So, you mean to tell me that this okay:
But this isn’t:
I don’t think I will take lessons of logic or morality from you.
Today has been rough. I screwed up last night and took the wrong pill at bedtime, so I was up all night. All I wanted to do all day was sleep, but my mistake can’t be visited upon my animals, so I have struggled through today, and spent more time than usual on-line.
Who would have thought that I would actually miss all of the stories about a dead lion? I did. Today’s feeds were filled with issues surrounding Planned Parenthood. I thought that animal welfare drew out the hardliners, but they pale when compared to the supporters/ detractors of Planned Parenthood and there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground,
Everything I have written in the past week is still relevant. People don’t use logic to discuss such matters, but emotion. No problem will ever be solved when emotion drives the discussion. I miss the dead lion.
I won’t wade into the deep waters surrounding PP, but I do want to discuss why the discussion being had is wrong and will not lead anywhere: Nobody is actually listening. NOBODY. Not even your legislators, and that is the reason that the entirety of our government is broken.
Take a look back over the last 2 decades and tell me, are we REALLY better off? Our debt has exploded, we have been attacked on our own soil, we have open floodgates for people entering the country illegally, we have been wars that have been mild failures at best, we have begun negotiating with terrorists, we have open relations with a country without demanding they turn over a cop-killer, we have allowed Iran some hope of nuclear weaponry without turning over the Americans they are holding, the rich are getting richer while the working poor are getting poorer, hate pervades our society, and NOBODY IS LISTENING!
We spew forth OUR ideals, OUR beliefs, OUR wants, but we never stop to actually listening to what that OTHER person is saying about their ideals, their beliefs, their wants. So, we stay here treading water, as a country, drowning and hoping for a lifeline, but unwilling to make the effort to actually swim to shore.
We have REAL and severe issues in this country– huge problems, but everyone wants a “soundbite” fix, and folks, that is never going to work. We need people who that will actually WORK for US, and stop pandering to special interests and hardline primary voters. Of course, we have created this system. We don’t vote. We bitch and complain, but we don’t vote and the majority of us that actually vote, don’t vote in the primaries, so we end up with politicians that are pandering to the extremes of society, because they actually vote in the primaries, and the rest of us are left treading water because we were unwilling to actually make the change we want all because we couldn’t be bothered to go and vote. The major reason that people don’t vote is because they say that the politicians don’t listen, they don’t represent them, they lie, they cheat and they steal. Well, AMERICA, the easiest and best way to fix this is to VOTE for anyone that is NOT an incumbent. Our elected officials have learned over the decades that if they can get in office, it will be almost impossible to get them out, so they don’t have to listen to us. They can pander to the big-money guys knowing the rubes back home will keep them in office. So, stop listening to anything they say for the next 10 years, and just keep voting them out! You will see a dramatic shift in our leadership and their ability to actually listen and work together because then it will be in THEIR best interest if they hope to be re-elected.
Quit fighting, America, and start listening. Don’t waste your life. Don’t hate. LISTEN! Please know that you aren’t always right, but you aren’t always wrong. Share, but open yourself up to the grays.When you learn to see the gray, you will see the beauty that is all around us. You might even be able to recognize that sometimes a dead lion is really just a dead lion.
It’s just a matter of perspective! See, once again, we are in that lovely area known as gray, or as I call it… REALITY.
A recent online discussion came about surrounding breeders and the separation that exists amongst us all. No two breeders will do things the same way, or believe the same things. All of our past experiences make up who we are in the present, and they tint the way we see life, and they affect our very belief systems. Since nobody has lived my life, they can’t possibly see life the way I see it. At the very root of the human condition is a duality… the “spirit against the flesh,” the “yin and yang, the light and the dark, the very individual experience of life versus the common and shared experience of life.
