Art be it music or drawing as we all know are forms of self expressions. Rainy nights combined with melancholic music sets the tone for an absent-minded sketch – a doodle. I have on my mind a very lean and mean looking bunny. I guess the outcome was not very far from the vision.
I think I should do this more often henceforth…
From a very young age, I have taught myself not to subscribe to social acceptance and conformance. In other words, I hate following the crowd just because they seek to please a few they perceive as “leaders”.
I am sure most of you in your lifetime have experienced this sort of situations. It happens mostly in schools. Ever found yourself trying to please that popular kid or the popular group of kids just to fit in so you feel that little sense of belonging? The situation can be liken to a pile of dung surrounded by flies. Oh, how much I hated that! This is one of the causes of bullying in schools then and now. And what has changed for me since then? Nothing – the bullying is in a grander scale.
Almost 8 years ago, I started off this weblog to share information and my experiences in raising pet rabbits. My motivation is to help fellow hobbyists keep their rabbits alive lest they stricken with sorrow when losing their beloved pets to illnesses that can well be avoided with such knowledge.
As time went by, the hobby evolved into show rabbit breeding and while I am able to make sense of all the technicalities involved, I remained skeptical as far as the psychology behind this side of the hobby. I was intrigued nonetheless and kept an open mind.
Now that I can finally articulate my thoughts, it turned out to be the grandest social “thing” for those in the know and circle. Imagine the “drama” that comes with social networking, this can be a thousand fold worse if one does not thread on it carefully. And please allow me to tell you why.
It is still within the concept of pleasing a few popular “kids” and the need for affirmation and acceptance. A sense of belonging and fit in. And along the process, people are victimized and ridiculed by the popular kids.
Bullying for me is really a sign of weakness (obviously). Bullies are only strong when they operate in groups. Mainly because humans are not made to hurt others. In order to hurt another, they need draw more courage and strength. If you take on a bully alone, you will find that he/she can be very withdrawn. Therefore, it is safe to say that bullies almost always operate in groups because they are just that weak. On the contrary, when a group of talented people coming together to contribute their strengths for the greater good of the community, their actions will show us the true capability of teamwork and the collective strength amplifies the positive effort.
So how does all that I have mentioned jive together in a larger picture?
I have come to the conclusion that I enjoy most part of the hobby except for the human factors. At one point I was totally and enthusiastically immersed in this entire “show rabbit” craze. While it was happening, I faced a lot of contradiction that stirred a lot of discomfort within my conscience.
Psychologically & politically speaking, there are a few things that I am unable to fathom and make sense of and to list a few below in no particular order:
1) A standard strive to promote and unsure uniformity. How can people force another living thing or organism to conform to physical uniformity?
2) Why should I be motivated to produce hundreds of rabbits that look exactly the same as required by a group of people responsible for laying down the standards and judging them?
3) Glory obtained at the expense of rabbits is no glory at all. I understand the effort and resources that it takes to be a top breeder. One should be proud of his/her accomplishments but a breeder who only seeks selfish glory, fame, and power through his/her rabbits irks me!
4) Unclear intention. Some do it for the passion while others do it for the money. Proclaiming that one breeds rabbits for the betterment of the breed can often be seen as “wolf in sheep’s clothing” these days because talk is cheap! No one can ever justify their real or “unreal” intentions.
By now, I believe most of you are totally lost as to what I am blabbering about. How is it possible that raising rabbits can be so complicated right?
That is exactly the point I am trying to put forth.
All these “smokescreens” seemed to take our focus away from what matters most – our beloved pets. The psychology behind many hobbies regardless of its nature, seemed to draw like minded people together. As the number of people getting involved increases, the dynamics start to shift and so does our focus. We are drowned by so many noises be it gossips, backstabbing, lies, or any other negativity.
Read this word -> Rabbit.
