Tuesday, May 10, 2011

If I Didn't Care About Animals

Lately I've been wondering what my life would like if I didn't care so much about animals.  I think about other people who have perfectly clean homes, unfrayed corners of their couch, and sleep in beds without dog or cat hair. 

Sometimes people send me videos of Chinese people killing cats and dogs for food, or electrocuting elephants, or clubbing baby seals.  I can't watch them.  I push the *delete* button as quickly as I would brush a bumble bee off my arm.  You're preaching to the choir when you send me those videos.  I know it's horrific and I wish I didn't get hurt so badly when I watch those horrible videos. 

So what would my life be like if I didn't get warm and fuzzy when I receive the following pictures of our "Dumpster kittens" - found in a plastic garbage bag in a dumpster - now safe in a foster home (with some new friends!)

 My life would be FAR less complicated if I didn't care about animals.  If I didn't care about animals, I wouldn't have to look at the smashed squirrel in the road to see if it was still alive or suffering.  I could just drive by! 

If I didn't care about animals, I wouldn't be grieving with a fellow rescuer about the prospect of euthanizing one of their own rescued cats. 

I was going to make a list of how my life would be different if I didn't care about animals...but I realized the list is just too long.  But certainly if THAT list is long, wouldn't the list FOR LOVING ANIMALS be longer??    Sometimes I wish I had a "normal life" - I've had plenty of chances to live that life.  But I always come back to *this* life. 

I used to be married to a man that barely tolerated animals.  We had a dog that he wouldn't let walk in our backyard for fear it would "screw up the grass".  Knowing the kind of person that I am, how on earth did I survive 20 years with that b.s.? 

Wow..where is this blog post going?  No clue.  Just rambling thoughts and I'm too tired today to edit it... :)

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beth, I often feel the same. When I'm out with Matt, I'm always looking out for stray dogs or cats - worrying immediately if I see a dog on its own and only feeling better once I've spotted the owner. I can't drive past a field of sheep without making sure none are in the water or on their backs. My bed is covered in cat hair, the last time my house was *truly* clean was in 1857 and as soon as one of the cats so much as twitches in a way I have never seen before, I worry it's a sign of something horrible...

I too, *always* delete awful videos about animals. I know it happens and I know it is terrible but I simply cannot watch it without the images burning themselves on my retinas and my brain making it the feature performance of the next 14 nights.

So yes, maybe life would be a little easier if I didn't care but you know, it would be *so* empty!
And moreover, it wouldn't be *my* life :-)

The pictures of the dumpster kittens made my day by the way :D Look at them!! They are awesome!!

Cindy (and the guys)

House of the Discarded said...

Aren't those DOGS the best too?!!! What patience!

selkie said...

OMG - that picture is so INCREDIBLY cute!! and Beth, I know exactly what you mean. There are times when just reading some of the blogs I follow leaves me in tears and I feel so defeated. That is why it is so encouraging to see pictures like this- and know there truly are a LOT of people out there that care.

Anonymous said...

OMG Dumpster kittens! And OMG awesome dogs! They need to get many, many treats and kisses. These are why animals are awesome.

Renee

Fisher and Staff said...

You can call it rambling, but I think not. So many pet people see clearly what you are talking about. People who love animals just cannot do without them. I think that's some sort of Universal Law. Love your writings!

hmacross said...

We all have something we are meant to do. If you didn't love and rescue animals, you wouldn't be living your life, you'd be living someone else's life. YOu'll alwasy be a second best somebody else.

I love the pictures of the dogs & kittens. The dog in the second picture looks like he is saying "I can't come right now, the kitten is sleeping'.

Faith J. said...

I know what you mean. I view my love for animals as a gift from God, and it is part of who I am. I don't try to run from it, I just accept it, and all the pain that comes with it. Some people he gives tender hearts towards different problems in the world, and I think living it out is part of his plan to help others.

I wish I could drive down a street without looking for stray cats. I can't sleep if I have heard about a suffering cat, or if it's below freezing outside. But I am doing my part by rescuing and rehoming those I do come across. The rest of the world can take care of itself, but I always answer the Call of the Cat!

