Lovely people, lovely animals,
Several times a year I obtain the physical newsletter of the NGO Wakker Dier (Awake Animal), which aims to improve the lives of animals in animal farms. In this newsletter they show their ongoing campaigns and their successes. What I also like is that they show pictures of animals in good places, to show how it can be done, how it should be. Animals deserve to live under good conditions and to be happy. Just like we do. We are animals too.
Every time I see these beautiful pictures of happy animals I am reminded of how great these animals are. I appreciate them so much. Therefore, I wanted to share some happy animals with you today on World Animal Day!
If you are into animals or have friends who are, you may get overloaded with animal pictures and videos on a daily basis – both happy and painful. My own defence mechanism that I employ regularly is to ignore all these images, because it’s just too much.
So, here is one little cuty that is hard to ignore! I hope you’ll enjoy its face.
If you prefer watching videos: here is a beautiful one by the NGO Compassion in World Farming, which they also shared especially today. It takes some minutes. I’m playing it for the fourth time while making this post. That’s a nice illustration of how not to concentrate.
I just told you about my defence mechanism. So I tend to do that when being confronted with images of animals in factory farms under horrible circumstances. I want to share with you that it took a long time for me to fully realise the following: those mistreated animals in factory farms are the same animals as animals living under ‘happy’ circumstances. The difference is not in the animals, but in how they are treated. I used to feel so much distance between me and those mistreated animals. This distance was caused by the harsh circumstances in which the animals were treated as things. So when I saw these images, I found it hard to fully relate to them. I feel a little uncomfortable admitting this, but it is true.
It was when I volunteered at an animal sanctuary, dedicated to giving former factory farm animals a home and taking care of them well, that I fully connected with them. Being so close to them allowed me to fully acknowledge the animals as they were. This mattered, because then my intellectual knowledge was complemented by the experience of connection, by experiential knowledge. And experiences or experiential knowledge can be more valuable than intellectual knowledge!
Connection is such an important thing. It is important among humans, but it goes further than that. I miss being with non-human animals really. I should spend more time with them! There’s my resolution for the new year. Let’s make it a World Animal Year! 🙂
See you soon!
PS Here is my previous post on my visit to Finland and sanctuary Tuulispää and on how it changed me.