Because I have so many acquaintances in dog rescue, I hear a lot of stories about animal abuse. You’d think that after years of such horrible stories that a person would get kind of numb to it. Believe me, we hear it all in rescue. Then, once in awhile, a case comes along that you think has got to be the worst case of abuse that you have ever heard of…but then a little time passes and some poor-excuse-for-a-human-being finds a new and even more heinous way to torture an animal. Like THIS ONE, that came to my attention yesterday. It makes me feel like my head is going to explode.
I have been diagnosed with clinical depression. Depression seems to be a pretty common thread among animal rescuers. I have sometimes wondered about that, and find it to be a chicken-or–the-egg conundrum. Are we sensitive and depressed people because we witness so much abuse? Or do we gravitate to animal rescue because we are sensitive and depressed people and helping animals makes us feel better?
My partner knows that my depressive nature makes me hyper-sensitive to stories of abuse. She tells me not to read the stories, watch the videos, or listen to the news reports. Like so many people, I could close my eyes and my ears – but the more people do that, the harder it is to affect real change; the harder it gets to pass any meaningful animal welfare legislation.
So I refuse to close my eyes.
I refuse to plug my ears.
Even though each story cuts me to my core, and the next and the next and the next.
I am astounded by the duality of the human species: the capacity for cruelty vs the capacity for compassion.
What makes YOU really human?