Day 238 of 366 Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

I was watching fish weaving and diving through the coral and plants in a  fish tank at the Doctor’s Surgery this morning while waiting to see my acupuncturist.

Does watching fish sooth your nerves while you wait?

What is it about fish I wondered? Why do dentists and doctors and those types of places love having fish tanks? Do you think they really help you pass the time as you wait endlessly for professional people to see you? And here is another thought that occurred to me: don’t the fish get bored mooching around in those small tanks?

With all of the politically correct people around, pretty soon they may disappear from doctor’s surgeries because it is unfair to the fish. I heard a piece on the radio yesterday about using animals to test products so that us human can either use them or take them without any fear.

The radio person was saying “Do we consider because animals are not ‘human’ we can treat them differently to how we treat humans? ” Now the person being interviewed was not necessarily saying not to use animals in testing (this was a surprise) but he was saying we should use animals humanely in our testing, that it is time we changed our thinking.

As I sat mindlessly in the surgery this morning watching those innocent little fish, these thoughts went through my mind. I have no answers to these problems but it is interesting that in this day and age, someone has an opinion about it all and each argument is equally as compelling as the other!

These poor rodents wait in the Lab for their fate …

Are we going to feel sorry for the fish that won the lottery of the doctor’s office rather than the lottery of the sea?

They seemed pretty content to me as they swam around the nooks and crannies that had been provided by whoever maintains these fish tanks.

Can we measure whether a fish, or an animal is content? Which brings me to the next point: caged birds. We have a bird – a budgie – which we named Georgie because we didn’t know whether it was a male or female. Georgie turned up unexpectedly one day in our back yard in 2008. Geoff found the bird sitting happily on the rim of our bird bath.

Now Geoff, who is akin to the wildlife himself (as he loves being outdoors and can be a bit on the ‘wild’ side himself at times) watched this bird and thought ‘it’ looked domesticated. How he could tell this I will never know but when he got closer he did notice that the bird had a tag around it’s ankle so he was justified in his assumption.

Now, domesticated budgies who get free from captivity (awful word!) are often unable to fend for themselves in the wild and therefore soon die after finding freedom, so Geoff planned to catch the bird and perhaps try to find it’s owner.

Well, that was four years ago now.  Still no owner has come forth and meanwhile Georgie has been identified as a female and is called “Georgie Girl” – you know – as in the song by the Seekers. She is well and truly ensconced at our home.

Every day, Georgie sits perched in her cage watching all the birds in the yard, especially the ones who come to the bird bath. Geoff made the comment to me the other day, that Georgie seems quite content sitting in that cage looking out over our beautiful yard.

How does this budgie feel – Inside looking out?

My reply was: “How do you know that? Have you ever thought that the poor bird, sitting there behind bars is watching those birds ‘out there’ with envy and wondering what in the name of goodness she did to land herself in jail here while all those other birds are free to come and go?”

We both raised our eyebrows and laughed at this, but it is true. We don’t know how the bird ‘feels.’ She seems content eating her seed and getting fresh water but the thing is: we saved her from a sure death … didn’t we?? Well, we meant well and we tell ourselves that we did, but the truth is: we will never know!

Now I will leave you with this question: how do you think animals show their emotions? Dogs I can understand, but what about fish for instance? Tell me what you think.

I once saw a documentary about a camel that cried. Yep, I kid you not.  It was a fascinating story folks and it is worthwhile waiting to tell you about that one tomorrow. You will love it!

Until then …