Penny: “They did what?”
Forums are a good thing. You can bond with like minds over various types of discussion pertaining to a mutual interest. In this case hamsters and their healthcare and well being.
And yet, for some bizarre reason hamster healthcare takes a back seat when it concerns a certain mix that was marketed as a FANTASTIC hamster food mix on a website in the UK called Rat Rations. Many people I communicate with on the forum had hamsters struck with illnesses. Young otherwise healthy hamsters were starting to lose hair and become lethargic. Some died. Finally it all came out that the mix called “Silvers Mix” was deficient in much needed vitamins that hamsters need. Put it all together and what would you think?
But it has been kept under wraps by a forum that a large amount of members would constantly toot the praises of the mix. Suddenly, one can barely speak of the mix without getting a note from a moderator – chastising you for “accusations”. What?
So much for health care discussions on hamsters and hello appearances. There has been no formal statement about the issue. Posts were deleted. Comments deleted. It’s so suspect and disturbing. It questions the integrity and mission and purpose of that forum.
Mostly, it just is becoming ridiculous. One of my friends adopted a hamster from the SPCA which originally came from a hoarder. The news article of that said hamsters (among many other animals) removal of the hoarders was posted as part of the story of her sad past and adoption. It was removed. Why? Something about rules pertaining to external links or negativity. Who knows.
We have to phrase things in this precise special snowflake way to people who are new to the forum and argumentative to our advice. They can bash us for being high and mighty about our views on hamster care and continually be negative to our advice and suggestions that they asked for. But the moment an established member (depending on the member of course as apparently there are favorites) gets a little snippy (well delayed I might add considering) the hammer will come down.
I feel so uncomfortable on there. It always feels like some repressed form of government. Sure, they seem so nice at first and helpful but then come the mods with “This is too off topic” warnings for when one just for a moment digresses from the original topic even if it’s the original poster of the thread!
On one hand it’s lovely that they are so involved. But on the other hand it begins to feel like I’m in a Catholic school with a hawk eyed enigmatic nun with a wooden ruler behind her back.
I’m so disappointed. This is a rant more than an informative post. I just felt a need to express my sorrow in having to remove myself from interaction with that community and forum. It’s just become too hollow and souless there for me. I am not going to become a programmed robot who had a set amount of vetted responses I will give out.
For those that this doesn’t bother – it’s a wealth of information for general hamster care. But don’t go there expecting very sage, honest, united responses on hamster nutrition. That is my warning. Try to find the best hamster mix you can on the market that is available to you. Supplement with fresh veggies and fruits (if you have a non-diabetic ham – no fruits for diabetic hams) and at this point it seems wise to supplement vitamins as a back up as you never truly know if any mix is being honest about that. Vitamins are peed out if they don’t need them so no harm no foul there.
Pretty much, in general I still recommend the forum to a newbie. But I think that most outgrow the forum. I feel I graduated the school and ready to be an adult who can speak her mind freely for issues I find incredibly important.
In the meantime I’ve been recommended another hamster forum. I will hopefully be able to recommend them as well or maybe replace it as my main recommendation for informative, helpful forums. It’s strange to continue to recommend a forum I’ve washed my hands of isn’t it?