At Night We Talk: Hannah Buchanan

At Night We Talk is a new series whereby I interview a friend or person and hear what they have to say –

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So Han, let’s start big – what are you passionate about in life? 

I am really really passionate about animals and their wellbeing. I guess that’s how you’d describe it – I think animals need to be respected, and we can’t just do what we want to them. I just don’t believe we have a right to stuff animals in a cage and eat their meat if it hasn’t been respected.

If they’ve had a good life and they’re free range, able to roam free and killed humanely, then that’s a different story – people are always going to eat meat, but it needs to be done properly. When things aren’t free range, that’s not done properly.

Animals that aren’t free range are effectively sick – why do people want to eat sick animals? This goes a long way to explaining why humans have such bad health problems these days too.

New Zealand is one of the better countries compared to China where there are no animal rights, but I think crates for pigs need to be banned here, which is meant to be implemented  by 2015. Imagine being kept in a cage your whole life where you can’t stand or spread your wings.

You know in the amazon jungle,  so much is being cut down so people can plant palm oil trees for cosmetics and food, so many animals habitats are getting wiped out for our supposed benefit. It all stems back to people trying to make a quick buck the easiest way possible, and not thinking of sustainability.

And you know there are fur farms in china? They keep dogs, cats and racoons in cages and skin them alive, so they’re still warm and the fur falls off easily, just so people can wear them!

So the real thing I’m concerned about is the life that animals have. I hate zoos, I hate circuses, entities that use animals for human entertainment or testing. If you want to see a monkey, go out into the wild and see if for yourself.

I think people just need to be more educated.

Where do you see yourself in ten tears time? 

I picture myself happy, fabulous, going off to my job that I’m passionate about and making a change in peoples’ lives. I want to do something inspirational, you know? I either want to work with people or animals – teaching  kids with behaviour problems, making a difference to their lives. I feel like I’d be really good at that,.I’ve finally figured out what I hope to achieve. People and animals – maybe I could make a difference with both.

Does wisdom come with age? 

Yes and no. Some people just are wise and some aren’t. But of course wisdom can be learnt and taught. If you make your own mistakes and learn from those you become more wise…from seeing other peoples’ mistakes too. Do you get wiser as you get older? Some people don’t.

Are you an old soul or a young soul? 

I don’t think I’m an old soul. You know how you can just tell with some people that they’re an old soul? With the things they say and think, you can just tell. I know I’m not an old soul because I just don’t feel like I am. How do I know? I just do. I probably sometimes value the opinion of others more than myself – I don’t just say yes, I totally think this! Sometimes I need to confirm things with other people to make sure. I think if you were an old soul, you’d just know…even though they would still ask questions. Seb thinks everyone in the world is an old soul trying to better themselves, he thinks we’ve been around before and now we’re back – I think that’s a pretty cool way of looking at it.

This is good for me to be asked these questions.

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 Is there something your mum has told you that will always stick with you?

People shouldn’t worry about getting old, it’s a privilege and a lot of people don’t get that opportunity.

I do find it frustrating when people say they don’t want to grow old – get over it, it’s life. My mum has multiple sclerosis which doesn’t make life easy, but she is proof that you can still be happy even if life doesn’t go the way you think it will. Life’s not always easy, you just have to go along with it, it goes go on, and sometimes…well you’ve told me, you’ve got to find ways to make you happy, happiness doesn’t just come to you… so i actively try to do things that make me happy. I love movies. I  love hanging out with my dog. I love hanging out with Zander – he’s the one person that makes me the happiest. I love going to cafes. I really do love learning about new things. Having some passions make life interesting. It’s just the little things. Different things make different people happy, whether it be small or big. Going to a cafe and sitting there or going for a drink, I just absolutely love it. I realise it’s easier said than done though, as there are a lot of unhappy people. People do have their reasons. But i just hope that people can find those little things that work for them.

My mum, not with what she has said, but just from watching her, well she has a horrible disease but she is still happy, she never complains, she just gets on with it.

I think love definitely plays a big role in happiness. Being in love is the best feeling ever, what more could you want? Being lonely would be sad and scary. At the same time, I love spending time by myself. It’s a balance. I don’t think love needs to be hard, of course it doesn’t have to be easy the whole time….but…it shouldn’t be too hard, if it’s right. You won’t always have good times, but the good times should far outweigh any bad ones.

Any closing words today? 

Sometimes I wish I was a bit more outrageous..I can be quite….I need to say yes more….

Maybe this is something you could work on?

I haven’t read for awhile either…

 You’ve got to make times for books.

I really loved Harry Potter, I never thought I’d love something like that, but i really did.

 Millions of people did, hence its critical acclaim.

I wish I could have loved something more original.

 There’s a reason it isn’t.

I know.

 Tell the world one thing.

Do what makes you happy, try and be the best person that you know you can be, keep learning and having fun…before we know it we will be 80…we want to look back and have lots of fond memories. You know? We want to look back and say “I had a happy and fulfilled and great life.”

There’s that line in An Education where she is talking to the teacher, it was interesting – “I feel very old but I don’t feel very wise.” I think this ties in with what I saying before about wisdom. It doesn’t necessarily come with age.

Is there a movie or book you would share with the world, if one?

War Witch – I saw it recently in the French Film Festival – it shows someone who has been through so much yet still finds happiness. It’s very inspiring and gripping, even though it’s gut wrenching.

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