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Sobering Thoughts about an Unfortunate Reality

Updated on December 3, 2010

Our Equals

Deer who lives in the backyard most of the time.
Deer who lives in the backyard most of the time.
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Drake in flight
Drake in flight
Red the sweet little Shetland Pony who found nurturing and help at our country sanctuary.
Red the sweet little Shetland Pony who found nurturing and help at our country sanctuary.
Tucker stalking
Tucker stalking
Lady, found wandering the country roads with torn up feet and very thin.
Lady, found wandering the country roads with torn up feet and very thin.

A Taste of Bitter Truth

Once again I have that old, familiar feeling of dread. A feeling of helplessness, hopelessness and the belief that I an not able to make things “better.“ At these times, I see the glass as half empty, the burden almost too difficult to bear, the situation untenable.

I’ve often wondered if I am afflicted with a tendency towards depression. These moods and feelings are ignited by the smallest stimulus. Other times, I can identify the reason and cause which sends me teetering on the edge of fear. Fear of the “what if’s,” fear of being ‘left behind,’ fear that I cannot successfully continue to help those in need; those for whom I have worked tirelessly to provide safety, security and love.

I once had my life “all together.” For years, I built my world to meet my needs. This took discipline, perseverance and the understanding that I must forfeit, do without now in order to have the peace and freedom I sought.

All bills were paid on time, all needs were met and I enjoyed the freedom of my own space, my own schedule and my chosen pursuits. There was always ample time and resources to meet any unexpected event and fulfill most of the interests and dreams I wished to explore. I had reached a comfort zone; one which had been carefully developed over time. Those were the ‘good ole days.’ The days of personal exploration as well as personal indulgence.


I look back and wish I did not know now what I didn’t know then; I pray for “ignorant bliss.”

But, sadly, I shall never have that luxury again. Because now, and for many years past and forever in the future, I have learned some sad and heinous truths about this life; this world and my own kind.

When I turned 40 I thought; “ah…now I can relax a little. I’ve met many of my goals, proven to myself that I am capable; I have constructed a secure future for myself and my loved ones. I no longer want to be forever young…no, now, I can ‘give myself a break’ and enjoy life without feeling that I must ‘climb the highest mountain, reach the furthest goal.’ Yes, now that I have done many of those things I’d hoped to do, I can let myself be.”

Well, was I ever mistaken! Right around that time, I learned of something which has become life altering, leaving me with an ever present feeling that I must act…always act in ways to stop the madness.

I am talking about the plight of animals on this earth at the hands of my own kind; human beings. On every level, every second of every day, week by week, months on end and countless years, animals are taking the brunt of our endless pursuit of our idea of perfection whether it is medical, cosmetic, dietary, “entertainment,” a “learning experience,” hunting skills, curiosity, and more. We have come to see animals as tools, as expendable, as sources of experimentation because of their ’difference,’ as tasty cuts of meat, and so on. Whatever our pursuit; whatever our interest, our imagined learning device, whatever “need” we think can be filled using a living, sentient individual; we do so without regard for their sensitivities; their needs, their right to life.

So, I spend most of my time trying to figure out how to “fix it.” How to end the massive, unimaginable amount of suffering animals are experiencing ALL THE TIME in the name of science, vanity, gluttony, thrills and any human wish to be filled …. Filled by making the life of another living being unbearable or by ending; by the intentional taking of life.

How has it come to this? I have pondered this for years; for decades, now. How can we be so brutal; so cruel and so unfeeling? What happened to our kind that allows us to participate; either directly or indirectly, in the subjugation of living beings merely for our tastes, our convenience, our amusement, selfishness, greed and ego?

Sometimes, I hate mankind. I have a living, bubbling cauldron of disdain boiling inside me for the human race. Those who perpetrate the crimes against animals and those who consciously look the other way to protect themselves from this ugly truth. To me, they are as much to blame as are those who are directly involved in this accepted sickness.

I sincerely do not feel that the human race is superior to other sentient creatures. I truly do not. If I break a “rule;” one which I’ve set for myself because I know, intrinsically, that it is right; I do not defend my transgression; I admit to it and apologize. I am fallible.

Do you know how many of us feel we are not at fault? That there is no need to consider our acts; that perhaps we, too, are fallible? That our role on this planet is to be “king?” The human ego is without equal. Not only do we possess intelligence; we color that with arrogance and a belief that it is our right to behave as we do. To tread upon the earth and its inhabitants as though so much trash.

We stomp our way through this life; most of us, with a feeling of entitlement.

I know this is harsh and probably seems heavily one sided but, if you have grown to love, and find value in something which the vast majority of your fellow humans feel is less than worthless then, one tends to become bewildered, disappointed, disgusted and angry. Because, in this case, I will never live to see the end of animal abuse, torture, neglect in my lifetime. I know this is a long time coming; I’ll never see the end of it.

Unlike our infamous Public Servant, I really do feel their pain.

Imagine, if you can, applying all that is written here to your child. Or any child. Could you handle it if that child, or other children were treated thusly? Could you stand by, turn your eyes away and continue on as if nothing happened? Could we ignore another holocaust? We do, you know. Every day. It’s just that the victims, now, are animals, not humans. And we have allowed ourselves to simply accept; to easily assume that it is our right because they are “less than.” Living, feeling beings are treated as things … things that we have the right to do to whatever we please.

