As an animal activist, I usually consider myself pretty hip to the jive when it comes to animal issues. I’ve educated friends and family members about the horrors of foie gras, what happens to chicks in factory farms, and why they shouldn’t shop at Petco. I’ve participated in dozens of campaigns, am trying to raise my child in a humane education setting, and generally try to be aware of the issues surrounding all sentient beings.
It was astonishing to me, as you could guess, when I learned about the practice of mulesing. Why hadn’t I heard of this before? For one thing, it’s a weird word—if I’d skimmed it in my reading before, I likely would’ve chalked it up to cruelly making mules sing for their supper, as I knew a woman who once did with her several cats. (I think it was more creepy than cruel, myself; she reminded me of that old cat lady in Jeepers Creepers.)