When the dogs and I walked up to see the donkeys this morning, MJ trotted over for a bit of attention. She is a beautiful creature, almost Mammoth in size, with a shiny dark dark brown coat over a trim body. Her ears are enormous, her eyes are dark pools and her nose is touched here and there with a bit of grey. At 15 years she is at the peak of her life. As I ran my fingers over her silky neck, I scratched her a little here and there which caused her to stretch out in delight. It was a brief encounter, one that we both enjoyed.
MJ’s obvious contentment, indeed, the contentment of all the donkeys standing and lying in the fields was a joy to behold and in that moment the list of essentials below ran through my mind. It is a list that provides guidelines for good animal care or, for that matter, the living conditions of all beings.
THE ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR A CONTENTED LIFE
- ADEQUATE FOOD
- Do I have enough of the right kinds of food to eat?
- ADEQUATE SHELTER
- Can I get away from wind, rain, sun and snow?
- ADEQUATE WATER
- Do I have access to fresh, clean water to drink, even on the hottest and the coldest days?
- SPACE TO MOVE AND EXERCISE
- Do I have access to enough space to move around, in keeping with my biological needs?
- FREEDOM OF CHOICE
- Am I allowed to make choices about how I live my life each day?
- PROPER SOCIAL CONTEXT
- Do I have the opportunity to live with my own kind, and relate to them as I would in my natural environment?
- MENTAL AND PHYSICAL STIMULATION
- Is there variety where I live?
Sandra Pady, Founder