Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Just a Wednesday at the Rousseau Ranchette

Just your typical day at the ranch...the dogs lounging on velvet pillows, the hens relaxing in the pasture and the donkeys taking their midday naps! And Boulder wandering around, trying to fit into all of it...he has been following me around lately and has a knack for showing up whenever the dogs go out. I even saw him near the wild turkeys today!
Solo goes to the vet first thing in the morning for a teeth-cleaning!

Chasing the wild turkeys off. They don't move that fast anymore. They know I'm not that serious.
Boulder and the poppies.
The hens in the pasture.

Hard to get a decent photo at arm's length!
Nap time.

And play time!

Excerpt from a speech that Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society gave today- pretty amazing story:
Every so often you come across one story that captures the big picture in animal welfare. And I found one the other day about a whale who was hunted and killed by native hunters last year off the Alaskan coast. These self-described subsistence hunters hauled in a bowhead whale only to find that they were not the first to hunt that particular creature. Embedded in the flesh of the whale were the fragments of a bomb lance, traceable to a type of shoulder gun last used before 1890.
Only in recent years have we learned how long whales live, and this creature killed in the year 2007 was at least 130 years old. The lance carried a small metal cylinder fitted with a time-delay fuse, but it had failed to kill the whale, and he survived the span of the entire twentieth century without further harm. When Edison was at working on the phonograph, this whale was feeding on plankton and diving in Arctic waters. Before Wilson was president of Princeton, much less of president of the United States, this whale was learning his migration routes.
He lived all that time, only to be slaughtered by men with harpoons, dodging the orcas that are the only other predators he would have to face. But the hopeful side of the story is how much the world can change, in a hundred years, even in the life of a whale. It was a century that began with the old economy of hunting and killing whales and ended with a new economy of appreciating whales and watching whales. It was a century that began with a lonely few animal welfare groups, a scarcity of laws to constrain human greed, and a worldview that animals were there for the taking. But by the end of that century, there were hundreds of new groups, thousands of new laws to shield animals from cruelty and abuse, and an emerging attitude that we are custodians of the other creatures—called to defend them and to be their voice. A lot can happen in a hundred years, or in much less time. And the life and fate of this single creature teaches us that change for the better is not only possible—it is certain, in our lifetime and in the generations to come.