Hubert von Goisern
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INTERVIEW

Miscellaneous: 2004

Hubert von Goisern talks about animals

Hubert von Goisern and Bongo

Hubert and Bongo

What was your first experience with an animal?

I grew up in the country, in the middle of nature. With deer which ate the rosebuds in spring, songbirds, which decimated the currant crop in autumn and the rabbits, which we fed and ate on special occasions. It was all wonderfully normal.

Have animals ever played a role in your life? If yes, which?

We had cats, however none of them got very old due to our proximity to the road. I like cats a lot, probably mainly because of their independence. The attachment of dogs has always deterred me.

Can having a career and owning animals agree? If yes, how?

It depends on the animal, the living situation, the type of occupation one pursues, etc, the question is too general. One should of course deal consciously with the world and its creatures in general. But, with all due respect, animals are not children, even if they belong to the family in the broadest sense. So I have no problem - if there's no other way - with leaving my dog in the hands of a friend.

What do you think of the dog-owning laws?

To be honest, I don't really know the laws. But I must say - although I've had a dog myself for 8 years - that I think we have too many dogs here, which are a burden, especially in the urban areas. I feel sorry for the animals too.

Do you engage yourself for animals in any way?

My personal contribution is to eat very little meat myself and when I do, to buy it from farms where the animals are kept in a manner appropriate to their species. I don't buy eggs from the cooling shelf either.

I dislike mass animal husbandry and the associated livestock transports. But I'm not a member of any organisation. I have found most animal rights activists to be obsessed, even militant, incapable of adopting or at least accepting any other attitude.

Do you think that people are missing out on anything if they don't live with animals?

I don't think you have to live with animals under the same roof. Pets are not the same as free-living, wild animals anyway. The untamed is true nature; to experience this, in all its beauty, but also all its cruelty, is an experience that I recommend to anybody.

Do you think that the current age has forgotten about dogs?

There have never been so many dogs. What makes you ask this question?

It has been proved that dogs promote good health and increase life expectancy, in other words it is an important added perspective when men or women are getting older. Do you think that the importance of one's own animals - dogs in particular - changes with age?

No, not as far as I can see. but I see dogs and animals as an enrichment for the world and so for us too. but I don't think that I want to take on the responsibility for such an animal after my current and hitherto only dog. As much as a I love and value my dog, he often gets on my nerves with his attachment and need for affection.

PROFILE

Born: 17.11.52
Star sign: Scorpio
Family: Married, 2 children
Dream holiday: At home
Car: VW bus
Favourite author: Max Frisch
Favourite music: Good music, inspirationally played
Favourite actor: Sean Connery
Favourite colour: Green
Greatest weakness: Love
Greatest love: Love
Vice: Music
Life philosophy: Living the truth, not crying over illusions, but nevertheless thinking utopian
Is there an animal you don't like? No
Favourite animal? My dog