Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Animal Justice

So, we have had a sole male Guinea Pig for a while now, almost two years. We bought him when he was still an adolescent, so all he's known is us and our house. As Ali Baba just turned seven he was allowed a pet as well. We debated letting him have another indoor pet, but LL wasn't thrilled with the thought of another cage cluttering up the house. So, he had two options, get a Guinea Pig indoors, or have rabbits or chickens outdoors.

He wasn't keen on the idea of having to go outside every day to take care of it, so a second Guinea Pig it was. However, everyone we talked to said Adult Males just won't get along with another Adult Male in a closed cage, they will fight and very likely hurt each other. A female adolescent wasn't a good idea as our dear current male will likely molest her. The best bet, we were told, was an adult female who's had a few litters. She'll be calmer and know how to react to him.

However, we didn't want to start raising little piglets, so that meant our Boar getting the snip. Off to the vet he went, it all went fine, and we waiting a month to let it settle down. Last weekend was when we brought home our new girl.

Its been very traumatic in this boy's household, though it is now settling down. Clearly she was a scared little pig as she scuttered away to hide in their "home" in the cage, and just wouldn't come out. It Tom went in, it was for seconds before he came running out, obviously nipped. If she came out, he strutted and waggled his bottom butting up against her chittering away excitedly. He hasn't tried to mount her, poor thing clearly doesn't know what to do. He just gets into a high state of bother.

We've taken to getting him out of the cage for periods of time. Finally she's coming out to eat and drink. This morning I came down to find them both out eating, so its clearly settling down. As amusing as it is, I do wonder. We've kept our first pet on his own, it was all he knew. He seemed happy, and loved settling down in laps to be petted (he actually purrs). Now we've added a friend, but he doesn't really know what to do about it, and she's clearly been a scared little thing. Its now starting to calm down, and we think our goal of peaceful coexistence will work, but...

It feels a bit strange. I'm not big on animal rights, other than simple humane treatment. I do believe in animal testing being right, so long as it is for sound medical rather than cosmetic reasons. I also eat meat, and see no objection to continuing. So long as the animal was raised in good healthy conditions. Yet I'm feeling a bit out of sorts by two tiny little animals being pretty clearly not quite sure what's going on. Might have to think on this a bit.


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