When I was 20-something, my idea of chilling out at the end of the week was going down the pub, watching a band, or having a meal with my mates. Not like some horrible girl-yob I saw on an episode of BBC’s Countryfile, who liked going out with a gang and a pack of dogs to find a badger and watch it get torn to bits. ‘Relaxing’, she called it. Hmm… I guess she’s the kind of girl who, in the past, would have been at the front of the crowd watching heretics burned alive, or traitors hung, drawn and quartered. Or the bear-baiting – and can you believe that still happens? Yup – check out the WSPA website, if you have the stomach for it (or if you don’t, just send a donation, buy stuff from their shop or support them somehow).
What is it with people who enjoy animal atrocities? Dog-fighting, hare-coursing, bear-baiting, cock-fighting – all cruel, disgusting and utterly barbaric. I can’t get my head round it. I can’t even bear to watch our cat torment a mouse to death (anything he brings in alive gets taken off him, pdq), let alone these so-called ‘blood sports’. And I don’t see much difference between their afficionados and psycopathic serial killers, who so often start out their murderous careers by torturing animals. It all bespeaks something deeply wrong in the psyche: a terrifying lack of compassion, of empathy for suffering and respect for life in whatever form. That’s why I think blood ‘sports’ are not only totally wrong but badly dangerous, and need stamping out (and yes, that includes hunting foxes with herds of horses and packs of hounds. I don’t give a flying fig if some members of the royal family and sundry other nobs think it’s great fun – there are far more efficient and humane ways of controlling fox populations).
So please: support the anti-blood-sport charities, sign the anti-petitions, report the badger-baiters and dog-fighters to the police… there’s more than enough pain in the world without such people adding to it for their own warped entertainment.