I have to hold my hands up right away and say that any notion I entertain here of ‘saving animals’ is not 100% objective and measurable. In this inter-tangled world of cause and effect its hard to measure the outcomes of ones actions. Furthermore, ‘saving animals’ is a statement that opens up all sort of further questions, many of which would keep a table of drunken philosophy students happy for an evening or two in the pub:
What counts as ‘saving’ an animal exactly?
Does de-lousing a seal count? Or is that just ‘helping’?
What is an ‘animal’ for gods sake? Are whitebait animals?
What if I help someone else or a charity to save an animal? Do I get a point?
If I STOP eating my usual portions of fish do I get to say I’ve ‘saved’ those fish?
Does saving 100 worms count the same as saving 100 rhinos?
If not, why not?
This exercise does not rest on a scientific footing. It rests on shaky bamboo stilts. But nevertheless those shaky bamboo stilts rise me above the murky waters of inaction. Perhaps I should call this section more accurately -‘ANIMALS SORT OF HELPED SO FAR’. Furthermore I’m allowing myself to count animals in this list whose lives I would have otherwise harmed if not for this year of compassion. That might seem like cheating, , if I was a mass animal murderer and decided to take a break for a week could I really say I saved those animals I woudl otherwise have brutally murdered? But hte point is I’m not a mass murderer, I’m an average bloke. And I think its fair to measure how many animals are better off than would otherwise have been if I’d stayed on a sofa eating pepperoni pizza.
If you hate my measurement of compassion you can write to me and tell me I’m an imbecile. But please don’t. Go help a slug instead. That counts as one animal saved.
DIARY OF SAVINGS:
July 10th 2012 – 2 flies rescued from certain death between the window sills.
July 12th – 150 snails/slugs rescued from garden
July 15th – 0 whales saved, pah!
July 24th – 10 fish from stoning, 3 maggots, 1/2 domestic: Bug gets taken to the vet and treated for foreign object stuck in his nose and stopping him eating right.
July 30th – 1 bird: crow rescued from tree
Aug 10th – 1 domestic: Duck rescued from balcony with help of RPSCA .Half a point?
Aug 20th – 100 insect: Another 100 snails…urgh
Aug 23rd – 1/2 domestic: Helped a dog escape doggy death row. But really All Dogs Matter did it.
Aug 28th – 1/2 domestic: Gave Max a second a chance
Aug30th – 2 domestic: rescued 2 small staffies from being sold on gumtree who were in ill health.
Sept 2nd – 1/2 domestic: picked up dog with terrible mange and took to treatment for AllDogsMatter
Sept 9th – 1/2 domestic: helped retrieve dog tied up by chain to tree in Greece who is now in Britain for new life
October – to be assessed: ongoing work on Staffy campaign to raise money and awareness for staffies’ plights
Nov 15th – 1/2 domestic: took photo of unwanted Staffy Eli to help find her a new life-home.
Nov 20th – 1 wild: rescued crow from chimney and taken to sanctuary -then released.
Dec1st- 1 domestic: Spotted small puppy rescued from side of busy highway.
Dec2nd – 1/2 domestic. Helped catch 2 stray dogs for medical assistance and neutering who were treated and released. Impact on dog population and consequent misery unknown but likely positive.
Dec 9th – 1/2 domestic. Found, caught and neutered three dogs with bad skin and other conditions. Who knows if they will be saved but impact on population positive. Half point.
Dec 11th – 1 domestic: caught and saved the maggot dog!
Dec 16th – MINUS 4 birds. DISASTER. Tried to save 7 birds by letting them free in forest. Six died from crow attacks. Me total idiot. Rescued the other and gave him new home and then gave him a mate. 6 dead, 2 saved = MINUS 4. Urgh.
Feb 1st – 5 Birds. Saved 5 Guillemots on south coasts after washed up by oil slick disaster.
Feb 8th – 1 domestic – through selling prints helped raise enough money to get Prince, the starving Galgo, his medical bills, food and care. Of course Charlotte is doing the real hard work.
Feb 14th – 2 x 1/2 domestic – raised enough money from print sales to allow charlotte to take on another rescued galga and podenco. Once again, Charlotte doing the hard work, me supporting by cash
March 1st – 1/2 domestic. Despite failing to catch Martin the podenco (and despite the more impressive version of me, Miguel, finally catfhing him) I have managed to raise enough money to pay for all his care and shelter to get him physically healthy again. Linda and Olga doing the real hard work.
March 29th- 1 domestic. Mango the puppy rescued from a wall in a street where dogs are rounded up to be killed. Waiting to come back to the UK
April 7th – 1 wild scary Tokay gecko released from captivity into jungle in Manipur, North East India.
April 14th – 1 domestic – Little ‘Tammy’ the delhi street dog with leg wound that is now being cared for in Frendicoes and looking for a new home.
May 10th – 1 domestic – Large Akita dog found roaming streets of Hackney narrowly missed by multiple cars. Caught it and turned it in to rescue services
June 30th – 2 domestic – 2 puppies saved from meat trade
July 5th – 1 wild, 3 birds – one tortoise released into river from wild market where it probably drowned, 2 jungle rodents released = 1 in total and a very guilty feeling.3 bird released into jungle
July 6th – 7 wild – 7 tortoises released safely into jungle from wild market
July 9th – 2 fish, 2 wild – 2 fish and 2 toads released into lake from Hanoi food market. Lake is protected against fishing and poaching so lets hope they survive
Aug 20th – 6 farmed, 4 fish According to various estimates going vege can save up to 400 animals a year. Of course, it’s not technically saving animals, it’s just not killing them. Let’s take a more conservative estimate of a 120 a year and I’ll give myself a few farm animals – and fish, as I am properly veggie – each month.
Sept 20th – 6 farmed, 4 fish As above
Oct 20th – 6 farmed, 4 fish as above