Category Archives: Thoughts
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 If you take on a bully alone, you will find that he/she can be very withdrawn.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!
Please allow me to start off this post with a disclaimer – that the intent of this post is not to criticize anyone, any establishment, and most of all, this wonderful hobby of raising rabbits. I do apologize if you take offence of what I am about to write. It is a free world and life is wonderful when we are able to just do whatsoever we wish as long as it is confined within the rule of law. I am not in any way imposing my thoughts and beliefs unto any readers or encouraging others to be aligned to my thoughts.
That being said, please allow me to spill my thoughts.
I recently stumbled across the following video:
The video sparked off some interesting thoughts in my mind. It pointed me to three words – Standard Of Perfection.
Can we really achieve a perfect show animal? I can now confidently say, NO.
The fact that the genetic make up of an organism just do not allow for perfection. Perfection based on human justification that is. Therefore, the Standard Of Perfection (SOP) is indeed just a guide and in my humble opinion, have no interest in the internal but more of exterior. No Standard Of Perfection in the animal showing world have the slightest emphasis on the internal health of an animal except for bone structures (e.g. hip dysplasia). In short and general speaking, an animal can resemble (physically) whatever that is stated in the SOP may be show worthy even though it may be suffering from an internal terminal illness.
I guess to truly understand where I am coming from, perhaps we should dissect the word Standard to its most fundamental form. We hear about many organizations governing standards and ISO being one that is the most well known. Without referring to a dictionary or wikipedia, the definition of Standard to me is plainly a series or a set of actions or processes that constantly yield a perfect result/resolution. Most of the show animal SOP does not lay down steps in producing a perfect animal, it simply states how a perfect animal should be perceived and takes shape (physically). That to me is not a standard. Perhaps it should be called Guidelines To The Most Ideal Physical Manifestations Of Breeds. I know it does not sound as catchy as Standard Of Perfection but that is the reality in my humble opinion.
In reality (and the odds are), there will never be a perfect, perfect animal adhering perfectly against every point stated in the SOP. It can be very near but never 100% to be absolutely honest.
And sometimes we see breeders leaving the hobby and we ask why? The question is why not?
If you have ever played a game of soccer, just imagine that each time you score a goal, someone shifts the goal post. Yes, that is exactly how it feels as a breeder most of the time because SOP changes every 5 years in some cases.
Can we really achieve 100% perfect biologically? NO.
On the other hand, take the case of Spot (the mechanical dog) for example. Every microchip or mechanical components must be fitted exactly where they are. The processors must be programmed to execute an action in perfect precision. Can we achieve a mechanical Standard Of Perfection? YES!
I believe it is easier to accept a standard provided for a machine. The size of the motherboard, memory chip, sensors, and materials used can all be governed by standards.
Throughout the years, I have observed that the subjects that are being judged do not change much but the rules around the judging usually changes. And sometimes it comes full circle and the cycle repeats itself. We as humans are so accustomed to change and we even say that “the only constant is change”. We have to always reinvent ourselves in order to stay current. Take for example the hairstyle in the 60s versus the 90s. And at some point, the 60s fashion seemed to make its way back as a trend.
Clothing remains as a piece of textile used to cover oneself. However you change it, the purpose remains the same.
I must also emphasize that it is in the end just a hobby or past time. An interest we adopt to spend our time and it makes us happy, intrigued, proud, bewildered, engaged, relaxed, and many more advantages both tangible and intangible. It is never a case of right or wrong. It is a case of “to each his own”.
Can we ever be 100% perfect biologically?
Just a thought…
A hobby is defined as an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure and therefore, a hobby can be noncommittal which one can freely give up for whatever reason. Throughout one’s life, it can be quite certain that one may have multiple hobbies at any one time. Hobbies can be seasonal as well as long term. Some people may grow out of their hobbies while others stick with one throughout their lives.
On the other hand, a marriage is mostly a committed decision made by two people and we often hear of ways how couples can “rekindle the fire of romance” in their marriages. For some, it can be very difficult to live with the same person for a long time without any “freshness” or “excitement” when things are monotonous – “same shit different day”. To rekindle the spark, love experts will often advise couples to try something new together like traveling and etc.
