chooks, pets, children, and long-term responsibility.

· We’ve had pets most years since our kids were pre-school: mouse in a filled terrarium; guinea-pigs then rabbits in a run in the backyard; free-run chook; various cats (one a stray that chose us).
{At bottom is my “cat watching the sunrise” email, which I sent in 1999.}

· A big question is “are you going to look after this pet you want, day after day, for the next fifteen or more years?”

· To me, this is the same question every man and woman must ask themselves before they start a child.

— From my own experience, I have advised against having children for just this reason. The strain on me after they became teenagers (the girl particularly) far overwhelmed any benefit having children gave me; the parental responsibility was too much for me.

· In the case of children there is the extra dimension of needing to have reliable work, at a job which provides enough income for most of twenty years.
(I was forty when our last child was born, and lost my last paid job at fifty-three.)
— In the child’s-pet case, the parents/guardians do have some say in getting a pet, because they supply its food and shelter. This is a major reason why my wife and I encouraged the children to have herbivore pets like rabbits or chooks.
Provided their fenced (and plastic-canopied) run can be moved around to different places on the grassy backyard, they only need supplementary feed in the winter.

· Below are two stories about simply enjoying one’s life right now:
one about a Corsican, the other by me about our “watching the sunrise” cat; ten years ago (June 1999)

I wrote this to a list I was on, on 19 June 1999 04:52 UTC:

What to Do
– by David MacClement

** I think the Earth needs people like this:

The Corsican Fisherman

. . A lone fisherman sat on a stretch of beach. His single fishing pole was planted in the sand.
Along came a businessman on vacation.
“Why don’t you have two poles so you can catch more fish?” the businessman asked.
. . “Then what would I do?” asked the Corsican.
“Then, you could take the extra money, buy a boat, get nets and a crew, and catch even more fish.”
. . “Then what would I do?” asked the fisherman.
“Then,” said the businessman, “you could move up to a fleet of large ships, go wholesale, and become very rich.”
. . “Then what would I do?” asked the Corsican.
“Do whatever you want!” shouted the businessman.
. . And the Corsican replied, “I am.”
Source: Loose Change, 7/8, 1997.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

** This morning I was given a lesson by our cat.

** I get up before dawn, 6 days out of 7. The cat (my daughter’s, actually), came in as usual while I was washing my breakfast bowl, ate his breakfast, and went out again. He has free run, through a cat door, and is quite an able member of our household. Valued.

** By this time, the sun was lighting up the upper atmosphere – any cirrus clouds would have been pink, though the low stratus scraps weren’t – and the birds were well into their ‘dawn chorus’. The male Tui, on his rounds, was announcing his presence from our tall kahikatea. A liquid, musical warble somewhere between a magpie and a bell-bird, but very much his own.

** The cat by now was sitting quietly on the back step, just watching, listening, and taking it all in, while the sun gave a rosy glow to the lower clouds. After twenty minutes, tired after his night out, he came in and settled down and went to sleep on a soft place.

** I think, as I can imagine him thinking and feeling, that our world is a good place. At least, just here, just now.

** I don’t see most human activities as more valuable than what he did, this morning.


-{If such a philosophical post is unwelcome on a Green (political) Party website, just say so, and I won’t post the other one which is ready now.}-
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

(David MacClement) ZL1ASX Re-Posts: I’m in Greenhithe North Shore NZ
earth our home:

-{Last edited/attempted-posted on 18 April, 2009 at 3:15 pm}-

This entry was posted in Ecological wisdom, Peace and non-violence, Social responsibility and tagged , , , by davdnz. Bookmark the permalink.

About davdnz

I now have over 15 years of experience at living sustainably, while buying all my needs. A consumption level above my very ascetic one could also be sustainable. I've had a good life: worked hard at what I can do well and was useful (teaching physics), travelled widely (including taking the family to live in India in 1988), read a lot, sailed on the ocean in our own yacht, scuba-dived, flown sailplanes (Silver "C"), raised 3 great children to independence, and provided companionship for my wife during the last 41 years. ** I don't want more; my life is _enough_. ** {Update on 1-1-2016: Go to my Twitter - which has: "Had a good life: worked hard @ what I do well & was useful (teaching physics); took family to live India 1988 B:1936. Wife Bera died July2013"}

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