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Blogathon Day 15 – Fish are friends, not food!

Should animals be killed for acting naturally in their own environments?

This answer to this question seems simple enough to me, no. No humans do not and should not have the right to kill animals who were acting on instinct. Actions which have been learned since the dawn of time are not pre meditated; they are not acts of vengeance. Research shows when there are attacks on humans it is usually for one of two reasons, either the animal was provoked or seeking food. How often can humans make the same argument?

When Katy first set this topic she pointed us in the direction of a news story on the BBC website; Australian authorities are currently hunting a shark off the west coast of the continent after three attacks on humans in the area. Beaches have been closed and baited hooks left in the water, despite there being no way of telling which shark (or sharks) is responsible for the attacks.

There are, as always, two sides to this argument. There’s the human rights side, the same side which puts down a dog when it has attacked another dog…or a human, the side which sends people to jail, the argument that bad behaviour should be punished and humanity protected whether premeditated or not. The alternative argument is for animal rights, why should animals be punished when they don’t know any better? Humans have labelled themselves more intelligent than these animals making the attack. You know that if you provoke an animal it will attack you, we have a good idea of when animals have young and will be more protective of their territory, there have been studies which show that sharks are more likely to attack in cloudy waters, so don’t be an idiot and arrogantly ask for trouble!

Of course when these debates occur they’re often about ‘fluffy’ or endangered animals. What about the times most people wouldn’t even think before acting? How many spiders have you killed? How about flies? I’m talking about the harmless ones which don’t really pose you any threat, they’re just annoying. Moths hitting the car at night…I don’t see anyone campaigning for their rights. The hundreds of thousands of fish who are caught, killed, and then thrown back because they don’t meet quotas…well in all fairness there is a campaign against that. Do you eat meat? If yes, why is that ok but killing an animal you don’t intend to eat isn’t? If not, do you agree with animals which have attacked humans being put down?  How about the number 1 killer of humans worldwide, the mosquito, would you think twice about killing one of those? Doubt it. When a stingray killed Steve Irwin people actively campaigned against fans seeking revenge on the creatures. They were merely being stingrays, Steve would have understood, they don’t deserve, as a species, to be punished for the death of a daredevil celebrity.

We will never know both sides of the story when it comes to animal attacks. For some reason the legend of Gelert has been in my mind all the way through writing this post, so I’d like to share it with you (there are several versions slightly different versions of this tale, this is the one I know).

Legend has it that a Prince named Llewelyn had a dog called Gelert. Llewelyn was very fond of hunting and in the summer he lived in his hunting lodge at the foot of Snowdon, the tallest mountain in Wales. Although he had many dogs, Gelert was his favourite. Not only was he fearless in the hunt he was also a loyal friend and companion at home.

One day Llewelyn went hunting, he called for Gelert but the hound didn’t come. On Llewelyns return Gelert came out from the lodge to meet his master, his paws and mouth were covered in blood. The dwelling was in carnage with furniture upturned, including the cot which had contained Llewelyns infant son, the bedding and floor stained with blood. Assuming the worst Llewelyn drew his sword and killed Gelert. As the dog lay dying a baby began to cry from behind the cradle. Llewelyn pulled it aside to revel his son lying unharmed next to the body of a great wolf.

Gelert had been protecting the child, and had come out to greet his master after being the faithful loyal dog he was. Filled with remorse Llewelyn buried his faithful compaion and built a church next to the grave. Over the years a village was born around the church, the village of Beddgelert (Gelerts Grave) in North Wales. The Prince, it is said, never smiled again.

You’re never going to know the true reason for an animals behaviour, at best we can make an educated guess. As a species we humans consider ourselves of superior intelligence. Sometimes I really wish we’d act it.

This post is part of the Twitter Blogathon.

I realise this post ended on a bit of a downer. So here’s a video of a cheeky monkey to cheer you up!


About LilMissKaty

Just a normal girl who likes to try new things, go on adventures, spend time with fun people and tell stories...which is how this blog came about really!

6 responses »

  1. Firstly, I believe consuming an amount of meat is part of the food chain…we just go to Asda to get it instead of take our kitchen knives and find it in the wild. 😛 But that’s neither here nor there.

    I have actually heard that story before and you know what, I can’t remember how it made me feel last time, but right now I’m close to tears. So often we forget to remember that animals intelligence actually far outweighs our own. Their instincts are second to none and we, we hide behind petty excuses and blame culture, we sit at our computers and pretend the world owes us something because we’re humans…but if we could all go back a few thousands years to a time where instincts meant everything and people as well as animals lived in a kill for food and be killed by something bigger then maybe we wouldn’t have the same problems we have.

    Wars weren’t built on instincts to survive, they were built on instincts to have more than we perhaps deserve.

    • I always find that story sad, maybe there should have been a warning before it was told, sorry. Another upsetting blog, I’m just too good at it!!

      Was trying not to take sides on the whole meat eating thing, just another element to think about really, what’s ok and what isn’t ok and who actually decides?

      Did you come up with that quote at the end? I like it, our instinct for greed is a sad fact of humanity.

      • Lol! I think it’s the kind of story that is mostly okay without a warning, unless you’re a small child who has a dog that they love to pieces! Lol.

        Yeah, it makes sense, it’s not like there’s someone who dictates what we can and can’t eat, haha.

        I did actually! It made sense as I was writing it, lol. It really is a sad part of being human and one part that I dislike a lot.

  2. Very well written missy 🙂 the fact that the three of us have all come to the same conclusion makes me wonder who, rationally, in the world thinks it is ok to kill animals (by rationally I don’t mean poachers or those that kill for fun or for sport) – who gave the order in Australia?

    Your point about mosquitos definitely made me stop and think…

    • Perhaps they’d had too much sun!

      It was the stingray thing that really got me thinking, I remember people actively campaigning against protecting them when Steve Irwin died, it was a really contentious issue that people were killing them in his memory. Why is that not ok but hunting a shark, when the only way to find out which shark carried out the attack is to cut it open, is?

  3. Pingback: Day 15 – Should we kill a shark for being a shark? « twitterblogathon

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