For starters, let me inform you that I’m constantly changing and striving to grow in life, so there have been several turning points for me, however, one specifically stands out. Not only has it been my most recent, noticeable change in life, it’s also been what I identify as the most impacting.
Meet Scout and Buffalo. Although I would frown upon in now, I bought these two boys from a large pet shop. I went to look at the guinea pigs not initially planning to take them home, but there was no way I could leave without them. I don’t know what it is about these two boys, but they were the ones that stood out to me and I cannot nearly express how much love I hold for them.
You can often find guinea pigs at animal shelters that have already been paired to another guinea pig (due to their social nature, it’s beneficial to own more than one), and this is what most people recommend when going about purchasing guinea pigs due to their unpredictable personalities. (Paired guinea pigs are two pigs (usually of the same gender) that have already proven to get along well together).
This is Buffalo. He is classified as an American Guinea Pig (what is commonly imagined when thinking about a guinea pig). He’s my mellow boy of the two but is also very picky and I like to think he has the personality of a cat. Guinea pigs establish a dominance within their community and Buffalo is the dominant of the two.
This is Scout. Nothing more accurately describes his personality than this picture. He’s very vocal, as most long haired guinea pigs are, but he’s a little shy at first. He’s very curious and loves to run around, which makes me think he acts a lot like what you’d expect from a dog. As for his breed, I believe his is a mix due to the number of swirls in his hair and the length of his hair. (If you aren’t familiar with the many guinea pig breeds, you should look into them, my favorite are the Texel guinea pigs).
So many of my ideas on life and equality have changed just from owning Scout and Buffalo. My patience has grown as well as my love for others and animals. I had already been in love with animals to start, but now I especially admire the individuality that animals can possess.
I’m so grateful for the change they have brought out of me. Through this change, I was moved to dig deep into research about the treatment of animals and I committed myself to purchasing cruelty-free products (especially within the cosmetic industry), and I also decided to partake in a vegan diet. And while I push for animal rights, I also push for human rights more than I used to and I feel much more educated about the world around me.
I highly recommend owning a pet or at least looking into the animal testing and meat industry so you can make an educated choice. Often times our lack of education can make us ignorant to situations around us, but that’s not necessarily something you should blame yourself for. Sadly, it’s normal for us (at least in the USA) to be oblivious due to the way society raises us. This is why it’s important to educate yourself.
And even if your life choices don’t change, you’ll have the comfort in knowing it was completely your decision.
I feel like this change can come from owning any pet or even listening to the stories around you. There’s just something about experiencing life with an animal that can open your eyes.
In the future I hope to own many rescue animals of many varieties, but as far as guinea pigs go, they will always hold a special place in my heart.