Where People & Piggies Thrive

Newbie or Guinea Guru? Popcorn in!

Register for free to enjoy the full benefits.
Find out more about the NEW, drastically improved site and forum!

Register

A little hesitant about posting this...sorry

I don't get too offended by comments. I know I've had cavies forever and there are still many more things to learn. Just take it in stride. It's for your cavies, not your feelings.
 
I think the mistake to make on here is to *expect* to make friends. Friends is for when I'm off the computer, people I've chosen based on more than one interest. To me this is like a GP convention. Everyone cares more about their animals than the people, and that's the only thing that's expected. That said, I assume (unless you're a troll) that any person who becomes a member and posts (because I notice there are far more "guests" to the site than members) truly has the GP's interests at heart.

I have a few friends in real life who are staunch advocates for their animals and have enough self-awareness to admit that they are clumsy with people. They are just better with animals. I treat this site for information only and if I have something to share, I never share it as *law* - which I think a lot of people can make the mistake of doing. If misinformation hurts a cavie in the short term (horrible enclosed living conditions, immediately danger from prey, for example) I expect people to jump right in and put gentility aside.

The only thing I think that's lacking is a modicum of humor. People take themselves a little too seriously and can be a tad extreme. I feel bad for some newbies because it must be overwhelming to ask a question and then have various camps "fighting for your caregiver soul!" It's almost like Best in Show. It reminds me of pro-breast feeding sites and natural birth bulletin boards at its worst; at its best, it's perhaps the best free advice for guinea pig care out there. But there are moments where I think a commenter can lose sight of the big picture - that they don't know many of the people personally, do not take care of anyone else's guinea pigs but their own and not every minute piece of what's right is going to work in every situation for every guinea pig. Therefore, exploring alternatives seems to also be a purpose of this site, if I'm not mistaken.

In the end, I sometimes think the header above can be deceiving. Yes, veterans of the site encourage participation, but "at one's peril" should be a disclaimer! :)
 
I think the larger problem with some of the people who are true animal lovers, and want the complete best for them, are completely tired of seeing how people treat their animals. They think they can on impulse adopt a pet at the store, and not know what in the world they are doing, or have the money to care for the pet correctly. I think its very selfish. Animals are NOT toys! They are living breathing creatures that deserve to be treated like they should be, or don't have one at all. Yes, when people see other's not taking care of their animal like they should, or not taking it to the vet when they NEED to....it's very freaking frustrating! This is the entire problem with our world having overfilled shelters, and homeless animals walking the streets. Too many people buy animals, when they don't have the means to care for them correctly. I do believe sometimes people go overboard with judging people...but at the same time, they only care for the animals well being.
 
I think when you've seen so much inhumane treatment, you can find yourself using a broad brush to paint everyone with cynicism. That's just human. I volunteered in the ER at LA County hospital, where they take in everyone, regardless of who they are, if they can pay, or how they got there. I've seen the victims of child abuse, drug abuse, domestic violence and gangs. And I am amazed at how nurses and doctors, who sometimes see the same people come in week after week (sometimes to feed their habit with painkillers), maintain a level demeanor or don't just throw in the towel and retire. It's brutal. But because they care about humanity (perhaps they lost a loved one to terminal illness or a terrible accident), they stay. But they admit that they sometimes get very cynical and need a break; they admit their flaws in judging humanity. We all judge; that's human.

And unless you love GPs or are responsible enough to use the internet to become a GP owner, you're not going to know about GPC.com or GuineaLynx. It's such a specialized interest. The point is that domesticated animals cannot take care of themselves and need humans to survive. I think the frustration with people comes from the fact that animals need them regardless of how smart or stupid they are. What I love about this site is its reaffirmation that people love animals like children - as it should be - but that we can't alienate other people who need the education, who have the empathy to spread the word. That goes for all animal advocacy. Granted, there will always be people who will never change, who use animals for entertainment value alone or a babysitter for their children. There's no point in trying to appeal to breeders, pet store workers, etc; they are the willfully blind. And the converted are already converted. So what we have left are those who just don't know, and this site is good for giving them insight as to where they fall on either side of the fence.

