Saturday, 30 January 2021


Welcome to a cloudy but bright South Manchester on day 323 of restrictions. We are approaching the year mark with coronavirus and I know that here in England we will be locked down until the end of February at least. Our infection rates are dropping, as you would expect in lockdown but I think we have a while to go yet before things start to drift back to normal. 

At least the worst month of the year is almost over. This time next week it will be February, another bad month, but at least the weather will start to improve and the days will start to get longer. And as long as that is happening my mood will improve (not that it is too bad at the moment despite the circumstances).

So – let’s answer some silly questions from Sunday Stealing, today’s theme being animals.

1.   What is your favourite animal and why?

To be honest, there aren’t many animals that I dislike. I am fascinated by them. In terms of animals that I can keep as a pet, I would have to say dogs and cats. It is difficult for us to keep a dog at the moment because they are quite demanding if you have a full time job, even when working from home. We had dogs when I was a kid and cats too. However, we had to constantly take the dog for a walk – which I used to love doing – but there were times when he had to stay inside while we were all out – and he hated it.

Cats on the other hand are independent and don’t really mind being left alone – in fact sometimes they demand it. As I type, Ziggy is fast asleep on the sofa behind me and I trust he will be there for at least the next hour or two. 

Given that we can’t really have a dog, and that Mrs PM loves cats, we have had cats for the past 20 years. I can’t see us having a dog now – which is a bit of a shame. 

2.   Are people animals? What separates humans from animals?

Yes – of course we are animals. We are intelligent animals but animals nonetheless. Some people talk about humans being above animals because animals are savage, but when you consider some of the things we have done over the centuries, can you really tell the difference?

3.   Which animal is the most dangerous?

Anything that can kill you is dangerous. There are many that I would class as dangerous; snakes, sharks, big cats chief amongst them. Sharks are pretty bad and I think we have to thank our lucky stars that there is no such thing as a land shark. We would all be in trouble.

"I am having a few people for lunch!"

4.   What should you do if a bear approaches you?

I would be shocked because we haven’t had bears in England since medieval times. Consequently, we haven’t had any advice about what to do if confronted by a bear. I would probably just have an embarrassing accident.

5.   Do you like dogs? Why do people call the dog, man’s best friend?

As I said in question (1) I love dogs and dog’s actually generally love me too. Unlike cats, dogs are totally loyal; you become their pack leader so they will stay with you as your trusted friend for as long as you are there for them. 

My old dog Paddy was a beautiful creature who would run beside me in the park when I took him for a walk as a kid. Can you imagine a cat doing that?

Note – it is only possible to herd cats when food is involved. When Ziggy and Star are hungry, they follow me about the house like lost sheep. And when they get their food they simply bugger off to do their cat things, which includes plotting the downfall of humanity.

I know my place.

6.   Do you enjoy going to the zoo? Some people consider zoos to be cruel environments for animals. What do you think?

I must admit I am a bit torn about zoos. I love the opportunity to see wild creatures that I would never normally see, like elephants, lions, tigers, snakes, etc. but I can see the downside. I once went to a zoo that had a huge tiger – I was quite shocked at his size to be honest. All he did was prowl inside his enclosure, unable to be the same creature that he would have been in the wild. I felt quite sorry for him, to be fair.

7.   Where is the best place to see animals in your country? In the world?

It depends what animals you want to see. We don’t have many dangerous creatures in the UK unless you count the Beast of Bodmin Moor or the Loch Ness Monster. 

We have a couple of Safari Parks which allow you to drive through a vast space containing creatures in the wild, which is better than having them cooped up in a zoo. I reckon these are the best places and I believe you get them all over the world. 

8.   Are you a vegetarian? What makes some people give up eating meat?

Absolutely not. I love meat and will continue to eat it. I have spoken to vegetarians and the main reason they give up meat and animal products is because they disagree with killing creatures for food. I can sympathise with it. One of my vegetarian friends put it really quite nicely: “I just can’t bring myself to eat anything that has a face”.

9.   Which animal is most helpful to humans?

I guess you would have to say horses, off the top of my head. They are big strong animals that have been and can be very useful for a variety of things, such as providing transport and strength for things like farming tasks.

10.  If you could be any animal (besides human), which animal would you like to be?

I would be one of those giant tortoises that live for 250 years. Or possibly the Loch Ness Monster. If I were the monster, I would have a lot of fun, I can tell you.

The Plastic Mancunian reincarnating in Scotland. "Hoots Mon! Just call me Nessie!"

11.  Who would win in a fight between a tiger and a lion?

That’s a tough question. They are both big cats and I think that it would be a closely fought contest.

12.  What do you think about hunting animals? Would you like to try it?

I do not like hunting animals for sport. Those trophy hunters who fly to Africa to kill elephants and rhinos just so that they can pose next to the corpses of these magnificent creatures sickens me. Here in the UK we have had to suffer similar arses who rode through the countryside, with an army of dogs, chasing a poor fox. When the dogs catch the poor creature they rip it to shreds. It is inhuman and thankfully was banned in the UK in 2005, although I believe there are posh, rich nobs who want to bring it back. 

