"In my daily thoughts, I try to present my views and feelings honestly and without malice or offence. I try to make my thoughts educational, informative, amusing, reflective, observational and critical, dependent on my prevailing mood or whatever I am experiencing that day. More often than not, it takes little more than an image or fleeting thought to make the words flow. I sometimes express my views in a manner designed to provoke thought, incite discussion and stir controversy. While I never express my views unthinkingly and always try to have regard to the feelings and beliefs of others, I will occasionally venture towards the boundaries of some topics which can cause ill ease to some.
Today's thought is one such topic. It essentially asks the question that the partners and friends of many pet lovers will have asked themselves many times. Assuming that both creature and human matter greatly to you, if an occasion arose when the need of each was as equally great and you had to choose the comfort/distress/life of one over the other, and knowing that not to exercise a choice would result in the same ill fortune for both; which would matter most; pet or person?
The idea that some lives matter less than others is a perspective so warped and destructive that it leads to the abandonment of all feeling that was ever meant to measure pain. We see a creature in obvious distress and the vast majority of us will instantly empathise with its plight and identify with its desolate state of being.
Yet, substitute this sorry creature for one in human form, and our capacity to identify begins to wane as we start to look for reasons which brought this situation about, instead of concentrating upon the immediate effects of the human heartache witnessed. The mass migration across Europe of the poor and the persecuted currently is such a case in point where we do not wish to upset our own creature comforts by having them land on our shores in large numbers. So we seek legitimate excuses as to why they are in that situation, how much of the fault/choice is theirs and why they shouldn't be where they are!
So often in my life have I witnessed people in deep depression being told to 'Get a grip and snap out of it'. This is invariably said as though to imply they choose to be like that and want to stay like that! Yet, how many of us would witness a helpless bear in a pit of depression and tell it to, 'Get a grip and snap out of it?' We wouldn't, because we would know that the fact it was there at all was not governed by the bear.
There are so many human situations and conditions in life which are not self inflicted and which attract far less of a sensitive and sympathetic response than seeing a deeply depressed creature confined in a helpless state of abandonment. I love animals; all animals whatever their origin or very essence of their nature, but the day I start to love human beings any less is the day I will start to have more animal in me and less humanity!
No animal should ever be caged and no human ever be free to roam in animal domain. The domestication of any animal is just as cruel a thing as the wild nature of man being given unfettered freedom without responsibility. Our care for all animals is a complementary feature of our human compassion, not a substitution." William Forde: May 1st,2016.