As an animal lover I found this article from the BBC News shocking and painful. I had mentioned in an earlier post about British Farms that during WWII much of their livestock was culled because they couldn’t afford to feed such big animals.
What I didn’t know until now is that the government began a campaign before the start of the war urging people to destroy their pets because food was certain to be scarce. In the course of one week, Britain destroyed 750,000 pets.
I know Britain suffered greatly during WWII. Rationing barely kept body and soul alive. A very good friend of mine lived during the war and she often told me about the shortages they endured. She never mentioned the government had urged them to destroy their pets.
She was obsessive about her dogs in her adult years and now I wonder if that cull had anything to do with it. We worked at the same veterinary hospital.
I can’t put myself in their place because we deliberately created a situation where we could provide for ourselves and our pets. If the government started urging me to destroy Nana and Iko, they better hope they never tell me that in person.
There is very little I get worked up about, but when it comes to my dogs, that’s where the line is drawn.
In the US, we eat too much anyway. I can afford to eat a lot less if it means my dogs get to live.
I do want to give kudos to the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, in operation since 1860. According to the article, with only four people on staff, they took in 175,000 dogs during the course of WWII.
I have no right to judge, never having experienced that kind of shortage of resources. I just know I would not, and could not comply to such a request. I have the luxury of living in the country and growing my own food. As long as Greg or I draw breath, our animals will be safe.
To be fair, I’m a little more suspect of the government for starting such a panic. Back then though, people were much more willing to do as they were told. Today we question everything, and we should. If history has taught me anything, it’s that governments are not infallible. They make mistakes and sometimes they’re whoppers.
How would you feel if the government warned you today that food would be scarce for the unforeseeable future and urged you to euthanize your pets? How awful would life have to be to make such an painful decision?