So what about a hobby? How do we keep the fire going? How do we rekindle the spark when we no longer find it exciting?
This is the question I asked myself today – one that I found it difficult to answer. How did I sustain and stay in this hobby for the past 7 years?
I believe we should revisit our objectives when we first started in the hobby – back to basics so to speak.
What was the reason that I wanted to keep a rabbit as pet?
Just because we are constantly looking for something “new” and “fresh”, we tend to “evolve” in the hobby.
For instance, some of us may start off being a regular pet owner, then we get hit by the show bug, and the next thing we know, we’re spending 4 hours daily just cleaning after 30 rabbits. With 30 rabbits and a “breeding facility”, we call ourselves a rabbitry and assume the role of a show rabbit breeder.
After attaining all the fame that comes with all the ribbons and trophies, we ask ourselves, “what’s next?”. Like 10 years on in a marriage, “same shit different day”.
Perhaps changing or shifting the expectations can be a way to rejuvenate the hobby thus, we add some colors into our breeding projects or trying different breeds for the matter. In essence, “same shit different day”.
For me personally, it boils down to just two reasons why I keep rabbits as pets and how the passion/spark rekindles year after year.
The Need To Care
Since young, I like caring for animals. I feel a great sense of achievement when I successfully raise rabbits in terms of keeping them healthy and thrive in the environment I provide them with. In the process, I learn the different requirements each individual animal needs to thrive.
They Are Fascinating
Every rabbit is different and their fascinating behaviours are what kept my interest in them from diminishing. Since it takes time to truly understand each individual, that is why we call a hobby one’s favourite past time.
However, just like in a marriage, if one depends solely on the feeling of love, it will never last. A marriage is a conscious decision one makes to love another person. To rekindle the spark of a marriage is not by rejuvenating the feeling but to recommit oneself to love again or to fall in love all over again.
The great feeling of winning do not last forever and is totally out of our control. If by not winning means we should give up the hobby, it will not last very long just like how feelings will never last. Therefore, in whatever hobby one prefers to adopt, for it to last one must rekindle the fire for his/her passion by making a conscious decision to LOVE.
So how do you intend to rekindle the spark for your hobby?
It is another year for Tru-Luv Rabbitry and the only resolution for the New Year 2015 is to continue to love these cute Holland Lop rabbits!
To end this post, I would like to share a video by Marc Mero about what he thinks is important in his life:
The famous band Guns N’ Roses have a song entitled November Rain and every year, we have a lot of rainfall in Malaysia during November. Whenever it rains during this month, the song comes to mind.
For me personally, the November month serves as a reminder that we are getting closer to Christmas which is always joyful. For the past few years, it has been a yearly tradition here at Tru-Luv Rabbitry that we capture photos of rabbits in the Christmas theme. We are quite fortunate to have babies around this time and I can relate rabbits with Christmas more than Easter.
By now, most malls have started putting up their Christmas decorations and when December comes, there will be full swing shopping.
I am sure for those who celebrate Christmas, they can relate to Christina Perri’s beautiful song entitled “Something About December”. So to get you into the mood, here is the amazing song for your enjoyment:
And as we gear up for the festive season, here’s a couple of photos of cute bunnies. These are the first otter variety Holland Lops born at Tru-Luv Rabbitry and they are cute as buttons…
I really have to acknowledge the fact that it is no longer a coincidental that rabbits are a part of my life. In many occasions, I have written about how rabbits seemed to appear wherever I go and below are the links to these entries:
- Seoul Searching
- Rabbit & Life’s Directions
- Changing For The Better
- Bunnies, wherever I go
- Its A Sign!
It didn’t stop there and since then, there has been many surprise meetings with various bunnies.
