Next week my golden retriever puppy Freya has been invited to be part of a ceremony at the Animals in War memorial to commemorate the animals that lost their lives in Wars and Campaigns. And I’ve been invited to go along with her and read a little bit from my books about animals in WW1 and 2 as well as meet some of the children who’ll be attending and hear the poems they’ve written (really looking forward to hearing them.)
My friend Sarah is driving us and I wanted to get a purple poppy for her to wear alongside our red ones but Animal Aid said they don’t do them anymore and instead have purple paws to commemorate all the animals that are still suffering. So I got us both one of those instead although Freya will be wearing a purple poppy that was crocheted for her by my friend Sharon shortly before she passed away from stinky old cancer muck earlier this year. I hope Freya shows her purple poppy off well on her collar and I hope she likes the mule from one of the animal charities that’ll be there too. Freya hasn’t met a mule yet but so far has been completely unfazed by any of the animals she’s met.
(Not quite purple but pinky purple ears when she was a cheerleader for the Cancer Mud Run.)
The Animals in War Memorial has two inscriptions: ‘This monument is dedicated to all the animals that served and died alongside British and allied forces in wars and campaigns throughout time.’
‘They had no choice.’
I’ll be thinking of all the poor people who also really didn’t and don’t have a choice but to go to War too tomorrow. They must have been and be so frightened. Not knowing what was going to happen or if they’d ever see the people they love again.
Animal Aid said that the purple paw badge has been made to commemorate all animal victims of human exploitation – whether in intensive farming, animal experiments, in blood sports, horse racing, zoos and circuses, or in war. It’s not just for November but to be worn all year round and that’s what I’m going to do as well as keeping my new big red poppy on my little yellow car.