Our an­i­mal in­stincts

The Weekend Post - - Views -

BE­FORE my four-year-old’s bril­liant blue eyes stole my heart and soul, both be­longed to two other loves of my life. Firstly, a gin­ger-haired charis­matic and largely ma­nip­u­la­tive male fol­lowed by a blond, slightly scatty but com­pletely adorable brown-eyed girl. Both the cat and the dog ruled my life un­til our daugh­ter ar­rived and while Har­ri­son the fe­line is now our Lord in Heaven, Bella acts and is treated like our sec­ond “child”. I rem­i­nisce about Har­ri­son and the 15 years I had with him. I felt if I couldn’t have the real thing with Mr Ford, un­con­di­tional love from a cat would be good enough. It was more than enough. Hav­ing a pet is a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity but what a hu­man re­ceives in re­turn is price­less. I love most an­i­mals; oth­ers I re­spect. I know my feel­ings are not unique, par­tic­u­larly in this part of the world.

How­ever, I won­der if our love for an­i­mals is start­ing to cloud our judg­ment.

An­i­mals dom­i­nate the news in Far North Queens­land; mostly it is about de­bates on what to do about them.

They need sav­ing. They need re­lo­cat­ing. They need feed­ing. They need lov­ing. Don’t we all ...

If it’s not croc­o­diles, it’s bats. Wild dogs are re­placed with gar­den-de­stroy­ing pigs.

A car­pet snake here, a brown killer over there.

And then there are the North­ern Beaches wal­la­bies. Hun­dreds of them. Maybe thou­sands. There are few top­ics that are so emo­tive as an­i­mals.

Pets, preda­tors, pam­pered pooches — watch your fin­gers as the knives come out.

All of a sud­den usu­ally po­lite peo­ple grow claws and be­gin growl­ing like a bear. But men­tion the home­less and eyes glaze over.

A croc­o­dile takes a hu­man’s life be­cause they make the fa­tal mis­take of swim­ming in the ocean and watch out for the in­sults. No ar­gu­ment it’s fool­ish but pause a sec­ond; it’s still a hu­man life.

A bat must be re­lo­cated with kid gloves and 32 mil­lion laws are put in place, be­cause if they aren’t, there will be an up­roar. But never mind those liv­ing un­der the stench and fae­ces or the in­come that could change lives by find­ing a com­mon­sense res­o­lu­tion.

Cute kit­tens are dumped by the side of the road and 300 storm the pound to adopt.

But hu­mans ig­no­rantly step over itin­er­ants ly­ing on a foot­path.

A wo­man dies af­ter be­ing hit by a car in the CBD and it was her fault be­cause she was prob­a­bly drunk.

What hope is there of a so­lu­tion to the wal­laby plague at Trin­ity Beach; af­ter all it’s “only” footy play­ers get­ting sick.

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