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April 24, 2019

Calling on all Animal Advocates: Consider your Audience

Have you always been an animal lover? I have. Ever since I was aware I existed, I enjoyed a special connection to animals, advocated for their joy and their rumbling stomachs. As a woman mid-life, it’s the focus of my writing, an area of soul concern. I found accreditation for my passion through the discipline of Ecopsychology @ Naropa Institute, which approaches this work from a Buddhist perspective…with people and nature, intertwined.

So it disturbs my heart and sets my brain swirling when I see other similarly situated, working to home a wayward canine soul, who share pictures so graphic and disturbing that the image stays with me for days. Have you ever had that experience, you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed or Facebook post and come across an image of an abused animal so horrific, it gave you nightmares?

As a sensitive rescue dog advocate, what I want to say for our movement is, Consider the audience, dear friend. I don’t need so much graphic imagery, to understand the need…

In a society rewarding the loudest and the brashest with media attention, it’s easy to jump onto a bandwagon and follow a line of logic that says, the more graphic, the better. It’s also far too easy to sink into a mentality that supports a beating people over the heads with shock and violence. Maybe some have become desensitized to the suffering of others and need alarming images to evoke feelings of compassion. It’s been the way of the media for the history of our humanity – but is this the right way to solicit support from an animal loving group of supporters?

For me, I don’t need a kick in the head to donate. I need to see more beauty and love in the world, and know just enough of a particular animal’s need in order to advocate for their well being, care for their life or pass on the message to a friend with room in their backyard. I’m going out on a limb here to say that I’ll bet my fellow animal lovers feel the same way.

So, what I want to say to my fellow advocates in rescue, is that our line of work is not just a heart-centered, soul-derived, life-draining and life-receiving effort – it’s a give-and-take with other like-minded hearts and kindred spirits in our communication, for the animals involved. I want to say, please to all of us – to remember that the images and stories we share are so very impactful, and that in this particular time in our culture, do we all need to be kicked in the heart with an image that will haunt us for days?

Here’s what I hold out for us animal advocates to bear in mind the next time we share of animal suffering or speak of an animal in need, what I’d like to say to the communicators among us:

It isn’t that we don’t see them

Hearts as ours see them purely

It isn’t that we don’t care about them

Minds as ours couldn’t care more deeply

It isn’t that we don’t want to help more than we are

Beings as ours are spent, overwhelmed

For the rescuer of lives so discarded, disregarded and dismissed,

For the rescuer of a heart so expanded

A soul so deep

A mind so troubled for the suffering of it all

We live to preserve

Pace ourselves, so as to breathe

This is a long life, that of ours of rescuing

This is a long path, that of caring of the well being of others

In a world replete with energies destructive and damaging

To the beauty of all that comes through

We must preserve and maintain

For we want to be here and remain

As long as we can

To feel the breath of the next sweet dog or softly purring abandoned cat

To fill our hearts with the drink of safety

So as to know the breath of contentment and the peace rising with ease

In the next one we rescued, and the one thereafter…

***

May we all communicate with the hearts of others in mind…

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