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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Law-nely No More

How many laws are there in Malaysia? I don't have a definite answer to that, but I do know for sure there are tonnes of them. Ironically, the subconscious part of our brain somehow becomes accustomed to follow the laws without the need to remember everything in black and white. If someone asks me, what's my favourite law... I think I would struggle to come up with an answer, let alone think of one in particular. Even my subconscious mind becomes utterly blank. That is unless if I live in Germany. This was a piece of news that broke out last week: 'No work-related calls after working hours.'

OMG!! You mean, like seriously??? Now that's a law worth remembering. I would badly want that. Wait, it should be collective right? WE would badly want it here in Malaysia. Looks like the government could do a lot more to cheer up the citizens through law and order. If this particular development in Germany sounds like an awesome law, I definitely would want to highlight another law in Europe, which is such a beautiful earworm for animal lovers, like you and me. Maybe some of you know this...

In Switzerland, it is illegal to own just ONE Guinea Pig!

According to the Swiss government, Guinea Pigs are incredibly social creatures, and it would be cruel to keep such a sociable beauty in absolute isolation, with no other Guinea Pigs around to socialize with. Honestly, I want to give a big hug to everyone in the Swiss cabinet for making such a legislation. Really! How nice if everyone can take initiatives like this, especially in Malaysia.

Hold on... What? They are haram, you say? You don't want to continue reading this post? No no, relax. Let me clarify something here. Guinea pigs are NOT PIGS, nor are they from Guinea. Guinea pigs are actually rodents. Yes, it's quite a deceiving name. Just like how a waiter at the restaurant is called a waiter, when it's you who actually have to wait for the food. You feel me?

So coming back to the law in Switzerland, what happens if you have two guinea pigs and one dies? Well, a woman in the name of Priska Kung says "no worries". Priska runs a rent-a-guinea pig service, which is like a match-making centre. Priska has huge passion for the little rodent, and she rents out her pets because she feels bad for people who are suddenly outside the law, whenever they lose one of their two guinea pigs. Sounds like a good business plan, but why not? This is what I would call, a new definition to making money 'legally'. Priska, who owns dozens and dozens of the lovely rodents had made a point to herself, that she doesn't want any guinea pig to suffer alone after losing a close friend, and spending the last part of its life alone.
Priska Kung & her furkids

Without this rent-a-guinea pig service, the owner who had just lost a guinea pig, would have to purchase a new, probably younger guinea pig as a companion to the ageing survivor, whose eventual death would force the purchase of yet another guinea pig, locking the owner into an endless cycle of guinea pig purchases in order to adhere to Swiss law. - Jenn Witte, Spigel Online International

Priska reportedly charges over 50 Swiss francs for a castrated male, and over 60 francs for a female (regardless of age), as a deposit. The job of the leased rodents is to cheer up companions in their twilight year.

So, why is Priska's match-making service important for guinea pig lovers in Switzerland, besides the fact that they will automatically be on the wrong side of law, when one of their pet guinea pigs die?

Let me just put it this way, Priska's good deed is actually helping the owners, by contributing to guinea pigs welfare. As mentioned earlier, guinea pigs are social creatures, and by its very nature, they are in need of companionship. Some may say that it's not a life or death matter for them. True, the piggies won't die the next day itself, if they're left alone. But it's highly recommended for guinea pigs to have a cage mate, simply because we cannot mess with the order of nature. The fact is, guinea pigs are herd animals, and there exists some sort of social hierarchy between one another. In the wild, that's how they live, and domesticated guinea pigs behave the same way. Interaction and companion, that's what they need.

Studies have even shown that lonely guinea pigs which have been introduced to a cage mate, had remarkable changes in their behaviour. They play and run around a lot more, interact, groom each other, cuddle when sleeping, play tug war with vegetables and more. Besides, a guinea pig also becomes less stressed when there's a friend. As a matter of fact, some guinea pig owners I've spoken to, said that an owner of a single piggie will never know how lonely their pet have been all this while, until the furbaby is introduced with a new friend. The changes are just tremendous, they say.

I'll give you some food for thought. What do you even expect a lonely piggie to do when you leave the baby confined without interaction and attention? Ask yourself. Are you actually expecting they would play cosplay games to cure boredom?

Credit: Mythsandfabrications

Like becoming a clown. Self entertainment?

Credit: Mythsandfabrications

Should they become a mermaid to get the world's attention?

Credit: Mythsandfabrications

Or, do you expect her to become a Princess, and dance all night long for that Prince who never came?

Think about it, they need a life. Those who are keeping a single guinea pig at the moment, don't be offended. If you can't afford to care for another one, then try to compensate by spending ample of time with your piggie. Pleasee...

As a pet lover, I dream of living in a country where issues pertaining to animal welfare, are taken into the parliament and indoctrinated through the means of law. Even something as small (and often overlooked) as 'animal loneliness'. Depriving your pet from attention and psychologically stressing them is also a form of cruelty. It applies for cats, dogs, reptiles and all kinds of critters. But if animal loneliness is too much of an issue, or perhaps insignificant for our cabinet to implement, if animal welfare is a waste of time, then they might as well legislate the law that's just been passed in Germany. The one that gives people more time off from work, and allows them to make a decent living. So we family-oriented people can spend more time with our children, both two and four legged. Don't you think that's the potential be-all and end-all solution for all of us?

But for Guinea Pigs, just ask them one question...

Enough said!!


  1. People often disregard anything but their pets' basic needs, assuming that they only need to provide food, shelter and minimal attention. I always like to address such situations with: Imagine that you've been kidnapped by aliens. Wouldn't it be nice to have a human companion?

    Unless their pet is a hamster or a leopard or any such antisocial creatures. Then by all means.


    1. hahaha nice analogy Veyroniqa. Do you have pets?

      Nice blog you have there :)