Where to begin? I am anti gun. I hate guns. To me a gun represents violence. I applaud Australia’s strict gun laws. As a city girl I can’t think of a possible reason outside of sport anyone would need one in the city sprawl. Hunting is no longer a subsistence requirement among the skyscrapers and urban landscape. I am quite sure the local suburban parks now have wild children not wild game running about them. City hunting and gathering is done at a supermarket.
I am so anti gun I would not allow my son to have a toy gun when he was little.
I am so anti gun when my daughter came home from school at the age of five singing “50 bullets in your head, bang, bang, you’re dead” I was horrified and marched up to the school demanding to know why such a disgusting song was part of my child’s learning. I was so angry I was shaking.
I do think I had every right to be outraged about this because only two weeks prior to my daughter coming home singing this song a gunman had shot and killed 16 children and injured 13 other children in a class of five and six year olds at Dunblane School in Scotland. My protest to the teacher fell on deaf ears. The teacher described it as a “fun action song”.
I explained to my daughter I would prefer she did not sing it and my reason why. Bless her heart when the class continued to sing ’50 bullets’ she refused to join in.
And then we go and buy a farm and stock it with animals.......
Most farmers own guns as a necessity to dispatching vermin or as a humane way to euthanise stock, which is an enormous responsibility, deserving of being done right with utmost respect for the animal. So, apparently we suddenly had a genuine reason to apply for a gun licence, and to own a smooth wood and cold steel weapon.....well husband did, I sure wasn’t having a thing to do with it.
It always seems when I am at the farm by myself I have need of a goat to be euthanised and have to call on a neighbour to do the deed. I feel really bad I have given someone else this sad task, but also thankful I am not the one to have to do it and usually hide so I don’t have to face the action of it.
It is easy to settle with a natural death and to deal with the body of my herd goat, but I’m still having trouble deciding to take a life away, even if it is to stop suffering.
Farmers think differently to city dwellers. They have a matter of fact attitude to the life and death of stock.
The last time I had to ask my neighbour to put down a goat because she had septicaemia after retaining two dead kids and was slowly dying, I decided I had to toughen up and be with him as he shot her. How could I expect my soft hearted husband or my neighbour to do this without understanding and experiencing the process myself?
I was warned what to expect. It was confronting. There was the most vivid thick red blood. Yes it was quick; I am told death is instant despite nerves making the animal twitch. The action was still violent compared to a vet giving the 'green dream' (an over dose of anesthetic) where the animal gently fades away, but the green dream is not an economical solution when it comes to stock.
Today I look at my husband with compassion as I have to send him off to put down “Numberoneson”, a dear old favourite male goat in the herd, who can’t get up and won’t make it through another day without undue misery.
My husband is a gentle natured man; this is only the second time he has had to euthanise one of my goats. He has become extremely quiet, probably contemplating what he has to do but does not want to do. I ask my husband if he wants me to go with him, he hesitates but says “no”. The coward in me is relieved. I sit in the house shedding a tear for both Numberoneson and my husband as I hear the shot ring out.
Will I get my gun licence specifically for euthanasia for my goats? I won't say never, but for the moment I have searched my soul, I don’t believe I am strong enough emotionally. I know I would be a sobbing mess and not be able to pull the trigger, or close my eyes at ‘that instant’ causing excessive suffering to the animal. I am glad I witnessed the putting down of my doe by a competent man and feel somewhat comfortable knowing an animal will not suffer providing the shot is done properly. I have the highest respect for anyone who has to do this.