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Prevailing Winds #2 Prevailing Winds #2
by Paul Lightfoot
2007-05-22 09:56:01
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Our neighbours have gone on holiday and left us their Guinea pigs to look after. There are two in a cage 57cm by 38 by 37 high, I have measured it. Our two small children look down on these two small creatures with large amounts of excitement, but, for fleeting moments of children's love, we reduce their world to this size.

The neighbours apparently from time to time let them run around the living room. They don't have a garden. I have looked up 'guinea pig' in the dictionary.

1. a domesticated, tailless South American cavy, originally raised for food. It no longer occurs in the wild and is now typically kept as a pet or for laboratory research. Cavia porcellus, family Caviidae.

2. Informal. a person or thing used as a subject for experiment.

Rabbits, mice, birds, fish, etc., are put into cages so that we can “love” them. This has nothing to do with love. This is far removed from humanitarian ideas, so what's the difference with animals.

The guinea pigs have my sympathy and, although I can’t let them free, they are running around our kitchen. We will have them for three days and then they go to another neighbour before returning to their living room.

Jessica Jungle

Prevailing Winds

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Sand2007-05-22 16:52:49
Love, like freedom, like God, like a large number of other words has so many meanings that, for practical purposes, it is undefined. For people to grow up understanding the world it is wise to know as much about it as possible by direct experience. Pets do not have to be caged but they probably do need, like any of us, a space they can call their own to which they can return and feel comfortable. I f their needs (which extends beyond food and water) are met with care, having pets can be rewarding on both sides of the relationship.

Paul2007-05-23 09:03:48
Pets are undeniably "good" for us, or are they. What wories me is how we see ourselves in their space, which is so often not considered as we of course see primally our space. Our relationship with animals, for example the horse or dog, is one thing but it's very different when we take an animal from it's environment to be companions.
Birds, fish, rabbits and Guinea pigs are caged as with mice etc, whos reward are we thinking about.

Sand2007-05-23 09:36:50
I have lived with many different kinds of animals and done my best to provide for whatever needs they might have. I have had white rats that wandered my house, slept next to my pillow at night and they lived four years - well beyond the average lifespan. We enjoyed each other's company and I learned a great deal about other forms of life from them. I respected them for the qualities they had. If they had existed in the wild they doubtlessly would have had different lives, just as if I life alone in the woods I would be a different type of animal. I had a rabbit with me for several years and treated it with great respect. We both benefited from the relationship and obviously enjoyed our life together. A natural environment is not always a wonderful type of life.

Paul2007-05-23 10:54:41
I am sure your pets friendship was reciprocal to your own. It's amazing how animals can adapt to the the surroundings of Homo Sapiens, but they are the slave and even Homo Sapiens when made slaves will find within their cage the greater existence of love. Nature is aggressive and your friends have been saved that torment but the price they pay I think is difficult for us to understand.

Sand2007-05-23 16:01:27
Although I am with you that natural lives prime all the capabilities of a wild animal, the life has a high fatality rate. Humans may deceive themselves that they are living to the maximum of their capabilities but I doubt it. We are domesticated by our own culture which protects and nourishes us. If a different creature is accepted under the same benevolent umbrella I doubt that it would be grateful to be pushed out into the woods to make its own way.

Paul2007-05-23 19:05:48
The tamed animal has become a friend and with friendship there's responsibility. The Dolphin in it's pool looks happily on as the crowd appplaud and it's fed for entertaining us. It's not differcult to imagine freedom amongst the waves a better life even if it has to out swim the sharks. Of course each animal has its circumstances and surprise surprise, a tropical bird caged in a northen climate will die if let loose.

Human kind is part of the landscape, not the landscape.

Sand2007-05-23 21:49:11
It very much depends upon where you are. In a large metropolitan area pigeons can be quite comfortable. Tigers and hippopotamuses would have problems. There are techniques, even for animals, for living in the wild. Lions raised in captivity would not survive in the wild without special training. And some landscapes have been so modified by humanity that animals normally living there soon die out. Nature is not kind, and sometimes,harsher than humanity.

Paul2007-05-23 23:15:53
Please visit my blog Prevailing Winds


I hope you enjoy it

Paul2007-05-23 23:18:36
I have made a mistake and put the address of the paintings. The blog is


Sand2007-05-23 23:34:40
I visited your blog but found the process of registering to make a comment more troublesome than worth while. Unfortunately I found most of the text on your art unreadable purely on graphic principles. The assumptions you made on motivations do not apply to me. My e-mail is jiisand@gmail if you want to pursue the matter.

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