My plumber came by and told me his kids have GPs but had never seen a cage set up like mine; he was fascinated. Once I told him how little it cost (that it was cheaper than those pet store cages in fact) and how easy it was to make (along with links to where he could get the coroplast), he was onboard. I gave him the guinealynx site, too. He just didn't know. But I'm glad he wanted to.
 
I am honestly scared to post on here sometimes because of the reaction that some people give. I am just realizing this from reading through other posts and seeing some of the rude comments out there.

I've been a member of this site for awhile now. I completely understand where you are coming from. I have many times seen replies, from well respected and knowledgeable people even, that just did not need to be said. It sometimes feels like the way some people word things makes you feel incompetent, right? Like you should have known that about your pigs already.

I definitely can relate to this. If this site wasn't so full of good information, I probably wouldn't come back. Some people are very judgmental and rude in their comments and don't seem to realize that I'm not a child.

Sometimes someone asks a good question, and the initial responses are friendly and direct from oldtimers, and then someone else comes in and derails the initial conversation, so the whole thread becomes hostile when the original poster of the thread just asked a basic question.
Do any of you have specific examples to cite? If so, I'd really like to see what, specifically, you're referring to. If you don't feel comfortable sharing them publicly, PM them to me. We work hard to make this a friendly place where everyone feels welcome - breeders and rescuers alike, and everything in between. I find it very difficult (and rather pointless) to argue based on generalities and vague references. If there's something specific that needs to be addressed, address it. Questioning the general tone or mood of the forum with no supporting examples doesn't accomplish anything other than to stir up another debate.
 
I think when you've seen so much inhumane treatment, you can find yourself using a broad brush to paint everyone with cynicism. That's just human. I volunteered in the ER at LA County hospital, where they take in everyone, regardless of who they are, if they can pay, or how they got there. I've seen the victims of child abuse, drug abuse, domestic violence and gangs. And I am amazed at how nurses and doctors, who sometimes see the same people come in week after week (sometimes to feed their habit with painkillers), maintain a level demeanor or don't just throw in the towel and retire. It's brutal. But because they care about humanity (perhaps they lost a loved one to terminal illness or a terrible accident), they stay. But they admit that they sometimes get very cynical and need a break; they admit their flaws in judging humanity. We all judge; that's human.

And unless you love GPs or are responsible enough to use the internet to become a GP owner, you're not going to know about GPC.com or GuineaLynx. It's such a specialized interest. The point is that domesticated animals cannot take care of themselves and need humans to survive. I think the frustration with people comes from the fact that animals need them regardless of how smart or stupid they are. What I love about this site is its reaffirmation that people love animals like children - as it should be - but that we can't alienate other people who need the education, who have the empathy to spread the word. That goes for all animal advocacy. Granted, there will always be people who will never change, who use animals for entertainment value alone or a babysitter for their children. There's no point in trying to appeal to breeders, pet store workers, etc; they are the willfully blind. And the converted are already converted. So what we have left are those who just don't know, and this site is good for giving them insight as to where they fall on either side of the fence.

My plumber came by and told me his kids have GPs but had never seen a cage set up like mine; he was fascinated. Once I told him how little it cost (that it was cheaper than those pet store cages in fact) and how easy it was to make (along with links to where he could get the coroplast), he was onboard. I gave him the guinealynx site, too. He just didn't know. But I'm glad he wanted to.

People are always amazed by my setup. The funniest comment I ever got was not about the cages but about the guinea pigs. A couple of years ago, we had a new patio door installed. The installers came through the house and into the dining room where my guinea pigs are. Four of them walked right past my coroplast cage but the last guy stopped and hesitated for a minute and said, "Boy, those are some big hamsters you got there....."
 
People are always amazed by my setup. The funniest comment I ever got was not about the cages but about the guinea pigs. A couple of years ago, we had a new patio door installed. The installers came through the house and into the dining room where my guinea pigs are. Four of them walked right past my coroplast cage but the last guy stopped and hesitated for a minute and said, "Boy, those are some big hamsters you got there....."

