Over on The Times, Paul Heiney has an amusing yet very observant comment piece about rabbits. I found it amusing anyway.
Rabbits? The national economy is crumbling around our ears and I'm worried about rabbits? Well - yeah, sort of. Actually, I'm not moaning about rabbits as such - more about the ridiculous sentimentality we now have towards animals.
For centuries animals were part and parcel of our existence. Our livelihoods depended on their welfare and so the way we managed animals effected how we developed. We not only farmed them for food they were also used for transport, power, clothing and all sorts of other uses. We loved our animals, but were never sentimental about them either in or out of the farmyard.
Over the course of the last half of the 20th century this all changed. Although animals were still looked at from a practical aspect by farmers, in our new "sophisticated" urbanised world we started to humanise animals - subscribing human traits to them.
An "animal rights" movement flourished - driven by absurd attitudes towards the welfare of animals - and with that movement came a militant wing committed to advancing the "rights" of animals even at the expense of humans. These militant groups worked hard to destroy legal businesses such as the fur industry - hence driving out our well managed and ethical fur farms and boosting the fur industries in far off, far less well managed and very unethical foreign countries where they have far fewer qualms about how they treat animals than we do.
It's got to the stage now where we abort quarter of a million human babies every year, but are more concerned about the welfare of a few foxes - which are thriving, incidentally. Personally, even though I don't hunt, I have no objections to people hunting foxes with dogs. Dogs are animals too and they seem to enjoy ripping foxes to pieces - so why deprive them of that? No one seems too bothered that they are happy to do it in the wild, but just because a human is involved that somehow makes it immoral?
I blame Walt Disney and his fanciful humanisation of animals in the Disney cartoons. Animals aren't people too - they are animals. And trust me - if the boot was on the other foot, they'd have no qualms about tearing an animal rights activist to pieces if it was in their interest to do so.