Not a day goes by when I don't read about the terrible things people do to animals. Here are a few things i read about in the last few weeks:
- An unidentified stranger threw a young kitten out of a window, aiming it at a protest being held about the conditions of dolphins in captivity. The fall broke one of the kitten's legs and the shock proved to be fatal.
- A poodle-type dog adopted from a shelter turned out to have a prolapsed anus, and the cause has been determined to be the insertion of 'a cucumber-sized object'. Very likely, some human being raped this little dog, or molested her with something about the size and shape of a penis.
- A woman posts videos of herself crushing kittens and puppies to death and has an online fan following.
- The Government of Romania has approved the mass murder of stray dogs in the country.
- The Government of Britain has commenced its badger cull.
I live with my eyes more or less open and I am not made callous by it. I feel horror, shock, pity, anger and despair when I read of all these things. It doesn't get easier to read about cruelty and injustice, and I don't avoid the topic either, although I don't actively seek these stories these out the way some of my fellow animal welfare campaigners seem too.
As I've said, I am aware of social injustices too, and while I primarily work with animals, I do step in to try and help the disenfranchised citizens of the city I live in whenever I can. I don't do this because I think I'm some sort of noble individual, but because I strongly believe that if we all work to alleviate the problems around us, we don't have to wallow in despair or wait for some government or corporation to apply a quick fix in return for our souls.
I don't privilege the welfare of human beings above that of animals. But I feel that if you care about suffering and injustice at all, you have to come to a realisation that all living things who can feel pain and suffering deserve your compassion. I cannot imagine living my life in any other way.
I am very tempted to hate and dismiss humanity, but I think it's just the selfish, oppressive, sadistic streak in humanity that I hate.