Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Holding on to Hope

If there has been one thing that has changed (quite drastically) in my life over the past year, it would be my heightened awareness and despair over the unbelievable amount of animal abuse and inhumane treatment that occurs in our country and around the world.
(Sorry....I just saw another post about the horrendous dog trade in Asia...which ignites such rage and agony in me, I can hardly function after even seeing so much as a picture of those poor babies being piled on top of each other in the cages they shove them into.)

In other words....I am sitting here in tears....wondering why there is such cruelty in the world.
Let me preface this by saying that I certainly don't sit around all day, and search for this information.  Nor do I attempt to make myself miserable by inundating my day with nothing but sad stories of the horrors that occur.
It's actually quite the opposite.
I look for videos of animals being rescued and saved.
I look for stories where unlikely pairs (perhaps, a kitten and a bird) end up being the best of friends.
I intentionally search out everything GOOD that I can find...because we are so surrounded by the NOT good, I feel like it has gotten completely out of control.
I grew up on a there were realities that I was definitely aware of.
I fell madly in love with every kitten that was born...and my heart was broken each time something happened to those cats.
And something ALWAYS happened to our cats. 
The dogs seemed to fare a bit better...but I lost several of my "best friends" through the years, as they got old, or got too close to the highway.
One day, the calf you had been bottle feeding was there...the next day, he wasn't.  It is a pretty rough reality for a sensitive girl like me.
However...I never saw any animal be mistreated.
Accidents happened...but all of our animals were loved, and treated with respect.
Silly me...I assumed that is how it was on every farm.
Of course, we just had a small farm, and we certainly weren't in it for the money.
And that is where the problem lies, right there.

It sickens me how the almighty dollar has become more important and more valuable than anything. 
It certainly is more important than the well-being of any living creature...because apparently they were put on this earth for humans to make a quick buck off of.
It goes beyond the animals as well.  
These mega farms are not only creating horrendous living environments for the animals, but they are also polluting and destroying the land around them.
I was reading about a pig farm that emptied the pig's waste into huge pools outside the giant barns the pigs were housed in.  Then, when the pools were full, they would spray this waste onto the fields, land and HOMES beyond these "farms".
The people living in the near-by homes, of course, were low-income, and this was the only place they could afford to live.  They had to keep their windows and doors shut because of the overwhelming stench...and, because they would get pig urine and feces sprayed INTO THEIR HOMES if they left them open.
And these big ag farmers can get away with this...and think it's OKAY to do this!!!
There is a high rate of lung related illness and disease in this area, and cancer.
 What ever happened to farm animals frolicking happily on the grassy hillside?
Instead, they are condemned to a life inside a cage where they can't even turn around, much less breathe any fresh air or see the sun shine.

I would venture a guess that a high percentage of these animals (especially the pigs) have IQ's significantly higher than the people who are "taking care" of them....and in SO many cases, abusing them. 

It is disgusting.  It is wrong.  I lose sleep over it.
I wish I was really smart, because more than anything....I wish I could do something to CHANGE THIS!
Why aren't people harshly punished for abusing animals?
As far as I'm concerned...any monster who has the capacity to inflict harm upon an animal has the capacity to inflict harm upon another human.
In fact, I would go so far as to say, they are even WORSE for harming an animal..because they can not defend themselves.
Animal abuse should have the same punishment as child abuse.
In my's equally as vicious.
And what should that punishment be?
An eye for an eye.
No second chances.
Anyone who is that evil doesn't deserve to see the light of day again.

Yes....I am standing SO high up on my soap box today.
I spent a lot of time thinking about all of this over the past couple of days...and I think my frustration with the state of our world right now is why I choose to just keep myself wrapped in the safety of my house.
No one is getting hurt here.  The animals are spoiled rotten and loved beyond measure here.  The kids are respectful, and are fun to be around...and they know they have two parents who would die for them.
Money is not important here.
We make sure we have enough to pay the bills...and we hope that we can get our kids through college, and MAYBE someday we will be able to retire...but money will NEVER be our driving force.  We view it as a food, I guess....but not as a motivator.  Sure, it would be great to never have to worry about finances...but I would rather live a simpler, less frivolous life, rather than miss out on life because I was too busy trying to get rich.  Or compromising my values, because I didn't think I could be happy until I had a bundle in the bank.
When I look around me...I see so many people who are so GOOD.  So many friends and families that give me so much hope for the future.
It's the big picture that is scary.  
Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better to just stay in my little bubble of ignorance....better to not be aware of all of the horrible things that are taking place every single day.
However, if I did could I ever change anything?  Even if I can't make a huge impact...maybe just bringing awareness to enough people can start a ripple that will eventually turn into a wave.
Someone has to be the voice for those who can't speak for themselves, right?

So, even though it rips my heart into a million pieces every time I read about it or force myself to look at pictures....I am going to keep educating myself, when it comes to the truth about what is really happening to these animals. They have done nothing to deserve their fate, and can only hope that there are people out there who will find a way to end their suffering.

I know that if the tables were turned, I would sure hope that someone out there was trying to help me.

I promise I will watch something funny and happy before I start to write tomorrow's blog!

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