Everyone who knows me well knows my love of animals. That is why when a tragedy takes place it is not unusual for one of my contacts to inform me before things reach the media. This was the case a while back, and some of you may remember my Facebook posting about an incident which took place a while ago in Napanee, Ontario in which two eighteen year old boys have been charged.
I came home a while back to find a message from a longtime friend, who is also a journalist. I am not sure if he should have told me what he did, so we will keep his name out of the mix for now. Suffice it to say that I was shocked and saddened by the fact that these two young men had taken a small black and white dog and thrown it into the quarry with a cinderblock tied around its neck. The act is heinous enough in its own right, but what I am more concerned about right now, is the disturbing trend that seems to be emerging in animal rescue, the teenage animal abuser.
Animal abuse cases make me sick to my stomache, as I am sure they do most of you. What gets me most I think is the fact that, as a whole, those who abuse animals seem to be getting younger! What does this say about society’s ability to teach our young the humane way to treat the family pet? What does this say about the next generation? But mostly, what does it say about us? Are we failing our children? Have we not passed on our compassion for and love of animals?
If you follow the old adage that “children learn what they live with” it would seem that a lot of children live with abusive parents. After all they have to learn the violent behavior somewhere don’t they? It makes sense to me that if we are seeing more teenaged animal abusers, what we are truly seeing is more abused children who have learned that abuse is an acceptable way of life. In this day and age when there are so many ways of teaching children, violence is not the answer, how is it that we see so many abusive teens in animal rescue?
I have a twenty one year old daughter, she was raised in a household that has spent years taking in and rehabilitating dogs that others abused or abandoned. She has seen first hand the horrid things people can do to an animal. She has cried just as many tears as I for the innocent animals that have had pain and suffering inflicted upon them by humans. The result? She can not walk past an injured bird without doing triage. She was taught compassion, therefore she feels compassion.
This is what I am talking about! How is it, that I have managed to raise children who find compassion in their hearts for these animals, while their counterparts are torturing animals? I think the answer really is a simple one, I spent years teaching them the value of life. Not just the value of human life, but the value of all life. They value the life of a chipmonk as much as they value their own.
So, how is it that we seem to be raising a generation of children who care nothing for animal life? Again, the answer is simple, we have become a society of people who do not worry about the welfare of anyone but themselves! We have become what I call the “ME, ME, ME” generation. Everyone is so worried about themselves they no longer take the time to care for anyone or anything else. They are so wrapped up in self gratification that they do not see the horrors perpetrated in their midst. They turn a blind eye to the horrors because “it doesn’t effect me” or “it isn’t my problem.” Or at least that’s the way it works until it’s THEIR pet who is killed by an abusive child.
I have seen it a thousand times, people who complain on Facebook, about all these horror stories being in their newsfeed. “We don’t want to see that!” they scream, “don’t show us those things!” But do you honestly think those things stop happening because you don’t want to look at them? Do you honestly think that because you pretend they aren’t happening the world is a better place? If you do you are more delusional then I originally thought! Because while you are supressing the horrors of life and pretending they do not take place, you are teaching your child that this behavior is acceptable, and that society will just turn a blind eye because it isn’t important enough to care about, it is “just an animal.”
Okay, so its “just an animal,” but what about when it’s not? Let’s face it, to those of us who have spent our lives cleaning up after others and feeling compassion for these animals, they will never be “just an animal,” However that aside there is a bigger problem here, The problem is simply this, people do not take animal abuse seriously, but just about every serial killer in history started their killing career by practicing on animals before graduating to human victims. Does it not follow then that by taking animal abuse more seriously we could be preventing the emergence of a new serial murderer?
Granted, not everyone who abuses an animal goes on to become a serial killer, but would you want to take that chance? I know I don’t!
Until Next Time Remember,
EVERY Life is PRECIOUS