@pinky I had a similar thing happen, except instead of hamsters I got rabbit! :eek:
 
@pinky I had a similar thing happen, except instead of hamsters I got rabbit! :eek:

A lot of people don't know what guinea pigs are. Oprah Winfrey called them hamsters on her show.
 
A lot of people don't know what guinea pigs are. Oprah Winfrey called them hamsters on her show.

Holy cow. That's kind of sad.
 
Do any of you have specific examples to cite? If so, I'd really like to see what, specifically, you're referring to. If you don't feel comfortable sharing them publicly, PM them to me. We work hard to make this a friendly place where everyone feels welcome - breeders and rescuers alike, and everything in between. I find it very difficult (and rather pointless) to argue based on generalities and vague references. If there's something specific that needs to be addressed, address it. Questioning the general tone or mood of the forum with no supporting examples doesn't accomplish anything other than to stir up another debate.

Yes, I do. I don't keep a log of them. It's sort of a double-bind, isn't it, to ask someone who is feeling bitten by a response to respond right on that thread, and set themselves up for another snippy remark? And are we supposed to PM the mods with every time that a person puts us out? The mods have said, and rightly so, that they don't have the time or inclination to deal with every little question or every put-out feeling.

And having a thread like this actually helps, because then the mods can say "there is a thread on that, look it up."

There is also the issue that one or two snarky or disrespectful (or seemingly so) remarks don't matter to most people. It is the trend or overall sense of it happening over and over. Do you all really want people to PM you every single time some one *seems* to be snarky?

What is wrong with debate? We have commenters on here that have said debate and understanding different opinions was precisely one of the strengths of this forum. I completely agree with that. If someone doesn't want to read about how some people feel about the tone of the forum, there are a lot of other threads and tons of good info, no? Other commenters on this thread have said as much -- and it's good advice -- that if you don't like what is being said, move to another thread, don't read the Kitchen, get a thicker skin, etc.

But I'll go back through the posts and try to find them. I'll start with this one.
 
Yes, I do. I don't keep a log of them. It's sort of a double-bind, isn't it, to ask someone who is feeling bitten by a response to respond right on that thread, and set themselves up for another snippy remark?
I don't see how asking for specific examples is snippy. I tend to assume that if there's something troubling enough for this type of thread (and there are many here) to be started and perpetuated, it shouldn't be difficult for those commenting to provide specific examples, and without them we can't know whether or not there's actually a problem that needs to be addressed or the person(s) complaining is/are simply being overly sensitive.

I realize that there are folks who get snippy, snotty, and/or snarky unnecessarily - there are certain members who even come to my mind as being top offenders. I also realize that there are some folks who get upset way too easily and take things a little too personally. Without knowing specifically what the reference is, I, as an administrator, can't do anything to remedy the problem if there is one.

There is also the issue that one or two snarky or disrespectful (or seemingly so) remarks don't matter to most people. It is the trend or overall sense of it happening over and over. Do you all really want people to PM you every single time some one *seems* to be snarky?
It seems to me that if those things are upsetting enough to start a thread like this, they'd also be upsetting enough to address individually with one of us, particularly when asked specifically to do so. If it's not, and there's no real desire to actually have anything done about it, then that's one thing and we can carry on in vague and general terms.

Teresa has provided a strong directive to make this a friendlier, happier place than it has been in the past, and if we're falling short, I'd like to know about it. The only way to make a judgment about whether or not there is actually a problem or something preventing that from happening is to bring our attention to it and a comment that "some people are mean sometimes" isn't specific enough for anyone to actually do anything about.

I'm sorry that the notion of providing specifics is so upsetting to you and that you felt the need to respond so defensively; neither was my intended result. There is nothing "wrong" with debate, and if that's the only desire, with no actual effort toward a remedy, then that's fine too. Carry on.
 
I'm sorry that the notion of providing specifics is so upsetting to you and that you felt the need to respond so defensively; neither was my intended result. There is nothing "wrong" with debate, and if that's the only desire, with no actual effort toward a remedy, then that's fine too. Carry on.

