Britain: A Nation of Animal Lovers or Mad Dogs and Englishmen

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We in Britain pride ourselves on being a nation of animal lovers and, indeed, we are. Obviously other nations such as America and so forth also love animals but, somehow and for some reason, whilst America and such will have any number of people fanatical about animals, it is always the British who are described as ‘a nation of animal lovers’. Why Britain? Well, perhaps I can shed some light on it.

A Pugfest in Glastonbury, England
A Pugfest in Glastonbury, England

Now other nations may claim to love animals but is it a genuine claim? Take France for example. They eat horses for starters but, I suppose, it has to be said, France would be a lovely country if it wasn’t filled with French people and, if it wasn’t filled with French people, horses would live longer for one thing.

The Koreans eat dogs for Gods sake! Can’t somebody nuke them??

As Prince Philip once pointed out, if it has legs and isn’t a chair, wings and isn’t an aeroplane, swims and isn’t a submarine the Chinese will eat it.

My daughter went to Iceland and ate Puffin. What?? My daughter? The lover of wildlife and conservation ate Puffin?? Mind you, that was before Puffin’s were named as an endangered species but, since they were, I haven’t let her forget it 🙂

So, the Icelandic people eat Puffin do they? Right. That’s them off the list of animal loving nations.

The Japanese are clearly not on the list as they continue to slaughter whales. Arm the whales with nukes I say and let ’em lose on Hiroshima. That would teach the murdering little …..  behave Neil, you aren’t Prince Philip.

Frankly, I could go on and on – as I frequently do – but let’s cut to the chase here shall we? America is off the list because there’s too much hunting going on and killing of wolves and things so hop it America you aren’t on the list.

Britain, on the other hand, is the one nation on the entire planet that frequently puts the welfare of animals ahead of humans. Not always I grant you. Politicians are always harping on about extending Heathrow Airport and building new roads regardless of the impact on wildlife and, of course, we have our share of scum who mistreat animals like any other country.

However, I firmly believe Britain comes out well ahead of any other nation in their love of animals.

We, the British, will always go that extra mile to help animals.

Hedgehog tunnels under roads so they don’t get squashed crossing – and toad tunnels too. Mind you, I have no idea how we expect the hedgehogs and toads to know that using the tunnel is safer than the road. I mean to say, is there anyone who can communicate with a hedgehog or a toad?

It is eccentric isn’t it, a hedgehog or toad tunnel under a road? Perhaps that is the reason why Britain are such a nation of animal lovers. We have eccentricity running through our genes and, quite possibly, our jeans.

We have more animal charities than any other nation on Earth – I Googled it – and, given our small size compared to so many countries that is extraordinary.

The Royal Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals (RSPCA) is probably the best known but we have Dogs Trust, Cats Protection, Tiggywinkles (hedgehogs), Royal Society For The Protection Of Birds (RSPB), various charities for specific breeds of dogs and cats, Redwings is only one of our horse charities.

We have charitable organisations for pretty much every creature found in Britain and certainly not only for animals native to Britain.

The British spend far more on animal charities than people charities and, when you get to charities in other countries the British spend a fortune if they are for animals and wildlife and not, comparatively, that much if it’s for people.

A survey not long ago found that, when shown pictures of distress in other countries and pressing a button when the picture would make you donate to help, over 80% pressed when shown animals in distress against 20% for even children in other countries.

I’m not at all surprised.

Another survey asked whether people would support financially either The Red Cross (people) or The World Wildlife Fund and over 70% stated the WWF before they would give a damn about The Red Cross and, frankly, I concur.

By the staggering support the British give to animal charities, often at the expense of saving starving kids in Africa or somewhere, we are saying, as a nation, ‘this is not OUR world, we share it with other creatures and we are going to help the other creatures who cannot help themselves. The starving kids in Africa could be helped by their fellow humans who are in charge of their country but their fellow humans choose to live in luxury and drive around in bullet proof limousines so, sorry kids, your people are letting you die we aren’t. We are saving the Lion’s or Tiger’s or Bears or Elephants because they can’t save themselves from us, humanity’.

Not long ago there was a knock on my door. A lady was collecting for, as it happens, starving kids in Africa. I told her I feel sorry for them but I’d just spent over £400 on one of my cats because my cat was more important. He can’t help himself but the countries rulers could help the kids. If they starve it isn’t my fault it’s their rulers. If my cat needs me he comes before any people charity.

She looked shocked and I do understand why. She cared about the starving kids and so do I but, as far as I’m concerned, I know their countries rulers are living in corrupt luxury and, with decent rulers the kids, whilst not necessarily living in luxury, wouldn’t starve.

Besides, if you give to people charities, especially in other countries particularly Africa, it has long ago been proven that much of the money is lost to corruption so, the kids starve because of their countries corrupt leaders even if we do give so, we don’t very much any more.

We give to animal charities which, in my view, are more important than people charities – and I do say that with due regard to people charities to which I readily donate such as Cancer Research and the military charity ‘Help For Heroes’. In fact I, and hundreds of thousands of Brits do donate to people charities that we know are actually helping people – it’s just that animals need our help and they can’t help themselves.

Save The Children or Save The Whales? No contest. Whales every time.

Of course some people would say I and many Brits have our priorities wrong but, then again, you would say that wouldn’t you? After all, you are people.

An Asian kid will survive if I give £5 but I need that £5 to pay £400 for my cat. My cat is my responsibility, the Asian kid is his countries responsibility.

Charity begins at home and charity begins in supporting the other creatures that we share our world with. Besides, there are too many humans on the planet anyway and it’s starting to look untidy.

Also, of course, I and my family have had the good fortune to be born and live in a prosperous country where we don’t need charitable aid just to survive so I can afford to put animals first therefore I do. Had I been born in some Asian slum I doubt I would like what I’m saying very much but there you go.

Ain’t life a bitch eh? Well, it is if you’re a starving kid in Africa depending on me to pay up. You might not like my point of view but my cats just love it. My cats are better fed than millions of kids in third world countries. Do I care? Yes, I do, but will I pay? Nope. No point.

A couple of years ago I walked passed a man collecting for kids in Ethiopia and gave £20 to a man collecting to feed a colony of feral cats near his home. I’ve got my priorities well sorted.

What was it they used to say about mad dogs and Englishmen?

About Post Author

Neil Bamforth

I am English first, British second and never ever European. I have supported Oldham Athletic FC for 50 years which has made me immune from depression. My taste buds have died due to too many red hot curries so I drink Kronenburg beer and milk - sometimes in the same glass. I have a wife, daughter, 9 cats and I like toast.
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