“Judge not, lest ye be judged” — “Walk a mile in my shoes”
Somehow, it seems, the first reaction to almost any situation is to lay judgement on it based on our “perception” that is clouded by our experiences. As society has changed, and this country has changed, and technology has changed and government has changed, more and more people are disconnected with the actual realities of life. Life and Death are things that have become so sterilized, that most people don’t realize that neither of these events are truly sterile. Birth is a messy business; it is disgusting, wet and smelly but the most beautiful thing comes from it… LIFE. Very few animals (including people) are fortunate to experience a truly peaceful death. Death can be violent, disgusting, and messy, but it also brings peace. In death, there is no pain, no hunger, no struggle. It is the end of a journey, and no matter how death comes, it completes the cycle. We, as a society, try to avoid “death” and have sterilized our customs dealing with the dead. So, if you have never experienced the reality of these circumstances, you can’t really understand the perspective of those that deal with it on a daily basis.
Take the lion. First-world countries are in an outrage while the third-world countries are wondering “what lion”? It is a matter of perspective! Here we complain about how someone could kill a lion, and there they are hoping some other wealthy individual will come and pay to kill another literal man-eater. I guess it is easy to love a lion that lives 9,000 miles away without ever thinking about the perspective of those that live with them in their backyard, literally.
The same can be said for the person that is looking at buying a puppy. Their experiences, or lack thereof, cloud their view or perspective of how a puppy should be raised. Most of the people who are buying a puppy have never actually raised a litter of puppies, so what they have most likely experienced is a sterilized version of what a breeder SHOULD BE, and what they have yet to figure out is that the sterilized version that they have been told come from other people who have never raised a litter of puppies. Very often, the people pushing that sterilized view actually don’t believe anyone should even be buying a puppy.
The truth is, raising multiple dogs is messy. Dogs make poop, they roll in the dirt, they slobber, they lick themselves, some eat poop, they lick each other, they shed, they shake the dirt they have rolled in off of their bodies, and that dirt flies EVERYWHERE, and with that dirt, hair and dander flies everywhere. It is messy, but most people have no experience with that reality, so they judge others on a reality of which they have never lived. They don’t walk a mile in my shoes, but they know what they have been told, and what they have been told is a lie.
I like dogs, especially mine. I respect dogs for being exactly what they are and don’t try to anthropomorphize them into little humans that walk on four legs. I would be doing them a disservice if I did that. My house isn’t always immaculate, but my dogs are happy. If given the choice between dusting or playing with my dogs, I will most likely choose playing with my dogs, unless someone is coming to my house. Then, I put them in their “room” like little hot-house flowers, and scrub my home from top to bottom. I have to prepare it for an unreal reality to appease the perspective of people whose only version of reality is based on a lie.
Then, even though most breeders feel this pressure to present an unreal reality, we then turn around and let our reality cloud our judgement of another breeder’s reality. Rather than learn from our own experience, we tread the same waters as those people with the sterilized view, and expect others to do the things we do for the reasons we do even though they have not lived our life or we theirs.
Floating about social media is an image of dogs in double-decker runs with more dogs in pens in the yard. The covering of the outside pens is tin, and tin rusts. Now, it is my understanding that the image is from the 1980s… THREE DECADES AGO, but, when we see that image, we automatically view it with the tinted lens of our experiences, and not that of the owner of those dogs, or even of the dogs themselves. I recently saw images of an Amish Kennel. Now, I, like most of you, have heard the horror stories surrounding the Amish. Well, this facility was not only immaculate, but it was CUTE! Who could disparage this facility? Almost anyone that has not experienced life in the exact same manner as that Amish breeder, and most especially, people who have never experienced the reality of a breeder. You see, dogs experience life as they know it. They are not born with an innate sense that they belong on a couch. Many dogs DO NOT belong on your couch, or even in your home! Many dogs would actually be happier if they were allowed to more dog-like and less like the baby-dolls we treat them as.