My own interpretation of this thread is that no one is asking the mods to do anything. I would hope that if someone was being really off-the-rails nasty that the person being targeted would report them, or that the mods would pick it up. A thread like this one is a good opportunity for people to raise a concern about the tone of some responses, to ask for people to be careful, and also for those on the forum who are more direct to say, hey, we don't intend to be mean or dismissive -- we want to get to the point and move on. There is particular value especially for them to say this to newer people, because you get to know that person's online personality a bit more quickly.

If the only way you are able to define "remedy" is with there being an immediate solution or someone being "caged" or everyone having a group hug, then you are right, this would seem like pointlessness.

But this isn't diagnosing bumblefoot or explaining the proper cavy diet. This is an airing of concerns that are more difficult to track and hard to measure. Some of the folks on this thread have already said this has been helpful. I know it has been helpful for me. And I regard anything as being helpful as, in itself, something of a solution.

I do not feel put on the defense, or that you were some how picking on me. I am honestly having difficulty, though, sorting through the logic of asking people to keep track of offenses while at the same time being asked to let some things go; to not bother the mods with bits and pieces, but at the same time, to get chastised for not bothering the mods; to ask people to be aware of the sensibilities of newcomers, but then to tell us that our airing of a concern is "pointless"; to assume that because things used to be much worse, that there still aren't issues now; and to say that the forum owner wants a friendlier place, but then to back people into a corner.

This isn't a solution for the mods or the forum owner. This is something for the community to hash out. Good for the mods to be aware of, of course, but isn't it kind of cool to see people on different points in the sensitivity continuum having this discussion?

I note that today a person posted a question and felt obliged to put "before you call me lazy" in the post. This isn't someone who just joined. Even if it were said with a bit of humor, it still says something about the overall perception.

Perception matters if we want to encourage people to look at the care-oriented threads. Having this discussion says that people of all sorts care about this community. Having someone come in and say, enough already, give me proof, has the opposite effect.

The process is a big part of the solution.
 
I am honestly having difficulty, though, sorting through the logic of asking people to keep track of offenses while at the same time being asked to let some things go; to not bother the mods with bits and pieces, but at the same time, to get chastised for not bothering the mods; to ask people to be aware of the sensibilities of newcomers, but then to tell us that our airing of a concern is "pointless"; to assume that because things used to be much worse, that there still aren't issues now; and to say that the forum owner wants a friendlier place, but then to back people into a corner.
I neither asked nor expect anyone to keep track of offenses. I asked if anyone who is openly saying that they see a problem "many times," or are afraid to post, or "wouldn't come back" if not for the information here, or those who say they see hostility, could actually provide specific examples because those responses seem to indicate it is a much bigger problem than I've been aware of, and one that would need some kind of action from a moderator. You were neither chastised nor backed into a corner - you were asked to provide examples if you have them, either publicly or privately.

You might raise some general awareness and sensitivity with this type of thread, assuming those who might have caused the hurt feelings in the past read the thread; but more often than not, it stirs up an argument with the folks who read the thread (evidenced here) and nothing really gets changed. If that's the goal, a simple airing of concerns" in hopes that it simply might serve to raise awareness for the membership, then that's fine. However, if the goal is not only to raise awareness but to potentially see something done differently, without specifics, then yes, it becomes rather pointless.

And as I see it, this is something that needs to involve the moderators and owner - we play a significant role in setting the tone and we really need to be aware of problems if they exist so that we can determine the best way to remedy them and change things, going forward.

Perception is very important, I agree. Perception also plays a significant role in how individual comments are interpreted; and since everyone's perception is a little different, actual examples of offenses really go a long way in determining if there is a general trend that actually is problematic or if it's a matter of an individual perception.
 
