When I was young, we had no term for “Animal Rights Activists”..just those who loved animals. Over the years, I’ve always had both a love, and a deep respect for animals. I can remember saving bugs that flipped on their backs from a column of ants headed for them. In my mind, I could imagine being eaten alive by ants, and the horror of that made me feel like I just had to help this poor creature.
To me, animals are just as important as humans in the grand scheme of things. Of course, people will say that they are not as important as humans because we are more intelligent, or, we have “souls”. Well, I’ve seen humans who are not very intelligent, and some evil people I don’t think really had a soul (only half kidding). When you start going down the “IQ test”…that’s a slippery slope because there are profoundly mentally challenged humans…so if you put a high IQ as the sine qua non of a life worth living, many are going to fail. In fact, the notion that mentally challenged kids don’t have a right to live, was a central idea of Hitler, using the term “Lebensunwertes Leben” (Life unworthy of Life”).
I have always been a very sympathetic person, and have always been good at “putting myself in their shoes”. Its kind of like the old thing “There but for the Grace of G0d go I”…meaning…you were human only by the throw of the genetic dice…you could have just as easily been born a cat or horse. In fact, they say that we share about half our genes with a banana, and of course, we are very close to monkeys from a genetic perspective. Traditionally they have said that Chimps have 98% of our genes. but some are downgrading that to 95%. But, 5 % or 2 %, damn close no matter how you slice it. They also are now saying that apes are closer to speaking than we believe. And, the brain to body ratio of dolphins are close to ours…causing some to speculate that perhaps they are smarter than we give them credit.
But, to be honest, my love for animals and desire to protect them…has nothing to do with their intelligence or soul.
All I have to do is to look deeply into an animals eyes, and wild or tame, I feel a bond. We both feel pain, enjoy feeling good, eat to live, rest , even like to play.
I’m not a Pollyana type guy. I realize that animals, especially wild ones, are unpredictable. Truth is, living in the wild, an animal HAS to be able to respond properly to an instantaneous threat. For this reason, they have to be ready to kill at a moment’s notice. I accept that, and accept the dangers implicit to interacting with a wild or even “semi-wild” animal.
But, when we get to domesticated animals like cats and dogs, their innocence and total unconditional love, is something that is so wonderful, so important, that it cannot be bought or sold. They trust us, and we must never, ever betray that trust.
Humans can get short with you, impatient, petty, even disloyal, but not our fur friends.
I think to a lot of us in the animal rights movement, animals are in many ways, like babies…they cannot speak for themselves, they are trusting, depend on us for food and water (if domesticated) and the natural, human response to a baby or small child is to protect them…protect them with our lives if needs be.
I have been blessed to meet other animal rights people and a general statement is that as a group, they are some of the finest people I’ve ever met.
And, with the poaching of lions, with cops shooting innocent dogs chained in yards, and with the torture and killing of innocent, trusting animals, this feeling of love, must be accompanied by the willingness to go after any and all of the
bastards who would harm these creatures.
There are many avenues one can use to go after these animal abusers. Firstly, they thrive in secrecy. We MUST find them, name them, shame them, d0x them. We must drag their pathetic asses out from under the rock they live under, expose their crimes, and expose their personal information. But, once we d0x them, the public needs to do their job in making the person’s life miserable by use of the contact information.
But, d0xing does only so much…the second wave of attack is to go after their ability to make a living. If they are a doctor or lawyer, in an anonymous manner, and making sure to be truthful, make sure you tell their secrets, expose their skeletons and dirty laundry. If you cut off their money, they won’t have the financial resources to go on hunts in Africa.
If they are not self employed, but work for an employer, make sure you put tremendous pressure on them. If enough pressure is placed on an employer, and they know the reason is that employee, it is possible to get them fired, because most business owners won’t let their business go bankrupt to protect one asshole employee.
I am an animal rights activist simply because it flows from my heart and soul…and I don’t know how to be anything else, nor do I want to be anything else.
Thanks for reading this.