Saturday, August 20, 2011

Born Free

I hate zoos and aquariums. I believe animals shouldn’t be imprisoned and caged. I refuse to go to the circus because I think people have the free will to decide whether jumping through a ring of fire is fun or not, while circus animals don’t.

When I stood inside the Coliseum in Rome many years ago, somehow I unexpectedly burst into tears, feeling the sudden chill in the air and thinking about all those desperate animals being forced to fight till they died, just to entertain people.  

Animal experiments? Well, I’d rather die in agony than take the latest medicine tested on animals, knowing many innocent lives have been sacrificed for me to live just one week longer.

So naturally I am against having pets, especially after witnessing the cruelty at puppy mills and pet shops, and the misery of the abandoned animals at the shelters.

Believe it or not, I was frightened of dogs before. Yes, frightened. I would take a longer route just to avoid some dogs on the street. And no, I am not a vegetarian. I eat animals, happily and gratefully.

9 years ago, one of my friends dropped dead in the office out of the blue, the famous “karoushi” in Japan, death due to overwork. I rescued one of his dogs, a puppy back then, even when I was still afraid of dogs at that time.

And then I promptly fell in love with the puppy, head over heels. During those 8 years with him, taking care of him day after day, I also learned about the purest form of love, the unconditional love.

He is gone now, but I dream about him sometimes, and I think of him almost every day. He is still living deeply in my heart. And I thank him for all the things I have learned from him.

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