On staying | Animal Scene editor's notes

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 Stef dela Cruz, MD 0 Comments

Endings and goodbyes – I can only hope they're always happy, but that's just wishful thinking on my part. The many chapters in our lives that need concluding are enough to turn even the most hopeful optimist into a sobbing mess with one bitter lesson to learn in the end: Some good things never last.

But not all goodbyes are sad, even the ones that seem to be. So many things that occupy our lives are mere stopgap solutions to problems we think we can't remedy, and they hurt us more than help us.

Sunsets end the day, but they can be beautiful. The same can be said about goodbyes.

Things can get better when we have the courage to take out the trash. Put simply, good riddance.

However, there are those who don't deserve the ending we have given them. For instance, many insect species are bidding us farewell because of the ongoing mass extinction, as Megan Cabalcar tells us in this issue – and we can only hope it's not too late for the others who are still with us.

Sadly, there's not much else we can do for Iman, the last Sumatran rhino of Malaysia, except to say our goodbyes and read what Cacai Buenviaje has written about her so that we don't repeat history.

Some animals are more fortunate because they are nowhere near extinct. For instance, cats are a mainstay animal companion in many families, which is why Carmela Maraan Fernando explains ten of their endearing quirks – that way, we can understand them better and give them the love they deserve.

And while chickens aren't exactly popular as non-human family members, they deserve our respect as well. They may have wings, but they definitely have staying power as feathered companions, writes Aurus Feal Sy.

Finally, there are animals we can't wait to say goodbye to – not because we wish for them to go away, but because we want them to finally be with their adoptive families. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals talks about the many furbabies under their care who need fostering. If you feel like you're going to be a standup foster parent, Isone Alis gives us more details on how to be part of the solution!

Goodbyes are definitely not lacking in feels, and we often flounder when we're not ready to end things just yet. In the case of animals, there is so much we must do to ensure we never have to say farewell to them due to extinction. We can start by making sure none of them end up on our plates, so that the kindness we show them will spare them from a goodbye that we just can't take back.

*This was originally published as the editor's notes in the February 2020 issue of Animal Scene Magazine.

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a vegan doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She is the editor of The Manila Bulletin's Animal Scene Magazine. Get in touch if you want to invite her as a speaker!