Here is a “for instance”: I got my old girl Ginny when she was 5. I had visited her several times at her breeder’s kennel. I liked her. I really liked her. She was as happy a dog I had ever known and everything a Golden should be and she had been raised in a kennel. I brought her home, and she became an anxious mess. The change in the house from wood flooring to stone caused her anxiety. The noises in the house flipped her out. She spent the first 2 years going outside and being happy as a clam, and a hermit that would run into her crate and stay there until she could go back outside. She slowly got to where she would sleep on the dog bed. Then the ottoman. Then the dog’s settee, and now, if she comes inside too late to get the couch, she walks around sulking, and at 12, will pick up a toy and start throwing it in the air, to get the couch hogs off to play, which is when she drops the toy and hightails it to the couch. The point is, given a choice at 5 years old, she would have chosen the kennel. She didn’t know anything else. She was happy. It was ME that changed her. I put my ideals and my perspective of what she “should” want onto her. It made me “feel good” to think that I was pampering her, when in reality I put her through much stress because I was making her be the dog that I felt that she should want to be.
It’s sad that we do this to our dogs– that we put our own emotional needs onto them– that they have to bear the weight or our own frail duality. What is even sadder, though, is when we allow that frailty affect our fellow man. It’s definitely all about your perspective.
For a couple of years, I have been seriously worried about what I see as a complete breakdown of logical thought in this country, and to be completely honest, I have no clue in how to rectify this situation, or even how to reach a single individual.
As a kid, one of the occupations I imagined being was a teacher. I always liked my teachers, even though some were harder to like than others. I respected them and was always sad at the end of the school year that they would be gone from my life forever. The thing that I learned fairly quickly when I was in college, though, was that in order for me to be a “good” teacher, I would have to fight every natural urge that is within my being. I have also found that not everbody SHOULD do something, even if they “can.” So, as my father will tell you, he paid for his son to become a doctor of picking up dog crap. Hey, I am good at it, and can spot a pile from across the yard and even tell you which dog dropped it!
So, no, I don’t have the patience that is required to be a teacher of humans. As I have previously mentioned, people are filled with emotions, and tend to let those emotions rule their lives, and block their minds. You can’t learn unless you are willing to stop listening to your “heart” and start using your mind. The former is easy, the latter– not so much.
So, for someone that has learned that those “emotions” can be misleading, blinding and crippling trying to converse with someone that hasn’t is akin to being tied down while someone yanks out all of the hair on my body– ONE. BY. ONE. That is one reason why I finally decided to try and write this blog. I don’t have to converse with people (meaning getting responses that are illogical and off-topic so as to avoid the REAL topic) but can hopefully impart a logical look at the world, this very UNreal world we are all living in, in hopes that I can reach a few hearts that can help spark a change.
So, the question has become, how do I get people to actually read this drivel, in hopes that even one person will get it? I looked at the stats concerning this weeks entries and couldn’t have been more surprised by the results. The week started very slow, even though those were some beautiful posts, BUT those posts didn’t have any pictures. My favorite post I wrote this week concerned the logic behing illogical thinking. That one was right in my wheelhouse and I just FEEL that post! I put a beautiful picture at the beginning. A picture I use sometimes to relax before meditating. It only got a few more views than the other two. The last post of the week had a graphic meme I created, that could be considered “controversial” and laid out a very simple, albeit long, argument. The numbers went through the roof. I was floored. I was expecting that post to really turn people off, and to be overrun with negative comments. I wasn’t! It resonated with people. I got lovely comments and feedback. I did receive one comment that I didn’t approve for publishing; not because it was negative– it wasn’t– but it made a fallacious statement that wasn’t logical, and to me, that’s a greater sin than being rude!
So, as I have watched social media since its inception, I shouldn’t have been surprised. What we say is not really what we mean. You often see people posting they don’t want to see more awful news, they are tired of the drama, of the hate, of the images of the sick and dying, the neglected and abused. They want to see and hear GOOD news, uplifting stories, things that aren’t controversial– unicorns farting rainbows! They say it, but they don’t mean it.
