Obama, Health Care Reform and the Non-47 Million August 23, 2009Posted by voolavex in Politics.
Tags: Anne Coulter, Ayn Rand, Barack Obama, Bush, Cheney, constitution, Crap, death, death panels, factcheck.org, Gay, Glenn Beck, GOP, half truths, health care insurance, health care reform, Homeland security, Latina, Lies, Nobel Prize, platform, right wing, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, senator, smear, Snopes, Sotomayor
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Eight Belles’ Death Knell May 5, 2008Posted by voolavex in Uncategorized.
Tags: Churchill Downs, cruelty, death, Eight Belles, greed, horse racing, Royal Ascot, royalty, Run for the Roses, Sport of Kings
My mother rode horses when she was girl in high school and so did I. Mine, however, was a very brief foray into the equestrian world. Clearly not for me. From the first day the idea of putting in and then pulling something in an animal’s mouth to make it obey made me very uneasy. I was 14 and had no idea about very much – but this just didn’t seem right. Years later we had a Shetland pony, Cashew, when my siblings were kids. He threw people. I never said a word (I was an adult by then) but I secretly admired and respected him for his unwillingness to become a broken fool. My brother now owns a racehorse that lives a quiet life in a safe home with lots of freedom to be just a horse. He rescued her. I love him for that.
It is hard to reconcile a horse running fine and free with being broken and bridled for the needs of men. It is even more disturbing when it serves no purpose other than spectator sport and its life partner greed. I don’t think horses like it. I don’t imagine they believe – as some would like to us think- that they are doing something majestic when they Run for the Roses or go to Royal Ascot. I think – given a choice – they would rather run free and allow their foals to do the same. I resent the conjecture of owners, trainers and racing fans that horses “like” being driven to run on command and are forced – daily – to train for something that is so obviously not good for their health. I think this in the same way I don’t think Greyhounds “like” chasing Swifty. But it is easier to rescue a Greyhound than a horse and the stakes in dog racing are clearly less high end .
There is something both fascinating and repugnant about horse races. From the touts at the fence to the Royal Box at Ascot – the sport attracts extremes from the corner to the crown. Yet it all boils down to the same issue – cruelty to animals who cannot protest or advocate for themselves. When Eight Belles laid down to die on the turf at Churchill Downs she illustrated – in all its tragic proportions just how cruel racing is. Her huge, tired body – raced to death on those beautiful, delicate legs – died for money and glory – not for herself but for the people who stole her life.
It is quite one thing for humans to ask their bodies to run and jump and perform to the extremes required by sport – they have the ability to stop when they decide to stop. Animals do not have that choice. Eight Belles stopped too and because did, there was no win yesterday. There was only an ugly, unnecessary, public death of a beautiful creature. We can be grateful perhaps that she was euthanized – had it been another time she would have been shot to put her out of her misery. So the answer to the question; “they shoot horses, don’t they?” is yes, but it starts before they are born.
Eight Belles’ death should make us all stop and think about The Sport of Kings for what it really is. Just an upscale blood sport that ennobles no one.
NB – Sorry for the on and off run-on graphs. This is a WordPress problem and they are trying to fix it.
Missing Elliott February 15, 2008Posted by voolavex in Uncategorized.
Tags: cat, death, grief, loss, love, orange, pet
Last month on January 19th, our oldest cat, Elliott, passed away. He was just 18 years old and he exercised his prerogative to die. He taught me that dying is a hard business. And as much as I would love to believe he was fighting to stay with us – I know he had no concept of that. He was merely taking his time and it was hard for him. Old age and kidney failure were the cause of death – but until his last days he walked around, basked in the sun, drank water and broth, ate a little and slept a lot. He weighed 4.5 lbs; down from his usual 15. We hoped he would just go into that dark, good night at home, but try as he did, that good night remained dusk and finally it required our friend, our vet to help him over. That part, though a difficult decision, was a final act of love and mercy. He was in a coma and shutting down – but even so, his tiny, exhausted heart beat until the very end – in spite of a small sedative to ease him and a small dose of mercy that let him go.
He had been mostly mellow in life – but death proved to outwit his laid back style and his stubborn streak emerged – he was just not quite ready to go. He spent his last night in my arms – surrounded by his sister and brothers and I hope he was comfortable – I held him like there was no tomorrow – knowing of course there wasn’t a very long one for him. His life-long, noisy, aggressive purr gave over to simply breathing and there we were, my face and his fur dampened by my sloppy tears; Elliott wrapped in the same, safe arms that had first held him in 1990. Requisat in Pacem Orange Cat. You gave us happiness without end. You convinced your new dad that orange cats were the best and you shepherded a house full of newcomers who could never have been as happy without you. You had a pink, pig nose with its own special wrinkle that appeared when you groomed, an awful smelly breath (and many visits to the dentist), endless stripes and a face that insisted that anyone who passed by, really, really needed to say hello – to which you quacked “meow” in return. You did not scratch or growl. Your endless patience when kittens sat on you and refused to move was epic. You were the star of our building and the light of our lives. As a little lad, you spent many mornings upstairs with my godson, Oliver, playing Ghostbusters; meowing loudly at his door to be let in, heading straight for the bedroom. I liked to imagine you thought you were Dr. Egon Spengler. You never stopped making us smile. At one point, bags of catnip had to be taped to the ceiling – so amazing were your early skills at climbing and opening boxes. Because you had been born around dogs you drank water like a Great Dane. Your new dad called you Blocko because you decided between us was the right spot to sleep. That was a short 16 years ago . Your long life, with few mishaps, led us into a sense of a forever that we have learned, simply doesn’t exist. But you left us far too soon Elliott. And we still weep. And we miss you.