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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Election Post: Our Leaders Are Our Masters

The election fever has been gripping the nation for several weeks now, and most netizens have been swept by its hype and excitement. The anticipation leading up to the ‘big day’ is just like waiting for a fierce final football match in the World Cup. It gives you a sense of ‘anything can happen.’  Nevertheless in this case, unlike a football match, you have the power to determine the outcome.

I’m not campaigning for any political party.  After all why should we even be emotionally attached to any party, when politicians themselves hop in and out of the parties they had previously declared their unconditional love for?  If you were to be emotionally attached to something, then it is to the wellbeing of our motherland, Malaysia. Not parties.

One of Gandhi's evergreen quote is my favourite. It reflects the future of our nation....

As an animal lover, there is one thing that concerns me. Not many have questioned it, maybe they thought it is the norm. The election manifestos of both parties had no mention about safeguarding the welfare of the animals. No matter which side you’re on, this is a matter of great significance. Abolishing the toll and giving rebate for smartphones aside.., What about caring for the voiceless souls that we share our earth with? I can make a mental projection of what Gandhi actually meant. Imagine..if your leader is one who is truly concerned for the welfare of animals, what a selfless person he can be..If animals are placed in elevated pedestals of care, just imagine the state of the people in this country. Imagine the undivided care the people will get.

In fact it's not an uphill task. It takes just one government to change everything.

I want a country where animal abuse is equaled to a high profile crime.

I want legislation that bans breeding mills

I want a country that never allows any circus show to step foot in our land

I want products made via animal testing(torture) to be taken off the shelves once and for all.

I hope in the next general election GE14, the manifestos will not solely be monetary teasers. We animal lovers want all our siblings with fur, scales, feathers and skin to be treated with respect.

I’m also inclined to draw comparison between how we choose to invest our faith and loyalty to our leaders and how our furry friends choose theirs. First and foremost, I know for sure that I love my furkids and they love me equally or more in return, as their master and leader. Losing them will be a great sorrow for me and I know that every single one of them is irreplaceable. When I’m not around, I know they feel the same. We’re depending on each other and it’s a beautiful relationship of trust and loyalty.

But let's ask..Have we loved our leaders more than ourselves? Have we even loved our leaders more than our pets at least? How many of you have the photos of our leaders hung in your room? One day, will we ever mourn and grieve the death of our leaders? These are the leaders who hold the key for our general destiny.. Leaders who carve and chisel our future..Leaders who are the very reason how we’re living our lives the way it is… Why aren't we feeling close enough to them?

Well for me, the decisive factor in this relationship is, to respect and love everyone without discrimination. Something even our pets can do effortlessly. I believe if our would-be leaders can show us just this, our loyalty is all yours, fix-deposit in your bank. For now, whichever new government that comes in, we look forward to improve the standards of animal rights in the country. Something that has been improving with the ever growing awareness. Thanks to the social media and highly dedicated animal activists. I hope in years to come, we can finally see animal rights being inducted into the election manifesto.

...And one day I wish to proudly wear our iconic leader like this. Emblazoned on T-shirts and decorated on my wall. For his contribution and selfless work not only to mankind but to all the voiceless souls. One day....

As for now, get ready to be 'adopted' again..

Friday, 19 April 2013

My Pet Wish List - The Mongoose

When I was young, I was always fascinated by stories about this one animal. It’s called the Mongoose or Cerpelai in BM.

The reason for that was whenever my siblings and I go out to play, my parents will warn us NEVER TO GO near the bushes or the jungle around the fields. According to my mum, there are many harmful creatures, particularly snakes in the bushes. I remember this one time when I got walloped by my mum for going into the bushes to pick a football, which I kicked too far. ( It’s ironic coz I was told that it’s the snake that will wallop me if I go into  the bushes. Mothers’ logic, Never mind! lol ).

