Feb 03 2009

Animals of Morocco

by at 9:25 pm

(This continues my blogging about our trip to Morocco. First entry: the departed Jews of Fes, second entry: doors of Morocco.)

Once or twice I heard tourists remarking on the maltreatment and poor state of animals in Morocco. At first, I might agree: donkeys laden with goods pass through narrow streets, horses pull tourists, cats scrounge for food, and pigeons play a starring role in pastilla, a Moroccan delicacy. But on the other hand, donkeys are pack animals, horses are capable of pulling European tourists (who tend to be slim), cats became cats scrounging for food in places like the medina of Fes, and pigeons—well, they’re pigeons.

Or if that doesn’t convince you, take a step back and consider the maltreatment of animals on factory farms in the U.S., where they’re penned up, fed a steady diet of antibiotics, etc. Sure, I heard a few braying, unhappy donkeys and that didn’t make me happy, but I’d rather have that experience and then choose to eat at a delicious vegetarian restaurant like Earth Cafe Marrakech (amazing! fantastic! a reason to go to Marrakesh on its own!) than have the reality of the industrial exploitation of animals kept out of sight and penned up. OK, enough of that. Pictures!


These kittens were living the high life, having been adopted by the staff of the riad we stayed at in Fes. They’re CC licensed (the photos, not the cats), so have at ’em for Lolcats if the spirit moves you:

Cats waiting for meat (local and free range?):

“Wildlife” at the Islamic and Roman ruins of Chellah in Rabat:

Tannery in Fes: every piece of the animal gets used, plus pigeon droppings are used to soften the leather:

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One response so far

One Response to “Animals of Morocco”

  1. Joelon 04 Feb 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Those cats waiting for meat remind me of some of the scary stray cats we saw in Israel. One in particular was sprawled out menacingly on a bench in a bus shelter in Tel Aviv. We waited for the buses next to the shelter.

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