by Laurelee Blanchard
We owe it to the animals not to turn a blind eye to
their suffering, but we must be careful to avoid becoming overwhelmed
with sadness to the extent that we no longer have the energy to fight
for their protection. Our knowledge about the immense cruelty and pain
that exists in our world makes us vulnerable to depression. As a result,
animal abusers succeed not only in harming animals, but in hurting us,
too, and in reducing our effectiveness.
I went through a time when I found it difficult to
appreciate or enjoy anything about life, as my mind was focused on the
billions of animals in agony. Even though I had so much for which to be
grateful, I felt guilty about being joyful while the animals were
miserable. My hopeless attitude wasn't benefiting the animals; it was
reducing my productivity.
When I told my boss about my bad mood, he offered some
"Don't think so much about the big picture; just focus on your work and
be glad that you are part of the solution."
His suggestion to not dwell on the suffering persuaded
me to allow myself some happiness. When my attitude improved, I felt
more energetic, and I was able to conduct my daily tasks with enthusiasm
about the difference I was making for the animals.
Kindness toward animals means being kind to ourselves,
too. The animals don't want us to suffer with sadness. We aren't guilty
of the cruelty inflicted upon them, so let's not permit the animal
exploiters to succeed at making us miserable, too. If we can educate
society about the facts of
[animal suffering], while trying our best to be happy about the good
things in life, our world will be a better place.
Go on to On The Fur
Return to 13 June 2001 Issue
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