love me

 

An old friend. Probably the only one left from that era of innocence. A little petite dinner. A small humble celebration. Love. No need for big glamorous party. I don’t want many many flittering fluttering bits flying around my sphere, making me nauseous and giddy. Happy with just one old friend, a takeaway meal, and two mini little cakes for dessert – to celebrate my very obscure arrival on earth.

 

Love me, or leave me. Simple as that. Many have left, others have entered the clement spaces. New and old, a blended grace. And there is now Lucy Like-a-Charm. I am content.

lucy+art+food

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What do a black Greyhound, multi-art expression, and food have in common?

They are all close to this Autistic Bunny’s heart.

Autism advocacy. Disability advocacy. Trying to throw open the windows of tightly closed minds. Mistaken as threat. Tokenised and patronised. Writhing and spinning round and round, ploughing the miry fields of repetitive human social-political gyrations. Trudging through the cesspools of normativity. Wiping away the spit of jealous competition, meandering through lies and subterfuge. The burden of participation in humanity’s Theatre of Absurdity can wear the trembling soul down, and the spirit is too easily crushed and fragmented under pounding cacophony of noisome people-ing.

Continue reading

the dilemma of trauma

 

20180511_082614-bear

One week of excruciating physical pain. Stress reaction. A serious one. I was caught by surprise this time, I didn’t expect my body to react so viciously.

I was physically assaulted last Sunday. By someone I know. The person has admitted to me it was a psychotic episode. I am psychologically and emotionally intact, but my physical body has reacted fiercely from the traumatic shock.

Last Sunday, I attended a theatre performance. I was standing outside the theatre, in a basement lobby teeming with chattering voices bouncing off pristine white walls, waiting for the show to begin, when a pre-show drama literally exploded in my face. Continue reading

bloviation & the sacrificial lamb

20180512-bunnyhopscotch-bloviation

bloviating babble bubbles

I learned this new word from my friend Rick. I like it. It has a robust movement to its physical form, flow and force. It sounds and feels like thick copious slimy globules arising from a pit of bubbling sludge. This word has a sensorial constitution that matches its meaning. Thank you, Rick!

“Bloviation” – such a proliferate and aggressively dominating activity in the field of Autism and Neurodiversity. Autism is a trendy topic these days, isn’t it? Everyone – from the housewife ‘AutismMom’ to the Professor in Psychiatry, and the outright quacks touting ‘cures’ and ‘healing touches’ mushrooming like unbridled viruses in between – seems to be dancing vigorously around the jolly campfire of Autism.The word makes me think of the many (I have lost count now, it is a long and wearying list) instances of having to silently endure protracted lectures, workshops, conversations, discussions, seminars, forums, conferences etc where non-autistic / neurotypical, so-called ‘experts in the field’ (with ‘decades of experience’ working with countless autistic persons, of course) blather on and on, expounding theories constructed out of little or no insights from actual lived-experiences, confidently spreading erroneous or inaccurate ideas and information, without due citations from progressive science or quoting from old and outdated studies, musing in hyped-up dramatic tones, and performing plastic rituals that ooze tokenism… Continue reading

drain

20170915_132729dogincarpark

Drain. The physical object. That little channel ushering its contents into the nether regions of our consciousness. The act of it. That actual movement, going, flowing, evacuating, emptying. And being drained. Emptied, while still alive, until there is no more. At which point does it translate into actuality? How long can the human soul endure? Continue reading

vomitus

pigeons

It is a damp, cold, spring morning. The pigeons are still bravely cooing despite the rain, and I find my mind contemplating the flotsam and jetsam bobbing, shuffling, jostling and heaving in the social seas. People with verbal diarrhoea. People who spew words willy nilly. People who speak the truth. People who cannot tell the difference between truth and lies. Gullible people who seem really smart. And savvy people in cleverly woven cloaks of false innocence. And, of course, the social measurements attached. Continue reading

mathematical truth

cut the crap!

cut the crap already – talk to my paw!

There have been several assertions made by people on Facebook about “blatant lies” being spread by “certain (anti-racing) groups” about the Greyhound industry. The people making these assertions have not as yet clearly identified which groups they are mysteriously referring to. A practice I find questionable – if you are standing for truth, then go all the way. Let’s not tiptoe around imaginary mystery tulips while making veiled allusions to wrongdoing by others. It’s not only irritating, it is downright dishonourable. Anyway, here are the facts and figures. Even a maths-phobic visual minded Aspie like me can follow this very excellently written piece.

If you are on Facebook, do check out the Greyhound Equality Society.


