The last weekend of the summer holiday is the time to try and catch up on all the last-minute things there will not be time for, starting tomorrow…
Like a bath for Matilde. She hates getting wet and I hate getting kicked, so bath time is unpleasant for everyone!
Also during this last weekend ofthe summer holidays, the Donkey Sanctuary announced they had put a stop to the use of a donkey in a museum in southern Spain. I am interested in knowing more about the details.
The news appeared on Twitter with the picture of the donkey, turning an olive press in the traditional way, and this caption: “Should donkeys be used as entertainment in a mill in Spain? We don’t think so. We’ve stopped demos like this.” I was interested to know more and asked for further information, and a lady called Sue Cook replied: “I live in Mijas and have seen the mill and I don’t like to see the donkeys being used for this, that’s all.”
Now, I am all for donkey welfare and cutting out abuses, but I think we need to be very careful here. The donkey would have been used to demonstrate earlier agricultural processes, just as we have horses used to demonstrate horse-drawn ploughing techniques etc., and I wonder if this donkey would have been turning the mill for more than a couple of demo sessions, in any case? I’m simply asking about this, as I have not got the full information, but I do wonder if we may be going too far.
Do we want to see donkeys entirely removed from public view, except gathered in sanctuaries eating and sleeping? They once had a working role and we should allow that to be credited, and the donkeys’ work remembered, and sometimes demonstrated. It would be good, as I say, to hear more about the facts of this, and “I don’t like to see donkeys being used for this” may not be a sufficiently good reason for banning a perfectly reasonable demonstration of working practices in former times. If too many things we “don’t like” are labeled “abuse”, we risk turning animals into mere ornaments.
I have now managed to find the Donkey Sanctuary’s full explanation which was not linked in their earlier Tweet, and you can read it here: http://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/press-release/donkey-saved-mill
PS Why bath Matilde?
It occurred to me since Hannah’s comment (see comments) that most readers of this blog will be unaware we have had no significant rain since January: this is a severe drought disaster area. The donks have had no natural rainfall on them for eight months! Another reason why Matilde needs a bath.