As an animal lover I love to see videos and pictures of animals doing what they do best – being themselves. Having a website on cats, and ‘meeting’ people from all around the world I get a glimpse into the lives of cats – and occasionally dogs – from other cultures and other countries. The world is shrinking thanks, in part, in being able to access information from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. As a writer, such media platforms are necessary and to this writer, who already is Queen of Procrastination, both – and others like Pinterest – are thieves of time. ‘I’ll just have five minutes seeing what’s going on in the world,’ can easily lose me an hour or more.
The good side of being on social media is that you can be instantly in touch with the latest news – sometimes before it even hits our television or radio screens; I can see what my friends are up to and support them with ‘likes’ or ‘retweets’ to show I’m there and I’m rooting for them or agreeing with something they’ve said.
Another good thing – and there are many others – is that I can post items about the website or my books or even my grandchildren and great grandchildren so that my friends throughout the world can see how blessed I am.
A downside to social media is that there is this pervading culture of filming something bad, sometimes unspeakably bad, and putting it up for us to see. I often sit here crying my eyes out at the cruelty inflicted on poor defenceless animals and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about it. If it’s happening in Korea, India, China or somewhere where English is not the first language, would my voice matter?
I know that I’ve posted things on my Facebook page that have upset people. But sadly, life isn’t about seeing cute puppies or kittens, or the young of any animal, domestic or otherwise, playing in their natural habitat. Sometimes the reality of life is that there are some extremely vile individuals about that like having their disgusting behaviour filmed so that they can brag about their misdeeds.
All living things have souls. All living things are sentient beings so they can feel pain, can know fear, understand kindness, and even love and affection. So when you see these things on Facebook or Twitter what do you do? Do you turn away in disgust? Do you delete it, not wanting it to clutter up your pages? Do you cry out – as I do – at man’s inhumanity to the animals that were placed on this earth, whether it’s our companion animals or those destined for the food chain? Or do you shrug and say ‘well, it’s not happening where I live so there’s nothing I can do about this?’
You have a voice. Will you speak up for the animals? All that they have is you – and me – and between us we can fight to get cruelty stamped out.
How I hear you ask? By writing to the governments of the countries where you see the atrocities taking place; by writing to your local newspapers and radios – give them the links to what you’ve seen so they can check it out for themselves. Newspapers and radios reach a wider audience and collectively can campaign against such barbarism. The Mail newspaper here in the UK successfully campaigned against the use of plastic bags given out in supermarkets because they were irresponsibly being disposed of. Many found their way into the seas, oceans and rivers and wildlife were caught up in them. Here’s a link to a story about a turtle being rescued:
Although this is not a story about cruelty, it shows that media coverage can increase people’s awareness of what is going on around them. I don’t like seeing videos and pictures of animals being tortured or beaten and I forward them on or ‘share’ them so that others can see. And it’s my hope that instead of being annoyed with me for doing that, you’ll get so annoyed with the perpetrators that you’ll take some action instead of unfriending me off Facebook or unfollowing me off Twitter. Regardless of how you feel about me sharing this vile behaviour to our fellow planet sharers, the animals will still suffer. You might think that by unfriending or unfollowing me, the problem will go away. But you and I both know that it won’t. In a world clamouring to be heard above the cacophony of everyday life, let’s raise our voices and do something!
Till the next time