*The Numbers Speak for Themselves*

Recently, we have had several people on our page denying the existence of a high kill rate in greyhound racing in Australia. Further they suggested that the numbers we have mentioned here on the GES webpage were wrong etc. and that we should first do some research. This amuses me as (1) I am in fact a researcher and (2) I have a maths degree. So, I am not only good at this kind of stuff, I also actually enjoy it! So I feel compelled to talk you through the numbers. Don’t worry; you do not need a maths degree to follow.

So here is a small math exercise to show you what the statistics say. Let me first say that you can find some statistics online at Greyhounds Australasia (GA). (That’s what we do in research; we document and cite.) Greyhounds Australasia consists of representatives from the controlling bodies in the Australian States and Territories, and New Zealand. So basically, they should know this stuff, right? One might think… ( http://www.galtd.org.au/GreyhoundsAustralasia/index.php?q=node%2F111)

*Getting the Official Numbers Straight*

One problem is, that the statistics stop in 2011; don’t ask me why. However we also have published statistics from the Australian Greyhound Studbook (AGS) until 2013. Now, the bad news is, if you compare the numbers from both sources, you will find that they are not identical (for example the number of litters in the AGS is 2814 but if you add up the numbers from AG, you get 2887 litters). The good news is that nonetheless they do paint a very similar picture overall.

One third of puppies are not suitable for racing and are destroyed
Ok, so let’s go with 2011 for now because we have information from both sources and you can check the numbers online. According to GA, there were 2,887 registered litters and 11,800 greyhounds named. The AGS reveals that in the last years, the average number of pups in a litter was 6.2. Applying this to the 2,887 litters means that 17,899 greyhounds (=2,887×6.2) were born. Comparing the 17,899 greyhounds born to the 11,800 named reveals that only 66% of those born were actually named. So, over 1/3 of those born (34%) were not deemed suitable for racing or died before being named. That is BEFORE they even enter the racetrack.

*Industry Rehoming after racing*

Now it gets a bit trickier because the racing industry does not produce any figures on what happens with the greyhounds when they FINISH racing. However, we can approximate the number of adopted dogs by adding up the numbers from the rescue groups and the industry adoption programs. For simplicity, let’s look at one state only: Victoria. Victoria had 6,163 pups in 2011 out of which 3,820 were “named”. Hence it had a `wastage rate’ of 38% (slightly higher than average across Australia). Now, the official greyhound adoption program GAP, which is part of Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV), says that they have rehomed over 5,000 dogs over the last 16 years (http://www.grv.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/GRV_AnnualReport2014_FINAL_WEB.pdf). So basically they are adopting out 313 dogs a year (I know, the trend is increasing and in 2014 they had a record number of over 500 dogs but I think 313 is more reasonable to assume for 2011 – in any case, it won’t make much of a difference as you will see below).

*Rescue Rehoming after racing*

The other major greyhound rescue group in Victoria is Greyhound Safety Net or GSN (http://www.greyhoundsafetynet.org/). GSN say on their website that since 2006, they have rehomed almost 600 greyhounds. So they must have rehomed around 67 to 75 dogs a year. I am not sure whether Amazing Greys and Greyhound Rescue Victoria were already operating in 2011, but I think they must have run on a smaller scale than Greyhound Safety Net. But let’s assume, they, together with the RSPCA Vic and Australian Animal Protection Society (APPS) also rehomed between 67 to 75 dogs a year. So we can add 142 rehomed dogs by these rescue groups to the 313 rehomed GAP dogs, hence we have 455 rehomed dogs in 2011.

*Just Doesn’t Add Up*

In a steady-state, where the number of racing greyhounds is stable over time and the number of greyhounds that come into the system (born) is equal to the number of greyhounds that leave the system (`retire’), this has the following implications: It implies that, out of around 6,163 greyhounds bred in Victoria, some 2,343 (=6,163-3,820) never race and never enter the industry (38%), after racing 455 are rehomed (7%) and hence 3,365 are discarded (55%). So you would have to convince me that 93% (=38%+55%) of greyhounds are rehomed privately by their owners/trainers and not killed. Hmmm… This of course would imply that the industry funded adoption program GAP would be highly inefficient as it only manages to rehome 5% (with an industry funding of over $1,000,000 per year) whereas the owners/trainers are able to rehome 95% themselves. Sure, you can convince me that there is a proportion of trainers/owners who rehome privately: maybe 20% tops? This still means we are missing 75% of the dogs.

