Sunday, October 25, 2009

Monday Bunday

When you are rabbit person things are different than for the rest of the populace. Our well being, no matter how mature we may try to be, is affected by these funny, charming, beautiful, long eared mammals. A sick bunny can cause the bottom to drop out of your own stomach, just as a friendly flop on the feet can bring a human in tune with universal goodness. We can be misunderstood. The other day I was talking on the phone with a friend who is not a rabbit person. but who I felt was simpatico. I was telling her the story of Amelia's origin, flight and rescue, before I had reached the exciting conclusion she launched into a story of the perfect weekend she had spent with her boyfriend!

It is a hard thing to leave at home, this being a rabbit person, and this can lead to the unexpected. On Sunday I attended a class, "Long's Spine Meridian", hoping to pick up a few pearls to use in clinic as well as 8 CEU hours. The class, which was held at Stanford University Medical School, was in one of those vibrating rooms. This is not some new therapy, but rather the result of some huge machinery elsewhere in the building. It feels like the mother ship is getting ready to take-off. But I felt I could over look that strange discomfort in my quest for useful information.

As the class proceeded I began to get the feeling I was attending an infomercial, not a class for professionals, since Dr. Long was not due to arrive until the afternoon, I hoped for improvement. After lunch the long awaited Dr. Long appeared, 84, she has been practicing for 50 years! Prepared to forgive the morning presenter I settled in to learn something I could bring home to my patients. Alas, Dr. Long, who spoke through an interpreter, felt to need to explain her work from the very beginning of time. I was more successful in staying awake then others, who snorted and jerked awake, only to be pulled back into the arms of Morpheus. Dear Dr. Long, who looked the quintessential Chinese grandmother in her quilted jacket and black head band, told with great enthusiasm about the animal studies she had done. These involved creating a misalignment either with manipulation or surgically in the animals spine then seeing what sort of internal pathology ensued.

She was working mainly with the thoracic vertebrae and using EKGs as the tracking data. There were 6 rabbits and 8 dogs who gave their lives to her work. She went over the fate of each animal one by one. And then she did it again to summarize. And then she showed slides of the spine. And then she showed a photo of a rabbit with it's spine exposed and I had to leave. It could have been any of our white bunny friends, Amelia, Pink, Norbert, Hugo (ATB), Gus, Tidbit (ATB) (not Nuage because he is an angora, or Wesley 'cause he's a lop)....... tears welling up I dashed into the courtyard.

Unsure what to do next, I wrote a scathing evaluation, we have to submit these on a form as part of the class. I felt a little better and realized I'd left my favorite sweatshirt inside. Tentatively I stood at the back of the class and tried to figure out what the current topic was, if she was still on the animal studies or what. I found I just couldn't stay, I felt nauseous and weepy, so I fled........fled back to my own rabbit centered universe, so you see there is a happy ending!


Annette F. Tait said...

You did the right thing Diana - you followed your own path - thru love and compassion.
Knowledge does not lead to a life of love or compassion for it comes from inside.
I have found that in life I can do without the knowledge gained from animal experiments. How very sad that old lady must be to boast about her experiments and yet have no soul herself.
Age and learning may give knowledge but not compassion, yet to know something without feeling is nothing.
Thank you for writing about this and it is tragic that it still goes on.

d. moll, said...

Thanks for your comment A. I certainly try to make allowances for cultural differences and not knowing just what her personal circumstances were. It seems that in an effort to be accepted by modern science the Chinese did a lot of animal experiments (or so it would seem from my Materia Medica). But here intellectual understanding stayed in the classroom with my sweat shirt.

Cara said...

Sometimes, when seeking knowledge, you don't learn what you are supposed to, but you still learn.

I am not against animal experimentation. I am against wasting animal lives for experiments that are needlessly inhumane or of no validity. Six and eight with no control group is not a valid study. These lives were wasted.

Could the information have been gathered in a different way? Probably. In statisticly valid numbers that would have yielded important information.

Off the soap box now.

Cara said...

Do you want a new sweatshirt? I have a bunny one..........

Cara said...

It's blue

d. moll, said...

C-you are nice, i have already ordered a replacement as I could not think of wintering in our unheated (woodstove and space heater only) domicile without my padded, hooded, fleeced warming device. Soapbox is always appreciated. And indeed I think the lesson, and one I often seem to learn, is about choice, she may have had no choice but to do what she did, I have no idea, but I had a choice about subjecting myself to it. LOL I slept like a babe last night! Well, a sleeping baby not a colicky noisy one.

bunnygirl said...