Sadness, true, deep sadness, is an amazingly powerful emotion! Probably the most powerful. It can make you reach into your core and either relate, or cause a sense of gratitude. Seeing people happy and content usually evokes the exact opposite response in humans, it evokes jealousy, envy and even rage! Strange isn’t it? We all experience pain, we feel it to our very core, but happiness, is usually very fleeting. It comes, it goes. So, when we see OTHERS happy, we want it, and if we aren’t happy at that very moment, their joy can really piss you off!
So, as much as we proclaim what we want, we don’t actually choose that. It is illogical. Once again, I understand it, but it doesn’t make it right.
Look at your social media feeds. One day, just scroll through them and log your response to the stories. Be honest. You may find it freeing to examine your actions, I usually do. Now, if you proclaim you are for peace, love and harmony, don’t comment on anything negative! Just DON’T. Not that day. Not the next, either. Go back to your log and look up those stories on the third day, and if it still evokes the same response, think about why. Does it affect you or someone you love? Will it affect your future? If not, just move on.
The problem is, nobody will do this. I know that. I didn’t fall off the turnip truck just yesterday. I get it. Jon Katz has mentioned that Love will help us overcome the hate of our detractors. That may be, but you have to get them to hear your message, and in order for that to happen, I am convinced that you have to have a good “soundbite” interesting graphics, and be a bit controversial.
Now, let’s join hands and sing Kumbaya!
I know you have seen a meme or heard someone say, “Adopt, Don’t Shop.” It is one of those things I call “feel-good” stupidity. We suffer from all sorts of feel-good stupidity, and have even had such thinking become so pervasive in our society that we now not only have, but welcome and encourage “feel-good laws.” Laws that serve no purpose in reality except to grow government, and in order to support and enforce these feel-good laws we have to either pay more taxes, or kick the can down the road and borrow the money from another country so that our great-great-great grandchildren can pay for these idiotic laws and regulations– all so we can “feel-good” and “enlightened.” It isn’t enlightenment to force future generations to pay for your stupidity. 30 years ago, as a young boy, I could have never imagined the world that we live in, a world that is run on emotion, and NOT logic.
As a boy, I remember nobody batting an eye about someone bringing home a new puppy that they bought from an ad in the newspaper. Heck, that is where the majority of puppies were sold. Every mall had a pet-store and I always had to go and look at the puppies. We never bought a puppy from a pet store. Why would we? It was cheaper to buy a paper and peruse the Classified ads where you would see dozens, if not hundreds, of ads for puppies for sale. Have you picked up a paper recently and looked in the classifieds for a puppy? There may be an ad or two, but there may be none. Some papers have stopped taking ads for animals for sale while freely having an adoptable animal section. So, where is the average person supposed to go to buy a puppy? Forget a pet store, because cities across this country are outlawing the sales of puppies in pet stores, while they allow those same stores (like the aforementioned newspapers) to have “adoptable” animals. Here’s the truth, pet store puppies come from one of the most regulated industries in this country– the commercial breeder. These breeders have a literal book of regulations that they have to follow by the federal government, and then they have literally have ANOTHER BOOK of regulations that they have to follow by their state, and they may very well have even more regulations added to the mountains they already have by their county and/or township. All of these regulations are mostly what I would call the “anti-feel-good regulations.” They are in place to ensure that these animals are NOT treated as pets, but as livestock. It isn’t the breeders that have chosen this, but a bureaucracy that has been heavily lobbied by groups like HSUS, ASPCA, PeTA, et.al. Here’s the thing, these organizations LOBBIED FOR these regulations, and now they sell their lies to an ignorant public about how inhumane these conditions are and that all commercial breeders should be outlawed, and if we can’t do that, we should outlaw the pet stores where they sell their puppies! Do you feel duped, yet? If not, you should.