To all of these people, I would suggest that they should consider the boot being on the other foot. How would you like to be hunted in the jungle and then shot just so that some arsehole could pose with your corpse? How would you like to be hunted across the fields of England by a pack of dogs and then ripped to shreds when they caught you in front of a baying crowd of arseholes?

Think on; if I become world president, I might just put you through that terror.

13.   Books like “Watership Down” and “Animal Farm” give animals human characteristics like human thoughts or language. Is this how you think animals really are? Or are those really just stories about people?

They are stories about people. I read Animal Farm and found it all a bit strange, if I’m honest. I know the message that George Orwell was trying to portray and it really only applies to humanity.

14.  Some animals are endangered due to illegal poaching. How do you feel about this issue?

I think I covered this a little in question (12). Sometimes these people don’t want to pose next to an elephant to say how great they are at hunting; they want to butcher the elephant for it’s ivory so that they can sell it. I feel exactly the same way about them. Hunters and illegal poachers beware if I become world president.

15.  If we can bring an extinct animal from the past back with genetic engineering, should we do it? Which animals should we bring back?

Dinosaurs – without a shadow of a doubt. I realise that we would suddenly be lower down the food chain but if we could find a huge island that is isolated, why not create our own Jurassic Park? If we did that, I would insist that people wouldn’t visit; instead we would bring them to the public eye using strategically placed cameras scattered throughout the island so that we could observe them. I would just love to see a Tyrannosaurus Rex.   


Bev Sykes said...

If we bring back dinosaurs but keep them on an island and let people watch with TV cameras, isn't that just the Animal Planet on TV?

Your experience with the tiger in the zoo is the same as mine with an elephant in a zoo.

Bev Sykes said...

PS -- I never knew that about dogs and foxes. I always saw the dogs chasing the fox, but had no idea what they did when they caught him. What do the humans on horses do? Gives a different perspective on hunts in "Downton Abbey."

Elephant's Child said...

A big me too from here about a lot of your answers. 'Recreational hunting' does my head in. How I would love to see it put on a more equal footing. I suspect that most of the current hunters would lose quickly. Very quickly. Which doesn't bother me at all.
I have had cats who would walk with me. When we lived on a farm one used to come considerable distances with us. Which was lovely.

Pandora Behr said...

I hope your lockdown works - we've been thoguht it. It does work, but it takes time - glad the infection rates are coming done over there. We've got this down to a place where life is nearly back to normal - going back into the office next week for the first time in a year. We haven't had any community transmission cases in 25 days. And we are very, very, very thankful for all of this.

Hope things keep getting better over there.

River said...

#1: dolphins, unless you only mean land animals, which is a harder choice.
#3: man is the worst animal, look at what man has done to this precious Earth we inhabit.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bev,

THe (so-called) "humans" on horseback just follow the dogs, blow trumpets and watch the dogs tear the fox to bits. Arseholes - all of them.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

I guess some cats will do that - not any that I have had though (but they are friendly enough in between plotting to kill us all).

I would love hunters to take on a big cat without a gun. That would even the odds a bit.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

I'm very pleased to see that things are getting back to normal Down Under. We are heading that way, slowly, and the vaccinations are helping too. I may have a wait a couple of months for mine but I am (rather bizarrely) looking forward to it.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi river,

Yes - I agree with your view on #3 too.

We truly are dangerous animals.




Kwizgiver said...

I live in a region that needs hunting to control the deer, moose, and bear populations. Those hunters will eat their kills and that bothers me much less than people who hunt purely for sport (like big game hunters). Growing up with hunters in my extended family it's just part of the way of life around here.

CountryDew said...

Very good answers, quite similar to my own, actually. I imagine we would be friends if we were to meet. :-)

We are still in lockdown, too. Virginia's governor just extended it through February. We have a dismal rate of shots in arms, for some reason. I too am looking forward to getting my vaccination.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I like the idea of being a friendly monster. Gotta watch out for my pranks though. Some might say that certain kinds of people are land sharks. :-)

zippiknits...sometimes said...

Trophy Hunters are disgusting, and right up there with poachers. True.
I like your suggested punishments and will vote for you in the next Ruler of the World election. Now that nearly everyone can vote electronically this could happen. 👍🏻👍🏻😎🖖🏼

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kwizgiver,

It's the big game hunters and our fox hunters that I don't like/




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi CD,

Great minds think alike, eh? :o)

It looks like you are suffering just like us in Virginia.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Su-sieee Mac,

My role as the monster would be to make people jump and become famous. I would pose for photos if I could but I love a little mischief.

Fully agree about some people being land-sharks. One in particular leaps to mind.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Zippiknits,

Thank you for your support. You will be rewarded.