Archive for the 'Animal Rights' Category


September 12, 2006



Our family has adopted some furry friends — again!

Dad found them in an empty plot by our house, and Mom and I couldn’t help but bring them home. A macabre thunderstorm devastated our neighborhood soon after, which would have surely meant the end of these darling little things had they been left to their own defenses. Or lack thereof.

The kitties weigh an average of 390g, and they’re not even seeing properly yet. They wobble about in search of warmth and milk — which means me 🙂 and my mom. They cannot suckle on fake boobs (a.k.a. feeding bottles) yet — their jaws are too small — so we feed them with the tiniest plastic syringes.

They are three sisters. I honestly want them ALL, and name them Arashi, Fubuki, and Hyou. Storm, Blizzard, and Hail (also Leopard) respectively. Too harsh?

Only a day after we brought them home had my mom and I found out that one of our neigbors had actually abandoned these kittens, knowing full well that they will die. I have never met my neighbor, and that’s a very good thing. Apparently this heartless bitch (excuse my French) threw the kittens out of her shed, where a stray mother had taken abode to nurse her newborns. What right did she have to steal these kittens from their mother and leave them to die? The mother is probably still wandering in search of her babies. The babies suckle on my fingertips, looking for mother.

All that we humans can do now is to atone for another human’s sins by feeding milk through syringes and kissing them good night, every night for the rest of their precious little lives.


For the Love of Dogs

July 5, 2006

It’s been roughly a month since I made the move to Meguro. I’ve finally come to call it my new “home”; a lot of that had to do with getting used to the new sounds around my new neighborhood.

The apartment consists of wooden frames and thin walls, and thus carry much of the sounds my immediate neighbors make. My downstairs neighbor gets kicks out of her heavy bass music. Most likely, though, I am more of a nuisance than anyone else in this apartment building, given my penchant for baking cakes at 1 AM or taking karaoke showers.

The surrounding houses are built quite tightly together, and from the sounds I hear I can deduce a day in the life of most anyone who live nearby.

There is a woman about my mom’s age who lives in an apartment building directly opposite mine on the other side of a narrow street. She lives alone and loves her TV. She also loves her air conditioner, and keeps her windows shut during most of the day so the incessant chatter of TV voices reach me only during the cool of the evening. Curiously enough, she is a fan of K-1.

An elderly couple’s two-storied home stands a few meters away from my dining room. I’ve never seen the woman, but she is a bit overweight. I can tell because she hangs her laundry on a miniature set of railings outside her second-story window, which features daily a different set of socks, briefs, and woman’s panties twice as wide as the briefs. Each morning I descry two ceremonial rings of Buddhist bells at an altar. Their solemn tones remind me of my grandfather’s temple, and the smell of incense.

Most disturbing, though, is the case of the perpetually yapping dog. I’m not quite sure where it lives. I’m not sure if I want to find out. All I know is, that pooch definitely ain’t happy because it yaps away like mad during most of its waking hours. At the current time of 2 AM, it’s still going on strong — actually, that last one sounded more like a scream. It must be one of those petite, fragile, prim-and-proper-attired dogs my friend and I refer to in bad taste as “kickable dogs.” (Jokingly, for sure.)

What I imagine in horror is this: The kickable dog being kicked. Or worse. I don’t know, and I don’t wish to know, how cruel a human can mistreat an animal to make it cry out like that. Sometimes the dog wails just like a woman in uncontrollable misery. Sometime it lets out short shrieks.

If this truly was a case of abuse, what in the Japanese legal system would potentially lead to an indictment, and therefore help to deter animal cruelty in the future? Since I didn’t know, I looked it up on the Web.

Wikipedia states that “…In Japan, animal cruelty laws historically were lax and seldom enforced.” Another online source explains that this is due to a dire paucity of animal shelters in Japan that can safely gain custody of abused animals. I read about government-run “animal protection” centers that are, in fact, more like Nazi concentration camps for strays and pet animals who are no longer wanted by their human masters. Injured and otherwise captured animals are held at the centers for 5 days before they are sent to the gas chamber for a very painful death by carbon monoxide poisoning. Unwanted pets who are brought in by their owners get killed that very day. And the owners who bring in their former pets for disposal do so with impunity, because the government situates this as a public service. Since our tax money goes into killing the animals, we are all guilty of having a hand in this mass murder.

Abusive owners seldom go punished, but one case in 2002 left its mark — the first animal cruelty case that ever resulted in a felony conviction in Japan. The case of Jun Matsubara who mutilated, tortured, and killed a kitten at his Fukuoka home and posted 7 photographs of the carnage online, garnered enough public attention to be successfully prosecuted due to its digitally ubiquitous nature. The photographs posted on the Web were there for the whole world to see. But this is not necessarily the case with domestic violence against pets. In fact, that’s the root of the whole problem. Who am I to stomp into my neighbor’s and whisk away the yapping pooch to safety? The police won’t budge without proof, and stealing pictures of someone else’s domestic life borders on a completely different kind of culpability.

For the love of god, I really hope it’s not a case of animal abuse next door — just a nutty, brainless kickable dog with the worst tantrums. Alright, I’ll stop calling them kickable dogs. That’s terrible. I would never, ever kick a dog, or any other animal for that matter. Except maybe myself.