American Elephants

Call the ASPCA… by American Elephant
August 26, 2009, 3:18 am
Filed under: Humor, Pop Culture | Tags:

…this is animal abuse! For cryin out loud, leave them a little dignity!

Relax and Put Your Feet Up. Here’s Some Good Reading Material. by The Elephant's Child
August 9, 2009, 6:42 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Do you have time for a little rewarding reading on a Sunday, your ‘day of rest’?  If so, I highly recommend an essay by Theodore Dalrymple (pen name of Anthony Daniels, a British physician), titled “Man vs. Mutt” from the Wall Street Journal.

In the last few years, I have had the opportunity to compare the human and veterinary health services of Great Britain, and on the whole it is better to be a dog.

As a British dog, you get to choose (through an intermediary, I admit) your veterinarian.  If you don’t like him, you can pick up your leash and go elsewhere, that very day if necessary.  Any vet will see you straight away, there is no delay in such investigations as you may need, and treatment is immediate.  There are no waiting lists for dogs, no operations postponed because something more important has come up, no appalling stories of dogs being made to wait for years because other dogs — or hamsters — come first.

The conditions in which you receive your treatment are much more pleasant than British humans have to endure.  For one thing, there is no bureaucracy to be negotiated with the skill of a white-water canoeist; avove all, the atmoshpere is different.  There is no tension, no feeling that one more patient will bring the whole system to the point of collapse, adnd all the staff go off with nervous breakdowns.  In the waiting rooms, a perfect calm reigns; the patients’ relatives are not on the verge of hysteria, and do not suspect that the system is cheating their loved one, for economic reasons, of the treatment which he needs.  The relatives are united by their concern for the welfare of each other’s love one.  They are not terrified that someone is getting more out of the system than they.

Read the whole delightful essay here.

Another essay by Missouri farmer Blake Hurst, in The American, also caught my eye.  It is titled “The Omnivore’s Delusion: Against the Agri-intellectuals.”

I’m dozing, as I often do on airplanes, but the guy behind me has been broadcasting nonstop for nearly three hours.  I finally admit defeat and start some serious eavesdropping.  He’s talking about food, damning farming, particularly livestock farming, compensating for his lack of knowledge with volume.

I’m so tired of people who wouldn’t visit a doctor who used a stethoscope instead of an MRI demanding that farmers like me use 1930s technology to raise food.  Farming has always been messy and painful, and bloody and dirty.  It still is.

But now we have to listen to self-appointed experts on airplanes frightening their seatmates about the profession I have practiced for more than 30 years.  I’d  had enough.  I turned around and politely told the lecturer that he ought not believe everything he reads.  He quieted and asked me what kind of farming I do.  I told him, and when he asked if I used organic farming, I said no, and left it at that.  I didn’t answer with the first thought that came to mind, which is simply this; I deal in the real world, not superstitions, and unless the consumer absolutely forces my hand, I am about as likely to adopt organic methods as the Wall Street Journal is to publish their next edition by setting the type by hand.

If you shop at Whole Foods, look for the “organic” label on everything you buy, you need to read this.  If you would just like to know a little more about real farmers, you will enjoy this piece.

I am very fond of  the essays of Blake Hurst and Theodore Dalrymple. I’ve been reading their work for years, and saving their writings.  I recommend these pieces heartily.

Dog’s Best Friend by American Elephant
September 30, 2008, 1:04 pm
Filed under: News of the Weird | Tags: ,

Florida man dives off pier, punches shark to save his rat-terrier, Jake:

Greg LeNoir watched in horror as the shark’s mouth opened wide, chomping a large set of teeth on his beloved 14-pound dog, Jake.

Noooooo,” LeNoir shrieked, fearing the worst.

But the case of the rat terrier vs. the shark has a happy ending.

”Jake’s doing great,” LeNoir’s brother, Phillip, said Monday. “And I still can’t believe my brother jumped in the water and punched a shark.” [read more]

We love dogs, and we love happy endings. What a heartwarming story.

(photos: Miami Herald)

Pet Owners Prefer McCain by American Elephant


I never trust a person who doesn’t love animals. Unless they were attacked as a child, beaten with dead animal carcasses, or something similarly traumatic, there really is something deeply wrong with them. A new poll by “the-news-service-that-shall-not-be-named” and Yahoo News lends new political perspective to that belief.

According to the poll of 1,759 adults, pet owners prefer John McCain over Obama 42 to 37 percent. Dog owners prefer McCain by nine points, cat owners prefer him by three.

Conversely, the heartless, animal-hating minority of rat-bastards that don’t care enough about anyone but themselves to own a pet prefer Obama by 48 to 34 percent.

As far as the candidates go, the McCain family has an English Springer Spaniel named Sam, a mutt named Coco, turtles Cuff and Link, a black and white short-hair named Oreo, one ferret, three parakeets and a bunch of saltwater fish.

The Obama family has no pets, but Barack has promised his daughters a dog, “after the election.”

Looks like my instincts were right.

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