Saturday, 13 November 2010

Good Evans?

I've been a bit slow to blog of late, sorry.
I am pleased to see someone else has started though!
Jemima Harrison, the creator of Pedigree Dogs Exposed has started a blog and has commented on some things in the last few days that I was meaning to mention, but never quite got around to!
Jemima did a thought-provoking blog about chief vet Mark Evans leaving the RSPCA.
I'd already heard about his exit on the grapevine before my copy of Our Dogs newspaper landed on my desk with the front page news that unashamedly celebrated his departure.
Isn't it ironic that a newspaper that loves to criticise the RSPCA was so keen to see the back of probably the man best placed to reform them!
Mark was a breath of fresh air and quite simply someone who got things done no matter how much shit hit the fan. But one man can't move a mountain and my guess is he'd probably had quite enough of trying to move a steaming hill with a teaspoon.
Mark isn't a shrinking violet and he'd love to have a heated debate with anyone who disagreed with him - but Our Dogs seems to have encouraged turning a difference of opinion into bald personal hate. Some of the comments on the Our Dogs facebook page were very ugly indeed.
We are all human and whatever Mark's reasons for leaving, why try to turn him to a pantomime baddy and objectify him? It's a familiar technique, something likely to happen to anyone who dares point out that perhaps the Kennel Club emperor isn't wearing that many clothes! The same facebook page refers to Jemima Harrison merely as "She". They can't even bare to say her name!
Picking at scabs and past imagined hurts encourages hiding behind the barracades. It doesn't really get anyone anywhere - why continue to cry injustice, that all is fine when patently it is not. To continue to shoot the messengers even as they exit the building!!
Mark said what he thought at every opportunity.
To me, that makes him a brave, interesting and honorable man - regardless of whether you agree with him.
You won't find him anonymously slagging people off he's never met on facebook.
He wasn't a political animal, he was an interesting ingredient in a perhaps all too cosy charity world that normally doesn't call a spayed a spayed for fear of offending the neutered!
I am sad he's gone, he had a lot more to do in that job.
It's the RSPCA's loss and ultimately ours as you can bet he wasn't pulling any punches within that Victorian charity.
Mark, I'll miss you. 
But I should have put a bet on how long you'd stick it.
Perhaps Mark wasn't quite morally flexible enough to be a career-long charity vet? His instinct to put his head up above the parapet probably meant someone would get shot at some point! Let's just be grateful they'd stopped using the captive bolt.... I wonder if Mark had anything to do with that? Hmmm


Alan Graham said...

As someone massively into both Classic Cars and dogs, this is an interesting thing.

You're right, the world would be a lot better if we could all throw the enthusiasm Mark has shown for all he does, whether it's restoring an MGB or raising the profile of Fat Dogs, etc.

I think another charity should snap him up, and get him front and foremost on their campaign. Dogs Trust?

Anonymous said...

He was the best thing to have happened to the RSPCA in years. A breath of fresh air. He will be missed.

cambstreasurer said...

Have you ever considered asking permission to cover the RSPCA council elections; ideally interviewing the candidates and going "behind the scenes" to see what they've been doing individually to promote animal welfare?

Reading all the comments about the RSPCA no-one would guess that the people in charge can ultimately be removed by democratic means.

Anonymous said...

Cambstreasure says "Reading all the comments about the RSPCA no-one would guess that the people in charge can ultimately be removed by democratic means." yet they were never elected in a democratic manner were they?