Making the rounds on social media are memes of “supposed” commercial kennels, proclaiming that is where the pet store puppies come from. These people producing these memes know full-well that these images are not from CURRENT licensed kennels. They know that they are from either decades ago, or from even overseas “dog farms.” (Yes, we are not the only country that breeds and sells dogs for various reasons.) Now, you may be saying to yourself, “But my friend who shows dogs shared that meme!” Yep, I believe it. They have been duped, too. As the Animal Rights Terrorists began their campaigns to end companion animals, they went to the show communities and convinced us of the evils of the commercial breeder, and that we, along with the ARTs, needed to banish these people from the earth because we had to work together to protect the breeds we love so they won’t be tarnished by some evil commercial kennel! Now, some of us saw the lie, some of us didn’t. Some of us thought we could use the ARTs to take out the competition so we would have a larger share of the puppy-buying public!
Some show people have yet to wake up to the reality, and they continue to behave like a jew working for the nazis– hoping and praying that in the end they will be spared. They won’t. The new push is against all of those breeders that aren’t regulated. Now, the story they are sellin is that it isn’t “really” the commercial kennels (because they know how over-regulated they are) that are the problem, it is all of those people who are breeding but aren’t regulated and are “hiding”… you guessed it, that hobby/ show breeder! See, this is a two-fold attack. 1) Get the show people to share memes about the evils of the places where pet store puppies come from so we can outlaw pet store puppy sales and 2) Inform the public that they should never buy a puppy from a non-USDA licensed breeder (you know, the show breeder, because the USDA breeder has been put out of business because they have taken away their ability to sell their puppies.)
Add all of this to pictures of puppies suffering in shelters and you have effectively convinced the public that it is not only helping end a problem, but that it is almost impossible to find an actual breeder that fits into their “image of humane.” Afterall, it is all those horrible breeders of purebred dogs that are the cause of the millions of mutts that are destroyed every year. How that works, I am not exactly sure, but it sure makes me feel-good to know I am saving it! And, oh look, this puppy you just “adopted” only cost $399 and is going to be the perfect small dog for your family. Tell me, a year later, how much have you actually spent on that 80 pound aggressive mongrel that actually came from a pack of wild dogs in Taiwan? Oh, you didn’t realize that is where it came from. Oh my, the dog didn’t work out in your house? How does that guilt trip feel when you call the rescue to ask for help? Wouldn’t it have been nice to know exactly where your puppy came from, who its parents were, and that if there was a problem, that someone was willing to work with you to rectify it? It probably would have, but that is all in the past, because you wanted to “feel-good”.
I must say, that I don’t know why people don’t wake up to reality except that reality is hard, and we all would rather live in some fairy tale, but we forget that the real fairy tales were GRIMM. To me, the meme at the beginning of this post is actually more important. Kids are homeless, through zero fault of their own. KIDS— HUMANS! Why do we do more for homeless animals, neglected animals than we do for our own? It is outrageous that we as a society think it is more appropriate to regulate the breeding of a DOG than it is a HUMAN! How can we support legislation that restricts your ability to OWN a pet because it “might” be abused or neglected, when every day in this country and around the world there is real human suffering, children are born every day into abusive and neglectful homes.
Do you want to know why we don’t require a license to have kids? It is simple, we aren’t quite “enlightened” enough… yet!
Now if that doesn’t scare you to your core nothing will.
Not many people see a picture of a dead lion and feel all warm and fuzzy (unless, of course, you are a Zimbabwean who grew up in the bush terrified of the roars at night). People hate to see images of dead animals or hear stories of suffering animals. So do I. I remember going to the “camp” when I was a pre-teen with my Pappie and Dad and brother to go “hunting.” I was in the stand the day my dad killed his first deer, but I, of course, was asleep on the floor. It wasn’t until the 4th rifle blast that I woke up. I remember walking the woods following the blood trail to find the dead deer. I remember the dragging it out of the woods and taking it to the club to dress it. I was intensely fascinated with the inner working of the deer, but was so sad at the same time. I remember in my late teens being present when one of my family’s workers was slaughtering pigs. Again, I was fascinated and curious about the process that would bring food to the table, but by now I was also repulsed by it.