Sights of the Civil Defence being summoned to my neighborhood to catch snakes inside homes were common. And not to discount the influence of movies showing snakes biting people (often in revenge), and how the victims die foaming at the mouth. Add up all that, snakes had been given this stigma as killers and we all fear them.

And then I heard this from my dad, that mongooses are the only creatures which can fight and kill snakes with ease. There was no Google, so dad drew on a paper and showed me how mongooses look like (seriously it was a horrible drawing that looked like a mutated rat). But it wasn’t about the drawing. It was about the bravery and the courage of the mongoose that appeared to me as an animal-superhero of sorts. I immediately admired them and wished I could keep mongoose as pet. I've seen them couple of times myself in my kampung. Unfortunately, they were just too quick to disappear before I even manage to get an autograph.

Here, let's take a look at this video and see how they fight snakes:

Cute and deadly

If you haven’t seen a mongoose, it is relatively a small mammal. Mongooses are three times smaller than snakes. They look like ferrets, weasels and meerkats. In Malaysia, some might mistake them for squirrels. But scientifically they belong to the meerkat family. The mongoose has long sleek body, short legs, with brownish grey short coat.

I mean imagine. You, standing face to face with a Cobra. The first thing you would do is to run or maybe you’re already dead by then. But the mongoose will take on the cobra in a battle equivalent to that of a Bruce Lee versus Chuck Norris duel. Mongooses are extremely fast and agile, besides being intelligent.  They’re so quick that even snakes which usually strike with unerring accuracy, will miss them. Mongooses will dodge the strikes and carefully read the opponent’s movement. And when the mongoose decides to strike, it’s usually a Knockout for the snake. One lightning speed blow to the head and the skull of the snake will be crushed.

Besides being a hell of a fighter, mongooses also have a great defense system. They have high tolerance to snake venom. Some experts say that it would take eight times the lethal dose for a rabbit, to actually kill a mongoose.

Thinking about it now, I guess for me to admire the mongoose for their qualities, bravery and courage is not strange. Mongooses were revered and deemed as sacred by various ancient civilizations. Apparently they had magical powers to ward off evil. According to Buzzle.com, they were even mummified mongooses found in the Egyptian tomb that validates this fact. There were also images of mongoose on funeral urns.

Meanwhile in 2013

Never trust your GPS device

In the modern era, Mongooses are often used in sports by boxers and fighters as nicknames. Well for obvious reasons right. One legendary boxer who went by the moniker “The Old Mongoose” was the late Archie Moore.

Nicknames carried by boxers are supposed to evoke a subconscious thought/ inner strength of masculine toughness and fighting spirit. While choosing this nickname was initially seen as peculiar and laughed at by many of his rivals and boxing fans, Moore went on to hold the record for the most career knockouts by any boxer.131 T-K-O. He is ranked 4th as the greatest puncher of all time in a list of 100. Well, I’m not surprised. He lived up to his name, "The Old Mongoose". Talk about subconscious strength eh?  Today, they’re plenty of boxing gyms and boxers around the world drawing inspiration from the mongoose.

Not only that mongooses are fearless fighters, they're also highly spirited, resilient and will NEVER GIVE UP. Even under immense threat. Take a look at this video as to why ring fighters regard them highly.

Yes, that never-say-die attitude!

Now to the question, can we keep a mongoose as pet?

Mongooses are predators and as such, raising them must come with plenty of socialization. I don’t think you can simply catch a mongoose from the wild and keep it as a house pet. It’s highly NOT recommended when you’re keeping other pets like cats and dogs at home. However, if you’re raising a mongoose from young, it makes an extremely loveable pet.

 I’ve heard that some people in the villages (Malaysia) keep mongoose as pet to protect their houses from snakes. Similar to how dogs guard the house from inturders and how cats keep the rats out. (While I’ve constantly put it here that mongooses fight snakes, it doesn’t mean that snakes are vicious and evil. Snakes are just living their lives and being what they’re born to be...ie: predators ).

