The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Letters and Responses
Letter from B Concerning the Emotional Stress Caused by Human Indifference to the Suffering of Animals - 1 Apr 2005
[Ed. Note: We have withheld the name of the writer of this letter because of it's personal and sensitive nature, but we published it because we know that B is not alone in having these feelings, and hopefully others will be helped by reading it.]
Dear Frank and Mary,
I can't stand it anymore... I have to tell someone about this... anyone... And you guys are the only people I trust...
This has been tormenting me for so long, bringing me down every day, making me depressed, angry, antisocial, I just haven't been myself. About a year or more ago, I started thinking and caring deeply about animals. I've always loved and felt a deep kinship with animals, but I've never really put much thought into them and their suffering before, but now I'm extremely passionate about them, I've been searching and praying to God to help me to do whatever I can with my life to dedicate it to helping animals, but I've been lost lately... I just can't figure out what I can do as an individual to effectively help them in any profound way.
I can hardly function from day to day, I feel cold and hollow inside. I can hardly even look other people in the face anymore, and it's all because I'm way too passionate about animals, and it upsets me that everyone is so accepting of the world of suffering we inflict on them without a shred of guilt. Everyone around me just finds torturing and killing animals for fun, food, profit or science perfectly normal and acceptable, and it makes me sick.
I'm always feeling angry, begrudged and hateful towards humanity for all we've done, I can't stop grieving for the animals that suffer everyday... It's getting to me deep down. I try to quit thinking about it, but I simply can't. I can't figure out how to, especially when I know it's still going on every second of my life. Because of this, I've been losing my appetite from day to day, I'm always depressed, grieving, despairing and most of all angry.
I despair when I think about all the animals throughout time that we've tortured and slaughtered, for sadistic fun or out of malice or superstition, or just simply because they got in our way.
...hundreds of Millions of animals, billions, if not trillions... from the earliest days of our history since we lost our hunter-gatherer kinship with nature lifestyle and became agrarian and declared ourselves as somehow better than and separated from nature and the other animals, since then we've slaughtered, billions of countless animals, and left them to rot away and be forgotten about. such a total waste of such a beautiful living being, soul and mind. I simply cannot forgive humanity for all that we've done to the earth and to the innocent animals.
Some people around me have found out how passionate I am about animals, and now every time they're anywhere near they like to taunt and pester me by bragging about how they like to torture and kill animals for fun. I act like I'm ignoring them, but I'm full of rage and despair about it, a part of me seriously wants to do something bad to them, to hurt them horribly, and avenge the animals they've murdered for sick fun, but I can't, and it tears me apart inside.
Not only that, but I'm always angry about the fact that most of what was good on this wonderful earth before has already been ravaged and destroyed by our selfish, sick ancestors that slaughtered most of the wildlife and felled most of the forests that used to fill this earth with pristine bounty, under the belief that they were actually making the earth a better place by doing so. I would give anything to have seen what America was like 150 years ago, but my ancestors raped mother nature, and there is very little left from what they have taken from all of us in this generation. I can never forgive them.
I've tried ignoring my passions, but they're just too strong and persistent in my mind. Maybe it's just my O.C.D. and anxiety getting out of hand, or maybe it's my calling in life to be driven to help animals, I don't know, but while my emotions are still this strong on these issues, I'm going to do whatever I can.
I know I've been preaching a lot, and I'm starting to figure out that preaching doesn't really work that well, and neither does being constantly depressed and angry inside at humanity and all that we've done to the earth, neither does not being able to even look most people in the face, so I'm going through a lot of upheaval in my ways of thinking and functioning from day to day, and I hope that eventually I can find spiritual renewal somewhere, (I don't know where yet, certainly not in any church... Normal Christians are sadly some of the very worst people of all when it comes to thoughts on animal rights issues) and hope that I can learn to live more humbly and forgive my own species, and just get over the fact that we've already upset and ruined most of the balances of nature already.
I can't live my daily life in spite of everyone else, so I just need to find a way inside myself to learn to live in this current embodiment in this current biotic age.
I have to forgive other people, and see through the things they say and do and realize that they're just... ignorant... sometimes... I've got to be more amiable and humbled, and realize that we're all in this together, we are all an equal part of nature, some of us are just too foolish to realize it.
I'd like to think that all the billions of animals that we've tortured and slaughtered throughout history are somewhere better now, but it's hard to believe it when I see photographs of piles of hundreds of dead rotting animal corpses in slaughterhouses, medical research labs and hunting harvest counting stations... I want more than anything in life than just to be assured that those animals are in a better place, that they are happy and free and healed of and forgiving for all the pain we inflicted on them, and that someday If I ever make it to heaven they'll be waiting there to greet me. It wouldn't be heaven at all otherwise. Frankly, I don't even care what happens to me, I just want to know that they're okay. But wherever I go when I die, I hope it's the same place where the animals went.
I've prayed and prayed for God to send his blessings onto the animals, and for him to help me find my purpose in helping them, but I just don't think he's helping me out at all.
Have you ever been through this turmoil before?
Reply from Frank and Mary
You're certainly not alone in your feelings, but as you have come to realize, you need to funnel those negative energies in positive direction. We also agree with your interpretation of the average person's indifference to the pain and suffering of animals.
We believe that your deep sense of compassion is indeed a gift from God and is part of your answered prayers. Without the compassion you have, you wouldn't be a consistent witness. Part of the proof of this is the way you are being teased about your passion for animals. If you didn't make these people feel uncomfortable by the way you feel, they wouldn't resort to doing what they do. It's part of their defense mechanism. So you must be doing a fairly good job. If you can muster a smile the next time someone does this, try asking them something like this: "Why does my compassion for animals make you so angry? Is it that you feel guilty for the way you treat animals and for your indifference to their pain and suffering?"
Seven years ago, we were happy when we received 5,000 hits a week on our web site. Today, we're receiving +/- 3,000,000 hits per week, and most of them are from young people. We're seeing a change and it's very encouraging. It's much like it was with the slavery issue. More and more people began to feel uncomfortable about what was happening to slaves and how wrong slavery was, and public opinion forced an end to it. If we keep up the pressure, the same thing will happen for animals. The internet is helping this to happen.
We all need to focus on the goal. We need to have the vision that the Peaceable Kingdom can become a reality. Everything we do should be focused toward that goal. None of us can leap tall buildings in a single bound, but we can all climb to the top one step at a time, and sometimes we'll find that we're on an express elevator.
If you want to make yourself more public, we'll help you do it, through publishing anything you write (with or without photos). Even if prophets aren't heard in their own land, we can each be heard in other peoples lands, and we can't forget that. But everything we do must be consistent, persistent, and peaceful, so that our non-violent message will be believed.
We hope this helps.
In the Love of the Lord,
Frank and Mary
We welcome your comments
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