Saturday, September 19, 2015

Ⓥ Gets Me Every Time

I am probably the most jaded, desensitized, pessimistic person I know. Nothing really surprises me anymore; nothing really gets to me. Other people hear news stories about death, cruelty, injustice and become very upset about them, but not me. I know how the world is and, though I do want to help stop these things in any way I can, I am not remotely surprised when they happen.

Naturally, the things that always bothered me the most were instances of cruelty toward animals, but even those have ceased to be as powerful as they once were. I have seen so many images and videos, and read so many stories of the horrible things that happen to animals in our world that they no longer impact me the way they did before. They still provoke a sense of sadness for the animals and anger toward the humans responsible, but the feeling is sort of superficial now.

In a way, this is probably a good thing. If I felt the full extent of every terrible thing that humans do to animals, I doubt that I would be able to function at all. However, I still feel a pang of guilt every time I hear about these things and am able to just brush them off. I feel like I should feel these things more deeply; I mean, nothing I could feel seeing pictures of torture could ever compare to what the animals feel having to live through it. I just don't anymore though. I still care. I still desperately want to make things better for them. But I don't feel their pain the way I used to.

There is one thing that still gets to me though; one thing that still brings out a strong emotional response. That thing is children reacting to cruelty toward animals. Many of you have probably seen various videos going around the internet of very young kids learning that the food they are eating came from an animal (or similar situations), and being absolutely heartbroken about it. In some of these videos, the parents respond with compassion, but in others they seem to think of the whole thing as a joke. Either way, I can't help but be deeply moved by these videos.

I think there are two reason why they affect me so much, when nothing else does. First, this is the only situation in which I see anyone respond to the horrors of animal abuse with an appropriate level of revulsion. Children have not yet been desensitized the way the rest of us have, so they are able to react in the way that we all should, when faced with such awful truth. Seeing them feel the pain of this realization so deeply gives me some hope that someday things may actually change. Second, as glad as I am that these children have seen the truth, and as hopeful as I am that, because of that, they may truly be able to make a difference in the world, I can't help but feel sad for them. There is something inherently awful about watching someone's illusions about the world being shattered. They will never be able to recapture the innocence they once had; they will never again truly believe that the world is a good and kind place. I only hope that other people are as deeply affected by these videos as I am, and that they will be inspired to change the way they treat animals. Then, at least, these kids can grow up to know that they have made a difference and the pain they felt was not for nothing.  
I honestly think this is one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen. There is nothing gruesome, just pure, honest emotion and the love and compassion of a child for his friend.

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