The Monalisa pose. This is too cute LOL
Credit: monsterfishkeepers.com 

To conclude my wish list....Although mongooses are one of those little animals that I always wanted to keep as pet since young, I will bide my time. After I've learned enough and met people who've been keeping these little furry fellas, only then I would even seriously consider to keep a mongoose. It is simply due to the huge commitment to train them and the supervision needed to raise a highly efficient 'assassin' in the house.
For now, one message it quite clear....Size doesn't matter!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Papa Hero's Fur Corner: Pet Owners Must Change


Ohhh Pemilik Haiwan: oleh Papa Hero

Setiap manusia sudah tentunya dilahirkan dengan sifat-sifat yang baik. Tetapi, manusia yang paling bertuah di atas muka bumi ini ialah manusia yang mempunyai sifat sayangkan haiwan. Sungguhpun begitu, tidak semua orang yang mempunyai sifat sayangkan haiwan mempunyai sikap yang baik. Ada manusia yang mempunyai sifat sayangkan haiwan tetapi mereka tidak mempunyai kekuatan untuk melaksanakan tanggungjawab yang sebaiknya terhadap haiwan yang dipelihara khususnya anjing dan kucing.

They love you, but do you return their love?

Saya juga mempunyai tiga ekor anjing jalanan yang kini menjadi ‘Permanent Resident’ di rumah saya. Sungguhpun saya belum cukup ilmu tentang anjing, tetapi secara logiknya saya juga tahu bahawa anjing adalah seekor haiwan yang aktif dan memerlukan pergerakan yang bebas semaksimum yang mungkin. Mereka perlu dijaga dengan sebaik-baiknya kerana mereka adalah haiwan yang sangat patuh dan taat kepada tuannya. Saya tidak pernah mengikat anjing saya dan saya hanya membiarkan mereka bebas bergerak ke sana ke mari di kawasan anjung kereta (car porch) di dalam kawasan pagar rumah. 

Exercise is vital for mental and physical well-being

Setiap hari saya berpesan kepada anjing saya supaya jangan membuang najis di dalam rumah, tetapi panggil saya sekiranya mahu berbuat demikian. Sehingga kini, Jojo tidak pernah membuang najis di kawasan anjung kereta. Dia akan menyalak apabila ingin membuang najis dan saya akan menemaninya dengan membuat ‘dog walking’ di sekitar kawasan rumah. Saya tidak pernah merasa beban untuk membersihkan najisnya kerana saya tidak perlu melakukan itu semua. Saya telah MELATIHNYA. Mesej yang saya ingin sampaikan di sini ialah kebanyakan pemilik anjing gagal melaksanakan tanggungjawab untuk MELATIH mereka. Anjing adalah seekor haiwan yang sangat bijak dan mereka faham apabila diberi arahan. 
Cat caged till death. Lived its entire life in pile up of feces

Unsanitary condition

Saya sangat sedih apabila melihat anjing-anjing yang dipelihara telah diikat dengan tali yang sangat pendek dan membiarkannya di tengah-tengah panas dan hujan. Lebih malang lagi, tempat anjing itu diikat dipenuhi dengan najis dan sangat kotor. Apabila melihat keadaan ini, ia sudah tentu menimbulkan rasa stress dan tidak mustahil anjing yang dipelihara akan dipukul dan didera.

What have they done to deserve this?

Saya juga ingin mengambil kesempatan ini untuk berkongsi satu kisah saya pernah melaporkan satu kes kepada DVS ( Department Veterinary Services ) di mana terdapat seekor anjing besar telah ditempatkan di dalam sebuah sangkar yang kecil dan keadaannya sangat kotor dan menjijikkan di sebuah tapak premis perniagaan. Sangkar itu juga terdedah kepada panas dan hujan. Saya melihat premis tersebut tersangat luas kawasannya tetapi anjing malang tersebut tidak pernah dikeluarkan dari sangkar yang kecil itu. Ketika pihak penguatkuasa DVS menyerbu tempat tersebut, saya sendiri telah mengambil tanggungjawab untuk mengiringi mereka untuk menunjukkan kawasan anjing malang tersebut diletakkan.

