Humans & Other Species
Sometimes I’m really funny. Not today.
Facebook tells stories of animals almost like they were people with Facebook accounts. One that I could never ‘shake’ was about a baby Rhino who couldn’t sleep alone after watching its mother killed by poachers. There was a sweet picture of baby Rhino cuddled against a person’s knees. We even named him Gertje. So far, more than 750,000 people ‘liked’ the story and many forwarded it as well. I wonder if Gertje’s people would have liked the post. I looked at Gertje’s picture for a long time - and return to it now and then since - and wondered that he would snuggle up to the species that murdered his mother. Animals other than us are so forgiving.
But praise be to the humans. The article says his life is ‘looking up,’ that he spends his days with a surrogate mom, a sheep, and wanders the place they are keeping him rolling in the mud and grazing. The life of Reilly for sure. Oh wait, he’s without his own. I’m not sure that is looking up. Wish I could ask him.
One Rhino is killed every ten hours for its tusks. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my, are kept in cages smaller than our bathrooms to be paraded out in front of we smart mammals to entertain us in some odd way that I don’t find entertaining at all in a thing called a circus. We race dogs and then leave them to starve. We push horses to run past their prime and then put them on the streets of New York City where the pavement hurts their hooves and we sit atop carriages while they trot us around the park. I could go on and on.
All of this made me start thinking about the Facebook Rescue accounts set up to help the animals that need rescuing. From us. They need rescuing from our abuse, and our poaching of their lives and their lands. So we all bound in like eager participants in the latest do-gooder forum and offer our paltry dollars and forwarding to friend capabilities and we ‘like’ those pages that make us feel as if we have done something about something that is our fault to begin with.
I’m not sure we should get to speak for other species’ happiness the way we do. I’m not sure they are quite as thrilled with our answers for moving on with their lives after we have taken away their families and their habitats, but if you read it from our point of view, we offer great options for the aftermath. We are very giving in the end after all.
Look, we have to stop these things from happening in the first place. Give your money to change the laws. Let’s put these people away forever. Let’s get the lawmakers off their asses and have them do something to ensure people will think long and hard before abusing anything other than themselves. Let’s be a group larger than the NRA and make change for something good.
I’m sort of tired or I would start it myself. I had a hip replacement just a few months ago, and I’m doing pilates and learning Pickle-ball (a fabulous sport that deserves a better name) and I think I’m done fighting things. Or leading the fight anyway.
But I still think about it all. Looking past the smokes and mirrors of my feel good life and asking myself the difficult questions. I’m not ‘liking’ those posts anymore. I’m going to find a lobby group and give them my money, or what’s left of it after the hip replacement payments I have to make above and beyond what my insurance isn’t paying for. Let’s not go there today.
I’ll be funny again tomorrow. Promise.