An Unusual Evening
By Kim Aranha
Jan 13, 2009 - 9:39:50 PM
Tonight at the Nassau Yacht Club a very unusual event is taking place.
Unusual for two reasons. One it is a lecture on a subject that has been shunned by many for some time now. Mr. William Fielding, of the College of the Bahamas, will use statistics showing a correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence. This is a topic that even some of the nation’s most intelligent erudite citizens have tried to deny. I should know. Because only last year I was insulted and ridiculed by a certain sports writer for saying that animal abuse led to domestic violence. I believe the gentleman in question, who was defending Mr. Michael Vick, went so far as to say that everybody knows that is not a fact….really? Will he have the guts to show up tonight? He has been invited; I spoke to him on the phone myself. I do hope that he will accept the peaceful invitation I personally issued to him.
The really most amazing feat is that three different animal groups are sponsoring this event. Traditionally in the Bahamas all groups (be it animal, sports, religious ect) that are interested in the same thing, tend to be at odds with each other. Such was the case in the animal world when I became President of the Bahamas Humane Society about (almost to the day) a year ago.
It seamed to me really silly that here we all were, all wanting the same things, we all loved animals, we all wanted reform….but we couldn’t quite get on the same page to pull together and make a difference…..Well you know what they say about women and their “girl’s lunches”, Kim (BHS) Debbie (ARK) and Jane (AFAR) decided to stop the nonsense, they were friends from always, and pool their resources and get together on some issues…. It has been a HUGE success, together “The Bahamas Sea Turtle Conservation Group” was formed, Debbie, Kim, and Jane were co-Chairman of the group, and along with other dedicated animal lovers on the board they set to educate the Bahamian people and save the Bahamian Sea Turtles. We were blessed with a wise and far thinking Minister of Agriculture Mr. Larry Cartwright, who was so cooperative, and BINGO, we have a partial ban in effect (no commercial killing of turtles) that will be followed by a TOTAL ban on April 1st, 2009, and No, that is not an April Fool’s. Here we see three ladies at work, shoulder to shoulder, pulling in one direction, and we got results.
With the above in mind we have decided that again pooling our resources would be a good thing, so Advocates for Animal Rights (AFAR) the Bahamas Humane Society (BHS) and Animals Require Kindness (ARK) are TOGETHER sponsoring the talk on Wednesday January 14 by Mr. William Fielding, at the Nassau Yacht Club, on East Bay Street.
I for one am really looking forward to it. I have always felt that a person who is prepared to kick a dog, or hurt any animal in any way is just as capable of hauling off and hitting his wife or walloping his kid across the head. This is so often a subject that people prefer not to touch. It hurts their delicate sensitivity…well not half as much as it hurts the poor animals being beaten, or the wife being bullied and attacked by her enraged husband, or the poor kid cowering at the shadow of his returning father because he knows what awaits him when the “old man” gets home…
People don’t like ugly, and that is not just in it purest form of pretty material things or ugly things. People don’t like to hear about some of the atrocities that take place around the world and right here in front of our noses. People like to gloss over it rather than look reality in the face and find the courage to do something about it.
I salute the people who assisted Mr. Fielding prepare this presentation, I salute Mr. Fielding for putting it together and presenting it to the interested public, and I salute the people who care enough and are interested enough to attend tonight’s meeting. Somebody said to me the other day, “Why are you bothering to preach to the converted?” Not necessarily so, hopefully the media will be there, hopefully they will report clearly and accurately, hopefully those there will take the message away with them to share with their kids, friends, in the classroom, the work space or just “shooting the breeze” with their friends.
The message is loud and clear, if you know somebody who abuses animals you know somebody who might already be involved with domestic abuse. It does not just stop with kicking the dog, or beating the puppy because it chewed the shoe, that kind of behaviour grows, often to a dangerous level. Parents, please, teach you kids to love and nurture their animals. A child who grows up loving animals is invariably a loving and giving spouse and parent…Why, because at a very young age they learnt about loving and care, giving and receiving unconditional love.
This talk tonight should carry some serious messages to the public.
1. The most obvious: the message Mr. Fielding will present to us with the help of his statistical research on animal abuse and domestic violence.
2. The hidden Message: That three separate organizations have reached out to each other and put together an evening, co-sponsoring, sharing the work and the organization of the event. We have not uttered cross word; there has been no jealousy. Indeed not, each time we get together to plan we have a good time and become closer friends committed together to continue to make a difference in this land of ours.
God bless people who have the guts to come out and talk about things that other people shy away from. God bless friendship, and God Bless each and every one of you who want to make this a better place at all costs.
About the author: Kim Aranha grew up in the Berry Islands with her first dog, a beloved potcake named “Friendly” (who was anything but!). First educated at home, and then in boarding school in Switzerland, Kim moved to Rome, Italy in 1974 to pursue a career in the dramatic arts and ended up working as an interpreter. She moved back to The Bahamas in 1980, and now lives in Nassau with her husband Paul, and their two teenaged sons. Kim has 3 dogs, 3 goldfish fish, a beta fish, a tank of freshwater exotic fish, 11 turtles (2 babies, 6 adolescents. 3 adults), 1 Asian box turtle and 4 Budgerigars. Her idea of relaxing is being home to take care of all her pets. Kim is President of the board of the Bahamas Humane Society. Kim can be contacted at
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