Moral yang terdapat di dalam kisah ini, manusia boleh menjadi gila sekiranya dikurung di dalam sebuah bilik yang panas dan kotor, begitu juga dengan anjing. Walaupun mereka adalah haiwan, tetapi itu tidak bermakna kita boleh menafikan hak mereka untuk menjalani kehidupan yang lebih baik.

Saya tidak menolak kemungkinan ramai juga yang memelihara anjing dan kucing sebagai trend. Anjing dan kucing yang berbaka cantik disayangi ketika sihat, tetapi ada juga manusia yang membuang mereka apabila sakit. Ini adalah satu kekejaman yang tidak sepatutnya dilakukan. Syabas kepada mereka yang sanggup menghabiskan wang ringgit untuk menjaga anjing dan kucing peliharaan mereka sehingga ke akhir hayat. Itulah ciri-ciri manusia yang berkualiti.
Jojo smiling with his new toy. Excited!

Kalau kita bosan, kita akan bersukan, bermain permainan video dan membaca buku. Anjing dan kucing juga begitu. Sebagai pemilik anjing atau kucing yang berkualiti, belikanlah mereka permainan dan bermainlah bersama dengan mereka. Ini secara tidak langsung dapat mengeratkan hubungan kita dengan mereka di samping dapat melegakan tekanan kerja yang kita alami. Haiwan-haiwan ini akan selalu mendoakan kesejahteraan tuannya kalau dijaga dengan baik. Meletakkan diri kita di dalam keadaan mereka akan menimbulkan rasa ketenangan yang sukar diluahkan dengan perkataan. Anak-anak kecil kita akan ketawa dan riang apabila bergurau senda dengan haiwan peliharaan. Keluarga kita akan tersenyum apabila melihat haiwan peliharaan kita melompat-lompat kegirangan.

A rescued cat by PH and Team Hero, gets treatment

Menjaga kesihatan mereka dan membawa mereka ke klinik haiwan untuk pemeriksaan kesihatan mungkin adalah sesuatu yang sukar kepada mereka yang mempunyai banyak alasan. Tiada masa dan sibuk dengan kerja adalah alasan yang selalu diperkatakan. Sikap sebegini seharusnya dibuang di dalam hidup kita sebagai seorang pencinta haiwan. Kalau kita benar-benar sayangkan haiwan peliharaan kita, jadikanlah mereka sebagai sebahagian dari keluarga kita. Kalau kita tidak mampu untuk melakukannya, saya sarankan agar janganlah pelihara apa-apa haiwan kerana dikhuatiri ianya akan menjadi beban kepada kita.

Akhir kata, sekiranya anda terlihat ada kekejaman terhadap haiwan telah berlaku, laporkanlah ia kepada pihak DVS melalui emel pro@dvs.gov.my ataupun hantarkan aduan melalui SMS ke talian hotline 15888.

When a pet is deprived of attention and love, it is equal to abuse

Blogger's note: Believe me fursians, this is the basic before you opt to keep a pet.  They need your attention! Whatever comfort you think you deserve, your pet deserves the same. As I've put it on the picture above, when a pet is deprived of attention, care and love, it is equal to abuse.

If  it's your first time here, this segment is my hybrid bilingual post with renowned animal activist Papa Hero (from Kakimotong Fan Club), sharing his thoughts and views on animal welfare. This segment is also dedicated to a section of A Fortress of Fur followers who may feel comfortable reading in Bahasa Melayu (thanks to popular request). So now with this in place, you have no excuse to miss out on education and awareness due to language barriers. The English version can be found in our March edition magazine, in a two-page spread. If you didn't manage to get a copy, read it online on page 44-45.

Yours Furly,
L'Shawn Tanis