My Animal Rights View of Groundhog Day

>>  Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Just a few observations... And this will be the last about death (for a while)... Because I come from a small family, it wasn't until I was well into my 30's that I had ever even gone to a wake, funeral or (human) burial.  I know now that I was spared much grief that others, with many older relatives weren't.  But I did come to learn that this kind of loss is like a chain... Each sorrow links to the one before.  When someone you love is taken from you - There's always the reminder of who has gone before.  I know mourning now... I miss those who aren't with me. When their deaths happened, I cried the tears, felt the sadness (and rage) at all death.  But then the mourning always seems to find a place, somewhere in the heart and mind.  It is there that peace is found and the living can get on with life once more.

This was not the same kind of grief I had when I became aware of the horrible mistreatment, deaths, killings, slaughter and murