On Animals


This morning, and yesterday morning, as I walked into the upstairs bathroom, I could see the shadowy figures of deer walking through our property. One, then another, then another, then another, walking slowly, looking for food, stopping to nibble on a branch here and there. I purposely delayed going downstairs. If I went downstairs, I would have to let Scout out and that girl would scare those peaceful animals. Animals who do no harm to anyone. Animals who are hunted by locals who, trust me on this one, don’t have to hunt to eat.

But you know how I feel about all that. It’s the same reason I won’t watch a certain ‘reality’ show that’s been very much in the news lately. I cannot, in conscience, watch a show that stars a family that made their millions from manufacturing a ‘call’ that leads innocent birds to their deaths. Sorry. No can do.

How can I admire and love the geese and ducks we see every day on our walk or in the park in Hartford and then turn around and watch a program that is built on money and notoriety earned from their deaths?

If you know anything about me from reading this blog over the course of the almost-six-years of its existence, you know I am passionate about animal rights. I believe that all of us, human and animal, have the same right to live peacefully, without fear of a bullet or a bow and arrow or a knife. Sadly, that isn’t the case for many of our fellow humans or for many of our animal friends.

These are the things that haunt my dreams.

That some of you will disagree with me is certain. I’ve had these discussions before on this blog. I’d rather not have them again because, you see, nothing anyone can say is going to change what I believe deep in my heart, what I hold to be morally right. I’m 61. I’m pretty clear about what I believe at this point in my life. And most likely, if you believe differently than I, nothing is going to change your point-of-view.

Same thing as the time I was in grad school, already in my early thirties, and a classmate urged me to try cocaine. After hearing me say I wasn’t interested, he responded with “If you try it with me, I guarantee you’re going to like it. You’ll have fun.” Really? Do you really think I’m going to abandon my moral beliefs that quickly? For a reason that I don’t believe in and cannot, in conscience, support?

Any arguments for hunting get the same sort of response from me.

Since this blog is about my thoughts and worries and beliefs as well as the happy things in my life, I’d be less than honest in not writing about this occasionally because, believe me, it is part of the framework of my life – every day. I try to live that belief to the best of my ability. I don’t eat animals. I do my best to respect them. I’m not perfect, by any means. But I do the best I can.

We used to see about a dozen deer grazing on a hill during our daily 4 pm walk. When the hunting season brought the sound of gun shots, they were no longer in evidence. Every day, as we walked, I would tell Don I was worried about them. Where had they gone? Had they been killed? Or had they, hopefully, changed their pattern to avoid hunters? I prayed it was the latter.

Recently, we’ve seen four deer grazing again on the hill. Perhaps the same four deer that walk through our property in the early hours of dawn, as we live just over that hill. What happened to the others? I don’t know. I am happy to see these four. As Don said this morning, “You are welcome here.”

I’d add: “You are safe here.”


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  1. Debbie says

    It sounds like your home is a safe haven for all creatures! Thank you for sharing your thoughts in this lovely post.

  2. Doris says

    Love the picture CLaudia. I totally agree and I wanted that show to be cancelled. Enjoy the day ahead. Doris

  3. Cindy says

    Yes yes and yes!!,,,it confounds me how many are passionate about their pets but slaughter others either for sport or to eat. I also am very passionate about this topic cindy

  4. Tana says

    Good for you. We have neighborhood cats around here that poop in our gardens and sleep on our porch. We are not cat people, but choose to actively ignore them. If they come up to me, I will pet them and ask them how their day is going. Gentle souls. Poop in the garden? Oh well. We are watching my ex-DIL’s two dogs this weekend. One has a cast on her foot. Well, had a cast on her foot. She took it off. So we are getting ready to drive an hour down to her vet’s so they can put it back on. Silly dog. She’s 12 and I don’t know why she did it. It looks like she just sort of slipped it off on the edge of her bed. She broke a toe when a big dog knocked her down and stepped on it. Not what we were planning today, but so thankful the vet is open on Saturday.

  5. says

    I’m with you all the way. I hate anything to do with hunting and guns. And that show you mentioned is repulsive on every level. There seems to be a number of shows on now about their same lifestyle and I find them a waste of space on the TV channel guide as I scroll through. I don’t understand the attraction the public seems to have for them.

  6. says

    I don’t know how anyone can kill a deer. Did you read my post about almost hitting a deer sitting in the road right in front of me. I wanted to stop and help him but didn’t know what I could do. I did call someone to go help him before he got hit and maybe that person getting hurt.
    They have such beautiful faces and those eyes. They are pretty tame around here. I know we are over populated with them, but there has to be another way.((((HUGS))))

  7. Linda Petersen says

    I agree~~~~We have antelope around here & I hate seeing the hunters come around to stake out where they want to “set up shop”. It starts with bow hunting season & then morphs into gun season. Antelope are so gentle & graceful~~they come thru our property often to graze, drink, & hang out under the trees. We love them! Anyway~~~the photo of your deer is lovely. Have a relaxing weekend. BTW, loved your Christmas posts! Your lovely new miniature book & Scout’s antics with her treats. :0).

  8. Olivia says

    I agree with you on the hunting of deers and ducks. Kind of an oxymoron statement because I do eat meat.
    Did you announce the winner of your last book review? Thought it was going to be Sunday.

  9. Janet in Rochester says

    Good for you, Claudia. You live with the courage of your convictions and that’s more than many people can claim. Have a great weekend in those beautiful woods of yours…

  10. says

    We saw deer running down a hill on our walk yesterday. Then they stopped and looked into our direction. These animals are so elegant. There are many here as we live quite remote and surrounded by forests. I love your thoughts. Have a nice weekend! Regula

  11. Donnamae says

    I agree…I agree…I totally agree! You are a woman of convictions…that’s why I keep coming back! And you are so right…at our age, I think we’ve not only earned that right to speak our mind, but we are getting too set in our principles to change! I mean, we’ve been living by a certain set of principles, and we won’t compromise! I miss the deer families that used to graze our neighborhood…and eat my plants. But no deer tracks in the snow lately….hope they just found a different route! Enjoy your day! 😉

  12. Janice Murphy says

    My love of animals is part of my DNA. I have such admiration for people that are able to take their love of animals and actively do something with it like animal rescue etc..I just can’t do it. I hate that about myself. I’m very passionate about my beliefs and I want so much to help in some way but if I witnessed some of the horrific things that the activists witness it would haunt me to the point of affecting my ability to function. I’m a nurse by trade and have spent years in critical care so I do have some strengths, but I am useless where animals are involved. How pathetic huh? I wish I could change. I fantasize about coming into tons of money and starting some no kill shelters. I

    • Claudia says

      I am the same way. I get too emotional and I don’t seem to have whatever it takes to witness that kind of thing day after day.

  13. says

    A beautiful post and I totally agree with you. I hate hunting and think it’s disgusting – unless one absolutely has no other choice for food. But yet I’m not a total vegetarian – go figure. It’s something I “war” within my head all the time. I even said to Tim the other day, “When you think about it, it’s pretty disgusting that we eat animals.” He said, “I know! But why do they have to taste so good?!” (I know, I know…that’s a matter of personal opinion.) I actually hate the taste of any wild game, lamb, turkey, ground beef, and seafood. I’ll only eat chicken if it’s prepared a certain way (I made a chicken and dumpling stew last week and picked out all the chicken in my bowl) and I’ll eat some pork and a little bit of fish, but that’s it. I much prefer beans and veggies. Anyway….thanks for your heartfelt and lovely post.

  14. says

    I just stumbled upon your beautiful blog… can’t agree more with your stance on the sanctity of animals (and human beings alike). So courageous to never back down on what you believe, love that!

  15. says

    Me, who’s not eaten any type of meat or poultry for 37 years; been to Africa and cried when told horrific stories of poaching magnificent elephants and rhinos which still goes on in some areas – after seeing those beautiful animals in their natural habitat, living as they should and not hurting any humans; helping feral kitties find food; allowing the granddog to stay over because kennels are nasty much of the time……………and spending more on garden bird food than on ourselves (well it feels that way when doling out such huge amounts on those big plastic bags of seed!)…………..I just might be on the hunt for those disgusting deer hunters if I was your neighbor Claudia!!!

    Mary – who tries not to hurt a fly!

