I blogged about dogs in Thailand before, and it is still one of my favorite topics, and a topic that still teaches me very much about how to view and really respect animals, and how to “adopt” animals, without trying to controlling them.
I traveled a bit and whenever there are street dogs, they were thin and underfed, scary of people, and generally viewed as vermin. In Mexico I did see many dead dogs right next to roads. A Mexican friend, a dog owner, told me that many Mexican drivers intentionally hit and kill dogs. Macho Man Coming Through!!
Egypt and Spain were not much better for street dogs, many of them starting their life as a pet, tossed away and ending up as an abused street dog.
It took me a while to shed off my colored glasses (“all street dogs are sad”) but when I did, I realized that all the street dogs I saw in Bangkok, were actually well fed, not scary of people, and in general were treated very nice by the local people, including regular feeding.
I blogged about that before, so I keep it short. In Thailand street dogs are often born on the street. The street is their natural home, and the dog itself is a mature and independent animal, as opposed to the western pet dog who is psychologically a dependent puppy dog.
Street dogs are not viewed or treated as pests, they are simply there, in the streets, and tolerated. More then that, most if not all street dogs, have one or more people who look out for them, and give them food on a regular basis, maybe the guards of a building give their leftovers each day, or the motorcycle taxi guys share their food with the street dog.
When I finally could see things for what they are, I suddenly saw the many small pieces of paper with left over food on the street, put there by ordinary local people for the local cat or dog. These people lare not sentimental animal lovers, they just do it to help because, well, they are decent people.
I learned, and I am still absorbing this, how to “adopt” or help and view an animal as an individual animal, an independent individual, and not claiming it to be the owner, or to think that I am morally superior and that I have God given rights to take dead and life decisions for it because “I know better”.
I am sure 80% of the western blog readers are misunderstanding me now, and can’t grasp it that it is possible that a country and it’s people really treats it’s street dog population in a decent way. Don’t they eat dogs in Thailand? Sigh.
Some western animal lovers also view it like that; they have settled in Thailand with a view that street dogs are sad dogs and need to be saved, let us build shelters and put all the street dogs in these loving shelters. And when time has come, let us ram a hypothermic needle in their heart and lovingly put them to “sleep”.
For too much westerners, they seek control, they want to decide over the life’s of other living beings. They decide your life on the street is not your right place, they decide your life is not worth living anymore and in your own interest they kill you, they decide for you, because, they cannot accept and respect you as an individual. They simply cannot let you live your life in peace and for your sake, so the logic goes, they put you in concentration camps. They toss away your freedom, your individuality.
Enough dramatic ranting.
I learned here in Thailand, to truly respect an animal, to see at as equal to me, an independent living being. If it lives in the street, just let it live there! You can give a helping hand and feed the animal but don’t try to control it or own it! Just like me and you, nobody else can make decisions for another life. Freedom.