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Prisoners in Doi Saket – Part 1

Opinion

 

Prisoners in Doi Saket – Part 1

What have they done to deserve this?

Karin Hawelka,
Care for Dogs

Why do we humans think we have the right to mistreat and abuse dogs, to keep them in cages or chain them up? What have dogs done to deserve being locked up in small isolation prison cells day and night, with no freedom to run, play, and get a hug from a person who loves them? This is what every dog needs and should have. Have they robbed a bank, killed a person, have they been corrupt? What gives us humans the right to treat our “best friend” so miserably?
The above were the questions which were running through our minds as Soraya and I checked out a certain place, together with Thomas, a dog lover who had informed us about the plight of dogs being kept there and asked us if we could come out and take a look. When we looked around, we saw that three dogs were being kept in a factory area in very small cages, day and night, used as guard dogs. The cages were rotten, some filled with old faeces, containing no water, all in the hot sun.
One of the dogs was a Rottweiler mix, one a smaller fluffy dog, and the third a Labrador. I usually wouldn’t put my hand in a cage of a dog I don’t know, let alone a big guy like the Labrador. However, when he saw me, he tried to press his head and paw through the bars, yearning for love and a human touch. When I cautiously approached him, he tried even harder to squeeze his paws and his head through the bars to get in touch and just wanted to connect with a human being who would give him some relief from his misery for a few moments. Such a gentle big soul—it was clear he wouldn’t harm me but was just in desperate need of someone to give him some love, and it seemed as if his whole body language was saying “Take me away from here!”
When we put a bowl with water in the cage, he desperately tried to get out. I felt like a betrayer when I quickly had to lock the door again.
When we finally made contact with the owner through his son, and explained to him the situation, we asked if he would let us take the dogs with us. He flatly refused to let them go, saying that he wanted to continue to use them as guard dogs who bark when someone enters the unfenced compound. Our lawyer also talked with the owner on the phone, without success.
We haven’t given up yet, we’ll be on the case. My heart is heavy while I’m writing these lines and I do hope so much that these three dogs can be brought out of their misery. Sometimes I’m ashamed to be a human when I think of all the suffering we are loading on our fellow earthlings on this planet.
Part 2 will follow next week…

 