Ellstar said...

"Chinese people?" :/ We, Canadians, are seal clubbers, white, Inuit and otherwise. Not a great generalization for your example.

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

Omigosh! I love big doggies with little kittens. I love my 20 pound Speedy guy letting little ones play with his tail and looking at me with the "please, make them stop" when they try to nurse on him. I thought about what it would be like, a life without animals and the need to save them, when I change the couch covers and push the stuffing back in and re-pin the towel that holds it there. When I pick the cat hair out of my coffee, yet again, before taking a sip. Then I see my friends, the ones with the perfect furniture, clean house and no fur in their food. They talk about, well, nothing. They're boring! Really, give me a friend who calls me at 4 am and yells into the phone "the dog's mouth is bleeding, come help me!" only to drop the phone and come back two minutes later to say "never mind, the dumb thing ate a lipstick. But it's okay, it's a color I never wear." Seriously, I'm almost afraid to sit on furniture that isn't covered and ratty. *sigh* Maybe someday I'll have floors without an inch of fur (hey, it protects the carpet from stains), sofas and chairs that don't have holes and stuffing coming out and food without our favorite condiment (cat hair). But then, what will I do for fun?

Daniela6968 said...

I, personally, THANK GOD, you love animals.

After reading your blog for the last year or so, I am wanting to get into fostering but, have no clue how to start. Any advice is most welcome.

Thank you, again, for all you do.

Caroline said...

Your blog spoke to all of us, we can all relate, everyday I drive to work on squirrel alert, hoping I don't see any on the road and telling them to get back on the sidewalk and no the grass isn't greener on the otherside of the road. Just last week on tv I have seen ppl that didn't help an animal that should have and on Sunday I had to drive by a pigeon on the side of the DVP (I wasn't the driver and the driver wasn't stopping). But thank goodness for those we can save. Love the dog pics typical golden. Dogs drool and cats rule in that house.

House of the Discarded said...

Ellstar: I was referring to the video from China depicting citizens of China killing cats and dogs for food. It wasn't a generalization, but a statement of fact.

-B

House of the Discarded said...

Daniela: I'm happy to give advice on how to foster! Send me an email :)

B

Alison said...

Aww, I love those pictures!

As a lifelong animal lover myself, I know what you mean! I think being in touch with our feelings towards animals can sometimes be a burden but is also so rewarding and life-changing. I'm glad that you've found a husband so supportive of your rescue work!

I know this can be a very touchy subject, and I'm not trying to be confrontational, but I was wondering if you and the other commenters are vegan? I don't remember you talking about vegetarianism one way or another before.

It took me a long time to make the connection between the animals I allow myself to be concerned for (cats, dogs, squirrels, etc.) with the animals that I ate. They all have similar needs and desires, and I realized that my years of eating animal products directly contributed to suffering. I forced myself to watch some of the upsetting undercover farm videos (Earthlings is an AMAZING movie but so so hard to watch), and made the decision right then and there to stop. I feel cleaner, healthier, and happier now, and feel that I live a live more in line with my core values. (The food thing takes a few weeks to get used to, but there are so many amazing vegan cookbooks out there now, and vegan-friendly restaurants. The food has come a long way since the flavourless veg cuisine of the 70's and 80's!)

karen said...

As i write this the tumbleweeds of kitty hair are sailing down kitchen floor....

A life without the love of animals is not a life... it is just existence.

The cups in Chapters are correct:
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT THE WORLD TO SEE.

Keep it up

Anonymous said...

I think there are other races that are capable of killing cats whether it is for food or whatever their insane reason is. Comments slanted toward a singular race, such as Chinese, are really not appropriate and somewhat symptomatic of a biggot.

House of the Discarded said...

Anonymous: Those who know me, know that I'm far from being a biggot. :) The reference to the Chinese, was pertaining to the popular video that was circulating around the internet and nothing more. But thanks for your concern anyway.

Anonymous said...

