let's talk farm animals

Farmers don’t marry their animals

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

I know that a dog is a man’s best friend, but sometimes people get ridiculous when it comes to animals. Now I don’t know of any farmer who has married their cow or chicken but I have read about several cases of people marrying their pets. Some do it as a lark, some to make a kind of political statement about “animal rights”.

The most recent is an Australian who according to news reports married his dog last fall. Joe Guiso wed his five-year-old golden retriever, Honey, in a park in the Queensland town of Toowoomba. According to several press reports, the groom donned a formal grey suit while the “bride” wore a flowing veil-like cape attached to her collar. Thirty of Guiso’s friends and family attended the unorthodox wedding, which concluded with the groom getting down on one knee to plant a kiss on his beloved pooch. “You’re my best friend and you make every part of my day better,” Guiso, 20, told his pet, according to the New York Daily News.

Guiso has laughed off criticisms, saying that while he loves his dog, the relationship is strictly platonic. “There’s nothing sexual,” he told news reporters, noting that the event was simply a lighthearted way to celebrate with friends. “You can’t actually marry a dog,” he explained.

All joking aside, such blurring of the line between people and animals is a concern in the farming community. With people trying to draw comparisons between farm animals and domestic pets, or even people themselves, it makes it ever-more challenging to explain that such comparisons are unfair to all. There was a time, not so long ago, when most people understood the stark difference between “working animals” and “companion animals”.   We accepted that not all animals are created equal…Not so much anymore.

Many farmers I know have a dog or two. Dogs are useful around the farm and are good company in what can be a lonely occupation like farming. Like any pet owner, farmers treat their dogs differently than the animals they raise for food. Not “better” just different. And they have no moral conflict with that. Nor, in my opinion, should they (or we). But I think farmers would agree that their dogs are not the marrying type.

Until the Next BLOG.

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Posted by FFC on January 9th, 2012 :: Filed under Farm life,Misconceptions,Urban Myths
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