Opinion: Modern Medical Marvels…or are they? The choice is ours…

Elena Edwards
Those of us blessed with enquiring minds may have noticed an article published in last week’s issue, as part a regular and generally informative column, entitled, ‘Tree hugging for amateurs.’ Over the last year or so, the same enquiring minds may also have noted that many articles have also been published which detail up-to-date research into many modern drugs and their side-effects. The Femail page itself has hosted a number of texts dealing with traditional and alternative medicine, as I’ve long been aware of the increasing interest in such therapies and treatments here in CM as well as in Western countries. Also, I have successfully used holistic and alternative therapies both on myself, my family, and on the succession of dogs I’ve been lucky enough to own over many years. All of the above texts have represented either serious research by accredited academics, published in respected journals, or recognised traditional or alternative techniques, and none, as far as I remember, have derided modern, conventional medicine. My own belief is that both conventional, traditional and alternative medicine have their places in this modern world, and can often be used, with the correct knowledge or advice, in conjunction with each other. Life-threatening illness is often best treated with conventional medicine; surgical intervention is often essential and unavoidable. However, most chronic or non-life-threatening problems can, it seems, be dealt with by more gentle means (and with fewer risk of unpleasant side-effects) by the use of other alternatives.
Which brings me to the thrust of this article…we are living in Asia, where, for thousands of years, during which time the West was relying either on the local ‘witch’ or on barber-surgeons, traditional, natural and very sophisticated medicines have been used by practitioners wise in their knowledge, varying in their components and application according to areas, tribes and nationalities. The majority of these treatments focus on correcting imbalances in our bodies which result in ‘dis-ease’ – the opposite of health. To me, it makes a great deal of sense that, unless an illness is viral or bacterial in origin, our bodies may react to such imbalances by causing identifiable symptoms, which may well improve or even disappear when the imbalances are corrected and our own immune systems take over. Many natural medicines stimulate the human immune system; please correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t remember any modern drugs available on the National Health in the UK which did so! A strong immune system is, of course, essential for health – holistic, natural medicine seems to have the edge in promoting our own natural defences against disease.
There are, of course, risks either way; in traditional Chinese medicine, for example, many potentially harmful substances are used…the knowledge and experience of the practitioner is paramount in deciding on treatment. He can’t just reference in a book and prescribe… In the article in this week’s issue which reports a talk given by an expert on aromatherapy, the volatility of essential oils and the time it takes to become expert in their uses is explained. The risks of conventional modern medicine, unfortunately, seem to be less predictable, whatever the checks and balances applied, perhaps because of the commercial element involved in their production and the persuasive nature of their distribution to the medical profession. Another problem is the addictive nature of certain conventional drugs, mostly used for depression, etc. I have never heard of anyone having trouble coming off St. John’s Wort. Coming off Prozac seems be another matter entirely.
Yes, mistakes can occur. The thalidomide tragedy was one of the worst ever, but British readers may recall the trial, some few years ago, of a new ‘wonder drug’ on, thankfully, a small number of paid human volunteers who, as a result, endured seriously life-threatening symptoms and whose immune systems were permanently damaged to the extent of compromised health and predictions of early deaths from cancer. The number of class actions against certain drug companies in the USA. Yes, I am aware of the American legal predilection for chasing anything with a percentage in it might also give cause for concern, even if one is only checking out drugs for veterinary use.
The tip of the iceberg seems to be rising higher, with many drug-resistant strains of bacteria emerging due to over-prescribing of that modern marvel, the antibiotic. Very useful, but not if over-used by conventionally-trained doctors when confronted with the slightest sniffle, usually viral. In my experience, traditional, alternative and natural medicine practitioners prescribe as needed after careful consideration of their patients’ overall conditions, both physical and emotional… Modern doctors may well not have the time, or the inclination, to do this. Perhaps this is one reason why many Westerners now prefer to visit the former!
As to proof…a homeopath friend of mine in the UK (a qualified doctor who had then decided to continue with the 6 years’ further study which would result in his homeopathic qualification, some amateur) once said to me, ‘If my patient is cured, and most are, that’s proof. I don’t care how it works, I’m just glad for the patient that my efforts have been successful.’ That conversation took place many years ago, just after my husband’s extremely large, totally jammed and howlingly painful kidney stone, untreatable except by an operation, had disintegrated and been safely passed after a 5 day course of Quercus. The hospital’s specialist couldn’t quite believe it, neither could his patient. That, to me, was proof! In spite of studies on homeopathy by ‘experts’ (some of whom might even have been linked in some strange manner to certain drug companies), whose results stated that, as the components could not be identified, the therapy was not viable. That, to me, was proof! Especially as the kidney stone involved was the 3rd in a series, the other two of which had required operations.
Readers might be interested to know that the amazingly long- lived and healthy British Royal Family has its own personal team of homeopathic doctors.
Maybe it should also be mentioned that the giant Western drug companies are now jumping on the green bandwagon by researching into traditional natural medicinal remedies worldwide, in an attempt to synthesise and produce them. No doubt they will charge the purchasing departments of local hospital boards an extortionate fee for their products, thus limiting their distribution in developing countries such as Thailand. Or even, right now, the UK! Medical discrimination by price and location. If you can afford it, you’ll probably live, if not, sorry! We have to remember our responsibility to our executives and our shareholders…
As to tree-hugging… I have at least 20 trees in my garden, and although I don’t hug them (mostly due to the red ants who consider the trunks to be their own Superhighway) I do talk to them, and when they seem to be slightly off colour, I apply a few minutes of Reiki to them. Perhaps this makes me worthy of derision by the medical establishment. That’s fine by me, the trees seem to love it!