Maligning and Denigrating Animals
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Maligning and Denigrating Animals
Comments by Sparrow R. Jones - 6 Aug 2007

On 8/5/07, Andrea wrote:

Why do people say bad things about animals to people they know love them? (I am trying to tell myself it was not really her talking, but the mental illness caused by drug abuse and I shouldn't take it personally.)

What you encountered is more general human nature than mental illness. A large percentage of otherwise normal, healthy adults think it's funny to "tease" people about liking animals or being vegetarian.

Recently I was at a meeting when someone decided to order lunch. They asked what people wanted and I hesitated because situations like that are always difficult. The leader finally specifically asked me and I said, "anything that doesn't have meat, eggs or dairy in it."

Someone else in the group said, "why?" and I said, "religious dietary restrictions." I thought he might understand since he is a devout Mormon and is restricted from hot beverages and belongs to a religion whose holy books teach the importance of healthy eating. And he seemed okay at first. He asked what religion I am (Orthodox Christian) which brought up a bunch of other questions and everything seemed all right.

The leader sent someone out to get Asian food. As I was putting some of the vegan dish that had been selected for me on a plate, the guy who seemed okay started trying to put pieces of chicken on my plate, saying that chicken was good for you and tasted good. He was laughing and I think he genuinely thought it was just casual, friendly joking.

I get this sort of behavior from people often. It is what people in our society do. We (as a society) have become jaded and deadened and forgotten compassion and so it is often considered funny and friendly to laugh at things like vegetarianism and liking animals because many people forget how deeply someone can feel about these things.

It is hard to know how to react in situations like that. I find the only thing that is helpful to me is to pray for the genuine well-being of the person who is being hurtful to me. I pray for God to protect them and pray for them to enjoy complete healing in every way: body, mind, heart, soul, spirit. It is hard for me to hold bad feelings toward someone at the same time that I am wishing good things for them so if I pray long enough and carefully enough, the prayers eventually overcome the bad feelings I have toward the person.

In Christ,

Sparrow

-- "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?" -- Isaiah 58:6

Go on to: Comments by Steve Kaufman - 6 Aug 2007

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