Introductions – who am I?

So here goes nothing.. My very first post. Dangled and then delicately dropped into the black void of the internet.

It’s a little unnerving putting stuff out there for the first time. I’ve done a modest amount of freelance writing in the past – factsheets about various health issues in dogs and cats which have been published online, and a couple of articles in veterinary print publications. But a blog feels different – it’s somehow infinitely more personal.

I think that is down the the nature of the internet – a marvellous place for free exchange of ideas, but also a place where we are all somewhat dangerously anonymised. I will endeavour to ensure the information I give here is evidence-based where possible, and my own opinions are as well-informed as I can manage. Nevertheless you may disagree entirely with what I say – if this is the case, please be kind. If you wouldn’t say it to my face in my consultation room, please don’t post it on here.

I’m Ben, and I work as a small animal vet – looking after pet dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents and the occasional stray pigeon. Like most, I decided I wanted to be a vet from a young age, and what motivated me to do so was a love for animals. Bottle feeding lambs at the petting farm. The hundreds of hours I spent in the garden on balmy summer afternoons with our Staffordshire Bull Terrier Bessie, both getting intense enjoyment from playing the in erratic water spray from the Crazy Daisy attached to the hose (remember them??). The school holiday visits to London Zoo with my grandparents, giggling at the clumsy penguins slipping around, and marvelling at the giraffes towering high above me. The idea of doing any other job when I grew up never even edged into my mind.

That love for animals is still very much my driving force and passion. But having been in practice for 5 years now, and with my twenties about to fade behind me, I’ve become reflective.

It has become very clear to me that there are some major issues relating to the way our society treats animals that I can do precious little about from my consultation room.

What I really want to do is educate the animal-loving public, about issues that are close to my heart; to clear up very common misconceptions about the veterinary profession and animal health and welfare. I won’t have all the answers. But I hope to challenge your views, and in doing so, perhaps drive some positive change.

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