@Paula, all I can say then is that this thread has been useful to me, and educational in a lot of ways and on many different levels. Maybe others find it aggravating; I can't speak for them. I appreciate that the original poster had the courage to post her concern, even knowing the landmines that she was probably going to walk into (and did). I had rather more confidence that the membership could do some things differently without direct intervention by the mods or the forum owner; as I said above, it isn't about excluding you all, but asking people to think over what they are typing. I am willing to say I'm naive if that isn't the case, rose-colored glasses and all that. And it is clear that the mods and the owner set the tone, so on that point I can agree without qualification.
 
@Wildcavy Thank you for the support. I have noticed the same thing in the way people are writing (ex: starting their questions with "I realize now that buying is wrong" or "Yes I know buying from a breeder is not ideal") I don't think people looking for advice and help should have to apologize for making a mistake before they post their concerns. If they made it to this site then they have already made a wonderful step towards remedying any mistake they have made in the past in regards to guinea pig care.

@Paula -I don't really want to get specific. I was addressing the overall tone of some of the conversations. By bringing this up maybe some people will think before they type. I understand the administrators do everything in their power to make this a welcoming place and I by no means am pointing a finger at you guys. You all do an awesome job. This thread has allowed a few people to air out their frustrations and possibly feel better in general. I was not on the site over the weekend so I didn't realize all the response to the thread, so I haven't really had a chance to go back and read over all of them.

I also learned a lot about people in this thread. Some people do not mean to come off as snippy or all knowing, and I learned their reasons for writing the way they do.


I started this thread being possibly over sensitive, but with that being said it has come to light that I am not the only overly sensitive one out there. If you feel like this thread requires direct action be taken, then I am sorry I don't feel like the thread will be able to help with that as no one really wants to call anyone out, especially me, considering the rudeness has never been directed at me. I will be sure to let you know though if someone is ever extremely rude to me for no reason (if I deserve it than so be it).



Thank you for everything you do. Please do not feel like this is an attack on the administration. I just want people to realize that we are all doing the best we can.
 
No, I didn't take it as an attack or even as anything meant to any one person or group to be taken personally.

I do have difficulty reconciling the idea of complaining and making broad sweeping comments about the hostility, not knowing whether or not one can come back, being afraid to post, etc. while also being unwilling (or unable) to cite specific examples so that a judgment can be made as to whether or not the comments in question are out of line or not. And I can't understand why or how asking those openly stating they have the problem or see a bigger issue playing out to provide specific examples would be taken as an insult in some way, but the reaction alone does provide some insight, so I thank you for raising the concern. I hope you've gotten what you'd hoped to from the responses given, and since it sounds like you're satisfied, I can move on.
 
I've been debating about whether to reply to this thread or not.

I have some points I'd like to make.

1. The fundamental principles.
2. Read the dates.
3. Be what you want it to be.

I'm honestly surprised by this thread because I know that the forum is actually doing great overall at being a much friendlier and more accepting place than it used to be. Like Paula, I need examples. Because, I need to know how we can improve. How can we improve if we don't know where the 'problems' are?

1. The fundamental principles.


Cappuccino posted
... or buy from a petstore, like I did. Before I came to this site, I had no idea about the consequences of buying from pet stores. I got the largest cage available. I got a single guinea pig. I came here, and it was like an explosion of "WOW YOU ARE SO STUPID." I should have bought from a rescue. I should have made my own cage. I should have gotten two. This realization is enough to make us feel bad, and any further reprimanding by other users is not fun. We all joined because we LOVE guinea pigs. We have to respect that all users have the best interests in mind for their own fuzzy friends, and should be treated as such.

So, when I originally read this, I thought that she had posted and was attacked. I searched for and read all of Cappuccino's posts. Everyone was wonderful, nice, cordial and helpful to her. Hmmm. Then, I realized that no, she was talking about other posts apparently.

Here's the thing, this forum is part of a larger site with very clear messaging.

1. Cage MUST be appropriately-sized.
2. Guinea pigs almost ALWAYS need a friend (even if separated).
3. Adopt, don't breed or buy.

These are the BIG THREE.

So, if after quickly reading through the forum, you came to the conclusion that you did everything wrong, well, you did. If you want to take that personally, that is up to you. I have no control over that.