1. Rabbits do not gossip (maybe among themselves but whatever we cannot hear, we don’t care)
2. Rabbits do not back stab (maybe they would like to because we feed them crappy food)
3. Rabbits do not lie (they just like to chill and lie down all day)
4. Rabbits do not have rules & regulations (just don’t pull their long ears)
5. Rabbits do not seek perfection (they do not see and tell you what are your faults)
Almost after 8 years of not seeking to fit in and yearn for affirmation or acceptance, I dare say that when you have a group of people in a room, the strongest person is one who stands proudly alone because he/she dares to be different and unpopular. One who does not need to please anyone else because he/she is strong enough on his/her own – strong enough to stand on one’s own feet that is…
And the rest are just holding a rabbit for a glass of champagne at the cocktail reception before the Grandest Social Event!
The huge amount of information and misinformation on the internet can either make you or break you. In my case, I cannot help my brain going crazy and think of funny things in reply to all that I have seen on the internet as well as in real life. I believe that to truly enjoy the rabbit hobby, we have to stop being too anal about it. In other words, we must “chill” and stop taking things too seriously. It is the ability to take a step back and laugh at some of the things that we do in life that enables us to have a great time. And it is on that note, this blog post was made possible. I really had a good time writing this piece which I know may not go down well with some people. For those who care to share a light hearted moment, I hope you will have a hearty laugh.
The traffic situation here afforded me the time to craft this entry. As I juggle with focusing my attention on the road, my mind carefully picked all the right and wrong words to be included in this blog post. However, I must warn you that I cannot be too careful with my words else it will not make this satirical piece a good one. I came to realization that such a post is only possible because I am not totally immersed and into it (the hobby) too deep that it will affect my livelihood without it. Being too into anything is a form of addiction and a drug addict without his or her fix can be crazy enough to kill. I am happy that life is quite balanced for me and grateful to be sober enough to write what I hope is a funny piece.
Having had watched a number of rabbit judges at rabbit shows, I cannot help but to put myself in their shoes and think about what I would say or not say differently. Or perhaps, to say that what he or she truly means and not use tons of wonderful or bombastic words but in the end, says nothing. As we play multiple roles in life, I too imagined (not necessarily aspired to be) myself being a rabbit judge. I wondered what I would say when addressing the exhibitors just before I start judging. It was through this imagination, that this disclaimer notice was born…
My dear exhibitors, breeders, hobbyists, and friends, I would like to thank you for your participation and making this event happen through your generous funding. I am honoured to be invited to be your judge today. I can assure you that the hotel was pretty awesome, you have afforded me to travel around the globe and given a choice, I wouldn’t be here on my own expense. I will ensure that you will get your entry fees’ worth by trying to spend more time going through each and every one of your rabbits. I know it is hard but I will try to also ensure that I do not put my foot into my own mouth by contradicting myself while judging your otherwise beautiful rabbits. Please allow me to be brutally honest and not sugar coat what I am going to say about your rabbits. Most often than not, I must not make politically correct statements lest be flamed on social media such as f@cebuk and tweedle-tweed-twee right after the show. May I ask that you will never forget that every judge have his or her personal preferences in each breed while upholding what has been specified in the Standard Of Perfection. I will try my level best to judge each rabbit in accordance to the best of my understanding and memories of such standards.
Since time can be a constraint, please understand that the duration in which your rabbits will be in front of me should or should not be made an indication of its favourable or unfavourable standings in this competition. Also due to the time constraint, do accept the fact that my judgements where measurements are required are solely based on my ability to guesstimate and please do not take me to court for guesstimating the various lengths and weights on your rabbits inaccurately.
While you stay engaged, immersed, indulged, and totally have your eyes on the ribbons, please leave room for a little consciousness and awareness so that you will not run amok if I may mistakenly not select your rabbit for any of the awards. Rest assured, it is totally unintentional (but you could have brought me out for fine dining last evening and now it is too late). What you must also know is that I had a blast last evening and I am so very grateful to my hosts. Picking their rabbits should not be made an issue as I am usually fair and just. Rest assured, I am totally professional as well.
Last but not least, please remember that we are all here having fun at the expense of our rabbits. They are lucky to have survived this long under your care and it is truly their lives we are celebrating today.
Now that I have said all that I can to cover my sorry ass, let the show begin (and be over with) and the (already identified) champ be crowned!
Oh what a judge I would be…
This photo made my day. Thanks Dorothy for sharing…