    Aside – I love the comment from Tana

  16. SondraC says

    Claudia, you’ve touched on a topic close to my heart. One of my daughters married a hunter so she started hunting to be with him. Now their home is filled with trophies (?) of beautiful animals who have had their lives stolen. Although they do eat the meat, it still breaks my heart so much that I find it hard to enter their home. Their income if far higher than mine so they don’t need to hunt for food; it’s just sport they say.

    • Claudia says

      Sport for whom? It’s not a fair fight, is it? It’s a sad day when killing our fellow creatures is considered ‘sport.’
      I know it must be terribly difficult for you to see those trophies, Sondra. I’m so sorry you have to deal with that, especially with a loved one. xo

  17. says

    Claudia, we are definitely on the same page. All animals are sentient beings and they deserve the right to life just as much as we do. I have loved animals ever since I can remember and my heart literally aches when I see images of cruelty towards animals across the globe. I try to make a difference by donating, sharing, and signing endless online petitions. Some of the petitions have worked too….most recently, Zara (the world’s largest apparel retailer) has stopped stocking angora items due to a petition signed by 293,660 people (including me) expressing outrage over the horrific cruelties that the rabbits endured. I pray for more positive, kinder, and safer changes for animals everywhere. I wish people would wake up and realise just how precious the animals are in this world.

    I detest hunting as it’s not needed in this day and age. I cry for the animals. It makes me happy to know that your home is a safe place for them. It makes me happy to read the other comments on this post and know that there is still hope for humanity.

    Thanks for your beautiful post! x

    • Claudia says

      It makes me happy to know there are other like me, including you, Serena. I signed that same petition, by the way. And continue to sign anything I can, hoping against hope it will make a difference. Thank you for the work you do to protect our friends.

  18. Nancy Blue Moon says

    We have so many wild animals here..I get so excited when I hear deer in the woods next to our house..they are such beautiful creatures..sometimes we even put out food for the raccoons at night so that we can watch their funny antics from the door window..they can be so comical..and they are adorable..I’ll never understand how people can hurt other animals..I also wonder how many people realize that humans are a species of animals..

  19. says

    I’m completely with you Claudia. I don’t understand people who think they are superior to animals and nature, free to do whatever they please to them – we are equal and one in my mind.
    I’m a native Angeleno and grew up in the Santa Monica Mountains, which sounds removed and woodsy and country-like but we were right off the San Diego Fwy … and yet we saw deer all the time. A favorite time was one foggy morning, looking out my window and seeing a deer family right outside our house. Makes me smile and feel at peace, even now.
    (I can remember my mom telling me that my dad had been invited to go hunting once and that he had gone, because he’d never been before and thought it a mans thing to do. But afterward he wept and was sickened and broken hearted over the death of a deer and would never ever go again.)
    I believe we humans are in our infancy in our development, we are so very immature and arrogant and self centered. Hoping we can stem the tide and slow the onrush of our ignorance and gain respect and compassion for all creatures.
    Thanks again for your always thoughtful posts, wishing you a very happy 2014!

  20. wimmera says

    I am total vegetarian(been all my life) but I do wear Italian leather footwear and bags,so please if you like me do not get too emotional for poor animals,only if you wear plastic boots or sandals.
    Happy New Year to all of you!
    I hope one day to became person that will say NO to all animal product,till then well…..

  21. Janet says

    I love Duck Dynasty. We do not hunt but I have hunters in my extended family. I do disagree with you but happy to live in a Country where we all do not have to agree and the freedom to express oneself is a beautiful thing!!

    Have a beautiful day!!

  22. says

    We have lots of Deer here..I was filling my bird feeders a few months ago and A huge Buck ran thru my yard..at least 8 points..Mollie went nuts..He was gorgeous..No camera of course..I really missed getting 2 doe in the corn field last week..They don’t stick around when they see Mollie..

  23. says

    I love the deer and all the wild animals and birds that are around here. It makes me so sad that so many are killed for ‘sport’. You inspire me to be a better supporter of animal rights.
    hugs to you dear Claudia!

  24. says

    love you and your big ‘ole heart and eloquent ways of writing what i cannot express myself in a rational manner.
    also you are 61? you are rockin’ it!
    happy almost 2014!

  25. says

    Wonderful post. It has been so cold here in ND…and I worry about all the birds and animals who live outside.
    I always tell my 5 cats and 2 dogs how lucky they are and how glad I am that they live here in the house with us. And I remind them how spoiled they are. LOL

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