turn on you and scratch you, kick you or butt you. Have you ever heard a koala growl? It’s frightening!

Don’t misconstrue what I’m saying. Animal are wonderful, magnificent, brilliant – but they’re dangerous. Lets treat them as something different to us. Lets not have penguins dancing – sure, that helps our children identify with them, and to want to save them, and to want to protect them – but, Goddamnit, they’re animals. Each and every one of them.

© Nelma Ward


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