Just last week, as I was strolling down between 51st and 52nd Streets in Manhattan, I bumped into The Hare On The Bell sculpture. This sculpture is part of the AXA Center building. Through some research, I found out that this sculpture was done by Barry Flanagan – a Welsh Sculptor in 1983. Though I have yet to find out what the sculpture symbolizes, its presence gave me a very profound feeling to a point that I was actually dumbfounded and tickled all at the same time.
I have not heard of this sculpture prior to this and I learned something after stumbling upon it.
So life’s adventure continues for me and what a wonderful year it has been for me personally. Seemed like the illusive white rabbit is taking me places and deeper into the rabbit hole/burrow.
I sometimes wonder if Alice was a boy, what would Lewis Carroll call him instead. Not Tim, surely? I believe Neo might be the closest option.
Like the Matrix movie, perhaps one will be asked the question, “Blue or Red pill?”
Whatever it is, this rabbit hole has brought me through many amazing experiences…
Through Medieval times…
A walk down the beautiful garden….
to meeting the great dinosaurs….
and be inspired by the beautiful lights!
Just how much can you write about rabbits?
Perhaps I am too occupied with other priorities to a point that the only time rabbits come to my mind is during feeding time. Don’t get me wrong, I am not bored of the hobby. It is just that it remains as a hobby and as clearly defined by Google as “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure”. I am really glad that this is just a hobby because I have seen many who have resorted to being manipulative trying to make ends meet while others who are more disciplined have found success. Much respect to them.
So this year ARBA Convention will be held at Forth Worth, Texas and unfortunately, I will not be attending. I am so going to miss all my Holland Lop breeder friends and I wish them safe travels and all the best in the show.
Throughout the years, I always look forward to convention time to enjoy all the photos of beautiful rabbits available for sale. I must say that as the years go by, the quality of the rabbits improved exponentially. Many believe that it is a numbers game but now I also see that it is a waiting game. The key is not to outlast another breeder but more so to outlast all the difficulties in producing the “best” rabbit.
What’s up at Tru-Luv Rabbitry lately?
Nothing really, just the regular binkies here, there and everywhere…
Not sure if it is just me or the entire rabbit world here has suddenly gone quiet which prompted me recall a post I wrote 6 years ago entitled “Rabbits: A Passing Craze/Fad/Trend?“
I sometimes wonder about people who have been attracted by all the cute bunny photos online, proceeded to purchase a rabbit just to find out a couple of months later that it is not what it seemed to be. All the problems like odour, fur, and they are not as interactive as written by many “first person” write-ups/blogs. I guess you will never ever know until you try something out for yourself and I have reasons to believe that there are a percentage of people who have picked up and gave up the hobby in such circumstances. A small percentage are those who tried, and fell in love with their pets.
Just thought of writing something to let everyone know that we’re still very much alive and kicking. And I’ll leave you with my attempt of drawing a 3D picture of a rabbit…
I am quite sure about the fact that newspapers and pets can be inseparable and I do not mean wrapping newspapers around them. What I mean is that, newspaper can be extremely useful when we own a household pet be it a dog, cat, or a rabbit. In the past, I have successfully litter trained puppies using newspapers. When it comes to rabbits, the most practical use for newspapers is lining the tray underneath their cages. I do not remember an instance where I have not used newspapers throughout the years raising rabbits.
There is something about newspapers that always caught me off guard. I sometimes get a shock while lining the trays with newspapers. Due to the reason that I am so used to lining trays with newspapers, I am usually very quick in opening to the centrefold.
Just imagine this.
Because of how fast I spread the newspapers apart, I get scares from faces staring back at me. Yes, you guess it right – the Obituary Section!
Right after getting a scare and shock by the black and white faces looking back at me, I will normally have mixed feelings whether to use these pages to line the tray or otherwise. There will be two common reactions. If the shock is bad enough, I will quickly squash the pages up and trash them or, I’ll gently place another piece of newspaper on top just to cover the obituary section.
What about you? What do you normally do when this happens?
I just do not think it is right for my rabbits to pee or poo on faces of dead people, it is just not right!
Today it was a full page with an old lady smiling at me – God bless her soul!
As for me, I almost felt part of my soul leaving my body…