Larry and I were talking about hunting, and I was getting upset.
We live in an area of our state where wearing camouflage is a symbol of a way of life that includes viewing hunting as a sport. Where the weekly paper that I used to report for posts photos of hunters and their trophy deer, hunters old and young proudly posing while holding up the head of a dead animal.
I understand hunting when the meat from the hunt is needed for survival or will be a staple in a family’s meals. But hunting as a sport, taking pleasure in taking the life of another being—I cannot support.
Larry doesn’t either, though when he was a young man he went hunting with his cousins.
“I liked that peaceful feeling of being out in the woods where it was so quiet,” he said.
“There’s nothing peaceful about hunting,” I said. And my voice was raised a bit, even though we were sitting in a restaurant at the time.
Larry said he just meant it was peaceful being out in nature. I was getting too upset in considering different viewpoints, he said.
“I will always get upset when it comes to animals,” I said.
I wasn’t angry with Larry. I understood what he was saying. But I was frustrated and angry with the community in which I live.
With the indiscriminate killing of animals.
With localities that don’t allocate the money and support to have no-kill shelters.
|The Campbell County (Virginia) Animal Shelter, |
where dedicated staff and volunteers do the most for the animals
that they can with the resources they have.
With people who think cats are “just cats” or dogs are “just dogs.” Or any animal is “just an animal.”
With those who show how much they care about their dogs by chaining them up outside.
With people who refuse to spay or neuter their pets.
With nominal ownership of pets.
And most of all, frustrated and angry with myself because I can’t save all the homeless and forgotten animals.
Of course, I know intellectually that I can’t save them all. And I understand that there are different and valid perspectives on the importance of animals, and that the most important thing is that they are loved and cared for. Not everyone has to value them in the same way I do in order for the animals to live good lives.
So I try with my writing, with my interactions with co-workers and friends, with the things I share on social media, with my help and encouragement. With my small monetary gifts to animals in need. With the website administration for the volunteer group that works with Animal Control in my county. I try to be a voice for animals.
Sometimes I believe my voice falls on mostly deaf ears. But I have to keep on trying.
Please share some of the ways you are a voice for the animals.