So, I am sad. I am sickened and I am bewildered. This is what I live with, day in and day out. Trying to “wrap my head around” this reality. My sensitivities will not allow me to accept it because I KNOW it is not right. I sincerely believe that, should the human race continue on long enough, these times will be looked upon as barbaric. We, right now, will be seen as savages; ignorant savages whose only pursuit in life was to survive at whatever cost. Our behavior is still on this level. We allow our urges and gross instincts to rule our acts rather than our intellect. If we allowed our intelligence to dictate our activities, we’d never behave as we do now but, sadly, we’ve ‘chosen’ to be guided by our ‘lower’ selves.

The intensity of these feelings waxes and wanes depending upon my own personal moods and the information which flows to me daily via the internet, friends, email, television, etc. Some days, I can walk this earth feeling fine; being swept up with the beauty around me. Other days, not so fine. Today, not fine, at all. So, as with so many times, I’ve chosen to write these words to ease a bit of the intensity which I am feeling; to use this tool as a catharsis.

To those of you who are reading this and understand my words; bless you. To others who might not have considered these things; perhaps you will take a moment and rethink the possible. If we all cared; if it mattered to more of us; we could instigate change more readily; make life better for others and feel a whole lot better, ourselves.

Come on…what do you say?


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    • kentuckyslone profile image

      kentuckyslone 6 years ago

      Some people think I am a bit strange for this but I extend this even to 'bugs'. Ever since I can remember I have always tried to avoid stepping on a bug. When the girls yell about a spider in the house I try to catch it and put it outside. Yes, I have killed many houseflies and the like so I am not saying that I would "never hurt a fly" but when folks go out of their way to squash a bug, or hack needlessly at a tree it bothers me.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Thank you, are one of a kind and a rare jewel. A man with a heart and soul which is unequalled. Empathy; my dears, this is what will save us.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago

      ..always nice to pay a visit to one of my favorite writers here at the hub - with such a noble and pure heart - it's people like you who add a quality to our lives as readers, fans and followers (and friends)

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Amy, thank you so much for your kind and understanding words. I am "lightened" by your depth and empathy. It is always healing to know that there are others who truly do understand. To know that I am not alone in this. I have met wonderful people here on HP's who are walking the same path and it lightens the burden to know this. I, too, find comfort sometimes, in the thought of leaving this place..but as you so poignantly point out, what about those dependents...what about them? You are a blessing on this earth, Amy; it is true. for your ability to empathize and for feeling deeply; so deeply that it hurts. Well, we well persevere, won't we. And continue on with the good fight. Such beautiful words you have written.

      Erthfrend, my frined; I know very well that you, Amy and I are three of a kind. Bless you and I know that your work and love for animal is also overwhelming you at times. but, as you say, you keep the knowledge, images, reality right there in the forefront so that you are strengthened to go on fighting the good fight. And I know that we have made a difference, all of us who have gone that extra step, taken in that unexpected additonal furry family member and changed our habits to ease the pain inflicted on others. I, very much as possible... bless you two!!!!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I dedicated a poem to you and your cause, Lucky Cats called "There goes that Girl".

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I believe your heartfelt and distressing write is the reason so many turn away. You find yourself in a situation, that no matter how caring and self-sacraficing you are, taking in those that have no one else will, the feeling of responsibility that your knowledge entails, will engulf and overwhelm your peace and sanity. But, even knowing that, you are in a place where there is no turning back. I struggle with those feelings and in all honesty, have been comforted by the option of "opting out" with my life. However, the quandry is that as a person who accepts responsibility, I am unable to end it all because I would be abandoning those that need and rely on me. It is a double-edged sword that many find intolerable and they turn away. I am at a loss to say anything "comforting" to you, because I have not found any words that provide solution for me. Stepping back doesn't work, because the need is so great. If everyone stepped up to the plate, the few would not be so over extended that depression takes over. It is a natural consequence when the demands outweigh and overwhelm an over-taxed spirit. I know that you even override depression as your compassion won't let you rest. But, until that time, when the many step up and do their part, you will see no end in sight. But, you know this. On a positive note, the adorable expression on your rescue dog pictured shows that you do make an impact...the difference between suffering and death and happiness and survival. Although telling you that you are an angel does not help you with the despair of your monumental endeavors, it should be you are...your testament are the loving, innocents you strive to endow with their God given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I think of you everyday, Lucky Cats. Thank you.

    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina


      Heartfelt words to say the least. And I agree with what you say in regards to cruelty and neglect. However, you omitted those animals that were put here for our sustenance. God made dietary laws concerning many animals and what we could or couldn't eat(Leviticus). Also, many were required by God to be sacrificed for our sins. The same as Jesus had a purpose, so did they. You are holding yourself accountable for all the wrongs people do to animals. I admire your sentiments and warmth, but you are one person taking on the whole world. Know your limitations. You can't do it all. But you are a beautiful person for trying to.

    • erthfrend profile image

      erthfrend 7 years ago from Florida

      I say that you have said it to the tee, the exact and I mean the EXACT way that I myself feel every single day. Know that you are not alone with these awful feelings of hopelessness. I share these with you. I myself try to share with others the grim truth, with words, with pictures, with videos of what goes on in this real world nightmare but the ones that NEED to see these things, I think they are the ones that DONT look, that DONT read. Do they not care or do they just want to stay blind so as to continue their way of life without guilt? As for me, I WANT to know what goes on so I know not to participate or to support these heinous crimes and crimes are what they are. And because of this I suffer, my heart suffers terribly but I refuse to close my eyes. It is people like us that WILL make a difference, one person at a time. It will add up. Just remember that and keep strong in your beliefs. THANK YOU for this hub. You have a gift with words and a heart of gold.