A.M.E. – A new organization with a soul
A new association hopes to explore the frontiers of animal and human welfare programmes
Hedwige Jullien-Mercier pionneers an association named « Animal Mieux Être », with a view to explore and develop a critical approach to the mutual enhancement of human and animal well-being. The pionneering effort is comprehensive and included the willingness to baptize the association with an acronym (« A.M.E. ») that means soul in French.
A.M.E.’s creation was hardly published in the very official French « Journal Officiel » (mid-December 2016) that the first training session organized by the association with a central contribution of Monica Goold, manual therapy specialist, was conducted much to the satisfaction of the - deliberately few – participants. The « hands-on » session was focussing on the use of manual therapy to help prevent colics, the most frequent cause of death among equines after old age. A second training session on equine skull therapy is programmed for April 17 this year. A.M.E.’s Web site is being built and a FaceBook page already exists and allows more and more to get to know and appreciate the association’s concept.
The relationships between humans and animals cover an incredibly large spectrum, but the trend is for moving these relationships from the primitive to the civilized by trying to go from predation/exploitation to mutual respect and cooperation. At one end the spectrum is sadistic cruelty to animals by hunters, poachers and bullfight buffs. Somewhere in the upper/better part of the relationships are the gutsy and very active defenders of animal welfare, now increasingly well organized, vocal and – in short – powerful. Typically fuelled by positive human feelings and an ever expanding body of sceintific observation and doctrines, mixing young and older folks, ladies and gentlemen (though gentle ladies tend to have a majority share there too), associations like PETA or HSI become increasingly sophisticated and win many battles against « dollar-only » and abusers users of animals. Still on the human-animal connection, a recent trend is to use animals as therapy/service providers to humans. Guide dogs for the blinds have been around for decades, but the number of equitherapy sessions and specialists is on the rapid rise all over the – mainly rich – regions of the world. Contrary to what ignorants believe, even developing countries/regions show an increased genuine interest in animal welfare and humane treatment of animal (CIWF, Animal Bharat, PAAWA).
The true « mind bomb » that A.M.E. brings to the animal-human interface landscape is the notion that the relationship should work both ways : just because a guide canine helps his/her master/mistress does not condemn the animal to a dog’s life. Just because a horse or poney is used for human therapy does not mean that there cannot be a qui pro quo from the humans in the form of freer/better life conditions outside the work/therapy period.
Here we are : A.M.E. is a very small team with a big dream : bringing to life solutions that benefit animals and humans alike. Its stated objectives are to « imrove our knowledge, develop and promote the mutual better-being that a healthy relationship between humans and domestic animals brings... ».
While, quite legitimately, many concerned scientists and citizens focus on the quantitative destructions on our natural environment, A.M.E. sheds the light on a more qualitative, but equally critical, aspect of our future as a planet : spreading good health around to both humans and animals, and, in the process, putting humanity back on track of a « living together » scenario.
This is easier said than done. While countries like Spain increasingly question the aesthetic and cultural values of bullfight, other leaders reign by terror and have no feeling whatsoever towards animals, let alone humans. Yes, and very sadly, barbary is here again and in some places sleeps with ignorance and arrogance to bring us back to our darkest ages.
Take the time to know more about A.M.E. and the very practical, down-to-earth actions and solutions that the association and her creator and supporters promote. Then see for yourself how/why you would support actively A.M.E.. There are many ways that this can be done, from spreading the word to registering for training courses (perhaps soon webinars), establishing a local group, questioning A.M.E.’s solutions in a constructive manner..... Welcome to all the good-willings.