There are a great number of different factors which contribute to
people’s indifference, or downright callousness towards animal welfare.
One extremely important factor which has not been focused on very much is
that people need quality relationships with one another. God made us
gregarious, social creatures with social needs. From “day one” we need
attachments with significant others, real connectedness through sharing of
our interests and activities, opinions and feelings. We need family
and friend relationships that last and grow throughout the years as opposed
to just being like “ships passing in the night.”
People who lack such quality relationships and live with disconnectedness, indifference, and apathy, and even overt anger and hostility, become angry themselves, or depressed, lonely, on alcohol or drugs, or whatever. Sometimes people without much nurturance by humans become very attached to their pets and take fine care of them. But most people, living without warmth and compassion themselves, are not liable to feel those things for the animals. Being angry inside, they are much more likely to take it out on the animals, enjoying neglecting them, causing them pain, and killing them. They feel safe when animals are their target because the animals are helpless against them.
Social research has found that if elderly people have even one steady confident, they will live longer. Also, orphan babies languishing in their cribs, not thriving, have been found to really perk up, and get active and healthy when given a stable, warm caregiver to attach to. Both humans and animals need stable attachment figures, which function as “secure docks,” providing love and security and keeping away loneliness and anxiety. Of course, God is our ultimate attachment figure, providing eternal security when we obey and cleave to Him.
One extremely important way we can act to work towards healthy, compassionate people is to make it a practice to get together with the people around us much more often, taking an interest in their concerns, and sharing ours. MAKING A REAL CONNECTION AND KEEPING IT UP1 People need real friends and family to share their lives with, in honesty, faithfulness, and truth. We need to turn off the TVs and computers more often and have quality 1:1!!
Compassion and love is needed for ALL, and unless we work at the ALL, we may not get very far. If hardly anyone does anything to really connect, people suffer, and the animals are the most innocent victims of all. GO FOR IT! ENJOY!
Dr. Joyce The Caring Heart Copyright 2012