Wow, anonymous, you feel so strongly about this that you're taking the time to comment on this blog, yet you do so anonymously. Yeah, you feel strongly alright. Also, if you knew Beth at all, you would know she's not a bigot. I, for one, understood that Beth was just reporting what the video had been about, not suggesting that all Chinese people are cat-murdering evil-doers.

When did mentioning someone's nationality (when reporting facts) become a sign of bigotry? Did I miss a memo?

Obviously I do nat want to start a slanging match, so feel free not to publish this comment if you think it might start one Beth, but I simply cannot sit here and read what they're saying about you without speaking up.

Cindy (and the gang)

Anonymous said...

Ellstar, those are three different examples - killing cats and dogs, electrocuting elephants, and clubbing seals. Not that any one culture does all three. No country, race, or culture has a monopoly on cruelty. Beth knows that, of course. She was referring to a specific video that was circulated a while ago, and then two other issues of cruelty. Don't worry! Beth's no bigot. :)

Renee

Josie said...

it's nice-the rambling posts are human.
(not that the other posts aren't!)

I have to laugh...and my mum does too. As much as I love animals, in the past I sucked with the responsibility. I never helped (hardly ever) with litter duty. Now? I'm scooping multiple times a day and sweeping multiple times a day.

First time I hit a squirrel I cried all the way home.

I'm sensitive by nature...I can't stand to watch the videos either. I'll try...for the sake of educating myself. Doesn't last long.

Tina said...

Beth you may have seen this before but your blog today made me think of it and I just had to share......"I looked at all the caged animals in the shelter, the cast offs of human society. I saw in their eyes love, hope, fear, dread, sadness and betrayal. I was angry. "God", I said, "Why don't you do something?" And God replied "I did. I created you." He called all of us animal lovers to look after His creation and we're all in good company! Besides what can make you forget about a crummy day better than a purring kitty licking your face?!

Allison at Novice Life said...

I hear ya Beth! I often wonder the same. What would it be like if I didn't come home from work and find litter on the table and the dining room chair!? If I didn't have a container of dog biscuits on top of my entertainment stand and hay on my bedroom floor that we tracked in from the barn! You are right, life would be less complicated, but then I think, well, less complicated = boring!!!

Heather said...

My husband cares about animals but is really good at not "looking". I can't do that. Reading your blog gives me so much hope and I'm so glad you care about animals. <3

Random Felines said...

Life would be so boring without doing what we do. Would it be easier? Maybe. But I can't imagine not having cats on the bed at night - even when I won't roll over so I don't disturb the cat. :) I can't imagine not having kittens in the bathroom - no matter how many times I have to sweep the floor before I can take a shower...and how many scratches I have on my legs and arms. I say the world needs more people like you that care enough NOT to look the other way....

Rhonda said...

A couple years ago my aged father lost his beloved female cat when he had an accident with the cat in the car (but not in a cat carrier, alas). She ran off into the woods when the ambulance crew was getting him out of the car. I ran ads about the cat for him and got many many calls from people in the farming area where she was lost, and I was amazed at how many people (mostly women but some men too) were regularly feeding feral cats in winter and cats dumped along the road by despicable former owners. So even though we never did find my dad's cat, we hope that she had made her way to some good-hearted person's back yard who cared about homeless cats, and maybe even took her in. I still keep in touch with a few of the people who called.

Another story: a friend of mine who had a life-upsetting breakup with her long-time spouse took up with a complete and total jerk who didn't like her cats. I knew as soon as I met him that he was a loser, and he even caused her to have her cats put down and move away with him (WTF????!!!!). Fortunately, it didn't last long, and she left him and pulled herself together, but is full of guilt at what she'd done. I would never trust someone who disliked animals - there has to be something seriously wrong with him or her.

Rhonda said...

Forgot to say how adorable those dogs and kittens are!

Julie said...

People that don't like animals are just weird to me, and probably need a shrink because its some seeded deep rooted issue that they pretend isnt.

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the pics!! They made me smile and made my morning :)

Julie

havetailwillwag said...

awww... WONDERFUL! that's all i can say. these pictures put a smile on my face.