No Judgment
An Animal Rights Article from


Lisa Selvaggio,
November 2009

With animals, there is no judging.

It doesnít matter how tall I am, or how skinny I am, or how attractive I am, or how strong I am. All they see is my eyes, all they feel is the gentleness in my touch, all they hear is my soothing, understanding voice.

They donít care what I do for a living, or how big my house is, or how much money I make. All they know is that I am there when they need me to be, that I care, that they can count on me. All they need to know is that I will never hurt them and will give them a safe place to rest.

Despite my shortcomings, I have always found forgiveness from animals. I cannot say the same for people. Animals have never backstabbed or lied to me, because their actions always exude their innermost feelings and honestly seeps out from their skin. I have never been betrayed by them, finding a companionship that never wavered instead. Nor have I ever felt used by them, but rather my kindness returned tenfold by actions of unconditional affection.

An animalís mistrust or anger towards me is never hidden, so I always know when to approach slowly and with caution. With animals, there is always a boundary you donít cross, a line of respect never to be forgotten, and itís the lack of words between our kinds that makes it so.

There is no need to fear for an ďactĒ from an animal, no need to fear insincerity. Their emotions are real, never contrived. If they fear, are jealous, are angry, are unsure, are secure, are content, or are trusting, they show it in their eyes, in their ears, in the way their bodies are positioned, as long as you know how to read them. There are no actors among animals.

In their wild homes, I tread with care, because I am the one who needs to fear, the one in their territory, and their wildness and fear of my kind keeps their eyes from fully understanding my intentions. Thereís that line you donít want to forget, that boundary line you donít cross. The wild ones donít need me to comfort them, they donít need shelter from me; they just need their freedom and my respect, my admiration from afar at the splendor of their existence and their roles on this delicate planet.

Yet on those rare occasions that a wild baby or injured one needs my care, I know they will know my intentions are pure and they will respect and appreciate me in return, remembering that, although humans have done them so much harm and disregard, there are a few of us who care.

From the closest people in my life, from family to friends, I have been tormented by their disapprovals, by their attempts at forcing me to live the life they dream for me, by their eyes full of lies that led me to believe I could trust them, and by their disappearance from me with no good reason. And so I have felt a stronger connection to those with whom I cannot share a conversation, with those who challenge me to show my feelings through my actions alone, and with those who are with me for such a short time yet always manage to teach me something new.

Animals deserve our respect and compassion as much as we deserve it from each other. We can learn so much from them that would help us be more peaceful and be more honest. We could learn to respect boundaries, learn to show one another how we really feel instead of being amateur actors in our everyday lives. We could learn how to be gentle but firm, and learn how to live with, not against, the Earth. If only people would realize that words are unnecessary and truth can be found in the eyes and hands that reflect understanding and tendernessÖ

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