Animal Activism – Stages and Cages

For about a decade now, I’ve been passionate about my animal activism. I got my start watching an undercover fur video. I sat helplessly at my desk watching a raccoon dog get skinned alive. It was as if someone kicked me in the stomach. The writhing of the animal turned my soul into knots. The cries of pain carved an irreplaceable chunk out of my heart.

I now sit on my couch having just watched a cat get burned alive in the face with a blowtorch. That same sickening feeling hit me. The same soul-wrenching twist grips my being. My heart is numb from the beat it just lost. And the sense of powerlessness is overwhelming.

Both videos were unexpected. Both videos made a grotesque impact. These images can never be unseen. But what’s worse, these images are daily occurrences. Daily.

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However, this isn’t about the horrors I live with as a result of my animal activism. This isn’t about the hate that boils in my veins towards abuse and its perpetrators. Nor is it about the fight within myself to maintain compassion through it all.

This is about the innocent beings who have no means to defend themselves against the tyranny of humankind. This is about the voiceless who can never ask for help no matter how much they cry out. This is 100% about the animals who endure the darkest evils at the hands of vile, ignorant people. Daily.

I’ve always been one to keep an even, logical approach with my animal activism. My motto has been, “You attract more ants with honey than vinegar.” I must confess, though, that the first — and last — thought that crosses my mind when I’m witness to atrocities towards animals is, “I would love to put a bullet in their heads.” The abusers that is.

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Violence is a vicious cycle – the powerless trying desperately to feel powerful. It takes someone special to break it. The type of abuse – torture, really – that some people, even entire cultures, inflict on animals is beyond the scope of my comprehension. No matter how much I learn about it, see it or rescue from it, merely thinking about what animals suffer still shakes me to my core. How does a person become so void of feeling, so detached from anything moral that they could do what is done to animals?! Daily.

The debate of nature versus nurture always comes into play. Are some people born evil, or are they a victim of their environment? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter, as well as how you cope with the physical, mental and emotional impacts of animal activism.