I wear a white poppy

I do not wear a red poppy as is my choice, no I am not being disrespectful to the dead. The red poppy makes me feel like I have a bullet wound upon my chest with its blood pouring out upon the streets as I walk in a strange empathy with those that fell on foreign streets and fields near and far, then and now. Everyone should be free to remember and mark this day in their own way, united in our respect the dead.

I do not wear a red poppy as it does not remind me of all the victims of war. We stop for two minutes silence remembering our fallen armed forces that give their lives but what of the innocent unarmed civilians killed or maimed in the name of war? If it symbolised our sorrow and regret to all that lose their lives in wars (i.e. all nationalities, armed forces and civilians alike) and not a select few, then I may wear a red one.

I do not wear a red poppy as war is painted with in history and the media as a heroic sacrifices and violence is necessary but it is really cruel, bloody and inglorious. How many of the armed forces return from their service changed forever by what they have experienced? Do we respect and honour those return from killing or maiming another human being, but lose part of themselves and/or forever haunted by their experiences?

I do not wear a red poppy as it is not only humans beings that have given their lives in war’s name but animals too. During World War I, dogs and pigeons were used to deliver messages between frontline trenches and further afield. Horses, donkeys and elephants have been used as beasts of burden. Today, animals continue to be used, for example to detect explosives. We rely on them so much but how soon we forget their aid.

I wear a white poppy as it is a symbol of the belief that there are better ways to resolve conflicts, and embodies values that reject killing fellow human beings for whatever reason. Over a hundred years ago the ‘war to end all wars‘ began and yet we still see wars around the world, but I dream on of peace.. Why a white poppy chosen to symbolise this nobody is certain but it wasn’t intended to compete with the red one, only to be different from it.

© Fi S. J. Brown

World Wildlife Day

What is a life, does one have more value than another? 

The majority of you reading this will be saying of course not. It does not matter someone’s gender, race, religion, sexuality and ability. Yet, if it was animals we would create division, for some they care deeply to others it’s only a stupid damn animal, what does it know. The love and compassion we feel for our fellow humans, why do we not always extend it to all life on this planet? 

If I showed my pet dog on Facebook, some would say how cute he was, whereas others may say they prefer a cat as a dog is too much work. Some may not understand why I would rather a four legged companion than a human one, I choose to have a dog due to their loyalty, love and company being a few of the answers, as for me human company is a bonus and love of another is rare.

If I said cow or pig, many would think of steak or bacon rather than the lives of the animals, what they go through in life to end up on the supermarket shelves and on plates of many. Are they commodities to many rather than living creatures? Are we losing sense of where our food comes from, the cheaper the better, and forget the lives of the animals we may eat in the name of survival.

Elephants or giraffes many of us may never see in their original habitats in our lifetimes, but we may cage them so can see them up close in zoos or false freedoms with safari parks. Yet do these not have the same rights as we do? To enjoy this world with it’s great rivers and forests, where some may choose to make their home. We try to accept what we have, yet our ego wants more.

How can one species act as king and queen of the world, deciding which of our companions in this world has more rights than others? Today is the first United Nation’s World Wildlife Day, how did that take so long to come about and why do we need days for awareness when we should be aware of this every day? Today, lets think of how much we rely on the animals of this world.

© Fi S. J. Brown