Those feelings are in direct contrast to when I was a young boy on my cousin’s farm and they would slaughter the hogs or chickens or deer or cows. Then, as a young boy, I understood the natural order of things in a way that was not yet clouded by misplaced emotions. I was still innocent.
Life takes its toll on us all. It molds us, changes us and can even be the kiln that fires us and makes us rigid in our beliefs, unable and unwilling to be open to new ideas, new truths.
So, when most of us see an animal, we see a truth that is in fact a lie. We see animals as “better” than people, as innocent, as pure– something that no human is, so therefore, better than us. This is a lie. It is a falsehood. It is not reality.
The truth is that no animal can be innocent, by the very fact that it can’t be guilty. You can’t have innocence without guilt, good without bad, evil without holy, light without dark. That is reality, that is truth.
Animals are spectacular creatures, and we are amazed by them, drawn to them and in awe of them. Why? Because of their simplicity. Unlike man, their choices are not made by a complex series of thoughts and planning. They are innate, born from within. They live in the moment with no real “thought” about the future or the past. The exact opposite of man. We are so completely wrapped in thought about the things of the past and our plans for the future that we rarely live in the present.
That is why we can feel such strong emotions toward animals. I have found that those we deeply and intensely LOVE hold the quailities that we wish to emulate. The great loves of my life were of people that I can only describe as Holy, and as Love themselves. Their actions in life were for the well-being of others over and above themselves. The people that I have felt the most amount of distaste for are those that have hurt me emotionally (I extended myself/ my love to them to not have it reciprocated in a like manner), or people that hold or exude a quality(s) that I myself possess and that I wish to change about myself.
I have never met a man that hasn’t been deeply hurt by another man and I have yet to meet a man that has been emotionally hurt in that same way by an animal. So, as humans, we tend to reach out to those that offer comfort and to avoid pain and many of us then turn to animals who do not have the capabilities to hurt us in the way another human can.
Then we, fractured human beings, see an image of a man standing next to a carcass of a majestic animal wearing a smile or a puppy in a cage et.al., and we have a CHOICE (unlike a baser animal) to make. We can either process the complex series of thoughts that are taking place in our very complex brains or we can be drawn by the baser emotions that we feel. Stopping and thinking is complex, and does nothing to soothe “our heart.” The thought process may tell you that you don’t have all of the information to proceed and that you need to research this matter, or even that this matter REALLY doesn’t have any effect on you or your life. OR you can listen to your “heart” which may tell you that you should HATE that person and do or say something to bring about vengeance for the dead beast against his “murderer.” And in that very instant that you choose to listen to your “wounded heart” you have exemplified what you despise in the hunter– his PERCEIVED inability to care, which is exactly what you have just done yourself.
I understand why people choose that course, but it doesn’t mean that they are right. It is a course of action that no animal, that they espouse to love, would ever take.
So, everywhere on social media is the story of a dentist that went on a trophy hunting trip in Africa and killed a “popular” lion. Now, it seems, in order to prove you love animals, you have to villify this man and call for him to be shot, tortured and run out of business. That makes sense, I guess, until you realize that HUMANS are animals. In fact, I am much more forgiving to humans because we can actually make the choice to not hate, especially when the facts surrounding such a case are so sketchy.
Why, do we humans, feel the need to rush to judgement? As soon as we see a story, or hear bits of a story, we immediately take a side. Americans seem to be the worst at this, which I find exceedingly odd since we have a justice system that proclaims EVERYONE is INNOCENT until PROVEN GUILTY in a COURT OF LAW. It doesn’t seem we care much about what the courts think, so we immediately condemn people in the court of public opinion. Trust me when I tell you, again today, that this situation, like life, is not as simple as black or white.
Be careful of the hate you spread, because chances are good that it can be pointed back at you.