You read enough to make that "realization." Just because you did, doesn't mean the next person has. And honestly, not everyone is here with the best interests of their pets in mind. Many people are here for what's in the best interest of their pets as long as it doesn't inconvenience them or cost very much if anything at all.

A comment was made about putting pets above people. That's an exaggeration as well. We absolutely want happy pet owners along with well cared for pets. The two go hand-in-hand.

We won't be backing off of the big three from a tolerance point of view. And by tolerance, I mean, posts that advocate against those positions (aside from intro posts) are fair to be questioned and challenged --- AS POLITELY AS POSSIBLE.

2. Read the dates.

We tell people to search for threads. They are going to find OLDer threads. It's the OLDER threads that are more acerbic and could be interpreted as rude by some people. LOOK AT THE POST DATE before you judge how the community is TODAY compared to the past. We HAVE changed.

In fact, I think I'll come up with some way to highlight that this an older thread when I have some time.

3. Be what you want it to be.


Every person reading this and every person who posts CONTRIBUTES to this community--directly or indirectly.

As a poster, if you want more humor in posts, lead by example and be humorous. If you want more tolerance, reply to a post with tolerance. If you want more sympathy and empathy, reply with more sympathy and empathy.

Some people can't stand it when different people reply with the same info. However, maybe the way YOU say it, will be better received or understood by someone. That happens all the time. It would happen naturally if we were all standing around talking. Feel free to contribute. It's all good.

If someone replies in a way that you don't care for, feel free to reply with the same info and restate it.

"To Teresa's point ..."
"I think Teresa may have also meant ..."
"I'd probably say it like this ..."
"Good point, but if you think about it like this ..."
"I know Teresa said it, but I'd also like to say ..."
"I'd like to restate pretty much the same thing but differently ..."

Whatever. It's good to acknowledge that a point has already been made but you are putting your own spin on something.

There are creative ways to help other forum members (and me and the moderators) come across the way you want everyone to sound. Of course, within reason.

In conclusion

I think the other points about everyone being different and such have already been made.

All that said, we are never going to be the "fluffy ribbons and bows, anything goes" pet forum. Not going to happen. There are too many things to change in this world regarding animals.

But, this is still a FUN and COOL and informative place to be if you like guinea pigs. Please, please enjoy it and please lead by example.

The administration is very concerned and committed to making this a great place to be. If you have issues, please don't wait to voice them. Take the advice here and participate more or PM us with specifics that need addressing.

Thank you!
 
Last edited:
Well said, CavySpirit!
 
I have been pleasantly surprised with how friendly people here are. I know some people are kind of blunt but in the end, I appreciate that. My very first thread and the reason for joining needed blunt, quick answers. I've seen rude people here but they weren't the people I've come to recognize as being regular posters/responders. They seem to be far and few between. And even then, they are typically put in their place for being a jerk.

I've had nothing but help and encouragement pouring in my direction when I ask for it. (thanks, guys!)

I didn't see this brought up but I'd just like to point out that we're from all over the place. So we were all raised differently. Some people fluff and expect that, others don't and the fluff is annoying. I'm a fluffer and a rambler and I tend to take things personally but being a military wife and living in different areas with different ways of socializing and interacting I'm learning to just appreciate it and go with it and as long as they aren't calling me names, then I probably shouldn't take it the wrong way.
 
Thank you! I've even thought about posting this myself.:) People sometimes judge on here, but mostly it's just straight forward talking, (without meaning to) having an edge. As Queen.anirbaS said, just put your feelings aside and your pigs first. This site is possibly the best GP site out there, for free! It's helpful, and that's all it's supposed to be here for. No one can hurt you without your permission. Besides, things come out different on the internet. It's pros outdo it's cons, so we're all fine. It would be better though if people would realize they're not talking to their computer screen, they're talking to a real person.
 
Status
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.

Similar threads

4boipigs
Replies
1
Views
739
Guinea Pig Papa
Guinea Pig Papa
Sakano
Replies
1
Views
619
Rosiethecutepig
Rosiethecutepig
CavyOwner
Replies
2
Views
518
CavyOwner
CavyOwner
Top