*Still Doesn’t Add Up*

If you still do not believe me, think about this. If all the greyhounds survive, there would be AT LEAST around 17,899 pet greyhounds living in Australia in 2011 (17,899 pups born in 2011 according to GA). I say `at least’ because this calculation assumes that all greyhounds that have been adopted earlier have died in the meantime – highly unlikely. In NSW alone, for example, there would have to be at least 7,911 (=1,276×6.2 greyhound puppies born) pet greyhounds. There are however ONLY 2,552 registered pet greyhounds in NSW (http://www.olg.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/Annual-reports-of-dog-attacks-in-NSW-2011-12.pdf). With this calculation, we are also missing 67% of the dogs. This is the absolute best case scenario of missing greyhounds!

*Hello, Elephant in the Room!*

This makes me wonder, why do we actually need the revelation of recent accounts of live baiting to shut down the industry, when these basic numbers speak for themselves. When over ONE THIRD of puppies born disappear, never entering racing and the SURVIVAL rate of greyhounds is estimated to be between 7% to 33% (but nobody knows and the industry fails to provide us with a credible number), surely we can all agree that it is unethical that so many dogs die for our entertainment. The industry can claim that the numbers are not accurate, but then, is it not THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to prove to us that they account for at least the majority of dogs? It is not we who have to prove the numbers to them.

Isn’t this blatant deception if GRV’s information management system `Fasttrack’ lists every greyhound that is no longer racing as `retired’ when in fact 88% [1-455/(6,163-2,343)] of those are most likely destroyed/killed/euthanized as outlined above? In addition, the state controlling bodies GRV, GRNSW etc should theoretically know whether the dog has indeed become a pet greyhound or not as the `retired/disposal greyhound notification’-form (yes this is the official name!) which has been collected for years, collects information as to whether the dog has been euthanized, is used as a breeding animal, is deceased due to natural/accidental causes or retired as a pet or GAP dog. Fasttrack states that if a greyhound has been euthanized, the owner needs to send GRV a Vet certificate before retirement can be finalized. Yes, you read correctly. “Euthanasia” is a synonym for “retirement” at GRV.

*You Can’t Make This Up*

If you are still not convinced, I won’t bombard you with more numbers but simply quote the `Animal Welfare Penalty Guidelines’:
“The DEPI Code of Practice for the Private Keeping of Dogs states `dogs or puppies MUST NOT be killed by being drowned, poisoned or gassed ’, and although it does condone a gunshot into the brain at close range as being HUMANE, GRV does not endorse this method of euthanasia due to the serious damage it does to the industry’s reputation.”

Think about it. Just let this information sink in and think about it.

Hello! HELLO!

[Hint: THIS INDUSTRY MUST BE CLOSED DOWN!]

[Cheers, Sonja]

The Australian Greyhound Studbook
Year…….Litters…..Pups…….Named……% Named
2008……3322…….20654……13152……0.64
2009……3113…….18613……12564……0.68
2010……3006…….18397……12261……0.67
2011……2814…….17662……12882……0.73
2012……2783…….17694……12823……0.72
2013……2985…….18602……13010……0.70

http://www.grv.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/FastTrack-Quick-Guide-Retire-A-Greyhound.pdf

http://www.thedogs.com.au/Uploads/Userfiles/100913%20Form%20-%20Notification%20of%20Disposal%20of%20a%20Greyhound%281%29.pdf

http://www.grv.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/GRV_AnnualReport2014_FINAL_WEB.pdf
(p.12)

dissimulation

I detest hypocrisy. Yet, sadly, over and over, I find myself resorting to shameful and disgusting pretense just to live ‘comfortably’ within the constructs of prevalent social constructs. All in the name of being ‘socially correct’ and not ‘rocking the boat.’ There are too many examples of this tiresome practice to cite in this one blog post, suffice to say all of them emanate from the miry tangled depths of the complex, gaseous-fluid nebulous neurotypical social system. Continue reading

tacenda

Carrot and apple juice is always a welcome combination. I give Lucy some of the pulp in her food, and she loves it. This is how we share food, whenever there is something that is safe for me to share with her. My baby is a curious button. She never actively begs for food or intrudes on me when I am eating, but she will gaze meaningfully at me from her corner of the bed, just in case I wish to offer her something. Lucy is the most elegant pup I’ve ever met. Yet, she is direct, honest and doesn’t hide behind the too common human trait of wallowing ‘between the lines’ of clarity. Even when I leave something unattended within her reach and it is too much for her to resist, her appropriation of the goods is always with such innocent candor that my only worry is that she hasn’t eaten anything she shouldn’t eat. (This has changed the way I eat too, I am more careful now.) Why is it not possible to learn from our best companions some simple honesty?

Us Aspies are not great at tacenda. Our literal, straight forward and concrete cognition functions contrary to abstract systems of inferences, implied but never spoken, and we have difficulty grasping the concept of socially acceptable untruths, half truths, and complex and ephemeral projections of tacenda. Continue reading