I don't know if I could've stayed for that, either. I acknowledge the good that comes from some animal studies, but I think it is far too karmically (is that a word?) serious an undertaking to do lightly, or often.

Anonymous said...

This bun mom understands.

Andrewbun said...

Sometimes its really hard for me to accept that fact that people don't care about animals the way I do. I know exactly how you feel.

Mary-Laure said...

I will never understand how some people can be so indifferent to the pain of animals. It drives me crazy, it angers me.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I would have walked out too, those sound like experiments that shouldn't have been done. I know there are cultural differences to take into account and I know that some animal experiments have been and continue to be useful (though i think that scientists should be working to phase all animal experiments out where they can)

YowlYY said...

How terrible! I had a similar experience a few years ago at a paper presentation involving young pigs and sheep as tested species. I felt it had been a waste of animal life, as the results were useless in my opinion.
So awful to think that rabbits are sadly very much used in plenty of said "scientific" experiments.
You did well to leave - I wouldn't have tolerated either, just the thought of it makes me shiver with horror and anger.

Paula said...

I understand that she works in a world that creates certain demands on her for research, what I can't understand is why she had to go into the details and why people just sat there. I would have left too - and slammed the door to boot. Harumph. Hopefully someone will pay attention to the eval. Last week I complained to corporate headquarters of a major retailer and got a phone call the next day from a very worried store manager. Nothing changes if we don't speak up. Good for you Diana.

d. moll, said...

I'm going to send my eval both to the head of CEU classes and the president of the school, who I know a little personally.

Fez and the Gang said...

I wouldn't be able to sit and listen to that either. It could have been Norbert too, my rabbits would like to say, but no matter what, it would be hard for any of us to stomache that. I hear what you are saying about the bunny world... the funny looks and tasteless jokes... we've all learned to ignore those, and instead think of the bunny flops and happy tooth chattering. You did the right thing.

d. moll, said...

FATG- I added in Norbert, missed but not forgotten, sorry Norbert you gorgeous white boy (kisses).

What other white bunny have I forgotten, do let me know!

M.Kate said...

I missed this post!!'s tough to see those pictures..I know I cannot at all, my stomach will churn ;( I cringed everytime I see Rabbit 'satay'..mean on a stick burnt on open fire whenever we went to eat 'satay'..I always avoid shops like these. Sorry you had to see them but I think if you have a chance to visit China one'll be even more shocked at the things they do at times.. hugs/M

Rabbits' Guy said...


We all gotta stand up to 'them' and get bunnies elevated in people's minds like dogs, cats, and goldfish are!

I read The New Yorker .. mostly for the cartoons

;0) and .... when they have a nice/clever rabbit cartoon I always write them and say "thanks on behalf of all the bunny-pet lovers." When they have a bad one I give them both barrels and threaten to sic BL on them ... not good for them at all. I do think they are listening!

The Bunns said...

They really don't want BL on their case -- NOOOOooooo. She is currently hunting down Mr. Wells Fargo for putting her name second on mortgage papers and reducing her VISA credit line because she never uses that card! Poor Mr. Stumpf!!!

Magia da Inês said...

Olá amiga!
Seu cantinho... lindo, criativo, alegre, aconchegante.
Amei mesmo!!!
Parabéns pelo seu trabalho!
Espero você em:
Beijinhos carinhosos.
Itabira - Brasil

Anonymous said...

I feel you! Those poor rabbits.. I would have stormed out too! How anyone can inflict so much pain on these innocent creatures is beyond me :(

Christina said...

Hooray for you! I think we have come a long way but still have far to go. Some cultures have no feeling for animals as a whole. It sickens me. I dont like spiders and snakes but I would NEVER torture one or cause pain. I dont want mice and rats tested and experimented on either. We are passed that and our advances are beyond that I believe.
Yes, I know the disinterest about my bunnies. I also get the blank look often when talking about them.

Tom Bailey said...

I connected to your blog through another blog. You have brought up some really interesting points. I am a vegan but not for animal right reasons primarily. I am not a soapbox vegan... but animal right issues are very interesting and complex in the area of experimentation.

I like your blog it is a very interesting read.

Elizabeth said...

Oh dear, this does all sound rather unsatisfactory!
Also a huge waste of time when you had hoped for something better.
Glad you had the guts to leave.
Some blog friends and I went to the Mutter Museum in Pliladepphia yesterday.
(Not my idea) anyway it is a museum of 19th collection of skulls and pathologies attached to the medical school there.
It was very grim and depressing and
really bad feng shuei indeed.
All nature's mistakes and sad photos and people looking on out of not very nice curiosity.Oh dear.
Anyway hope you will post some buns having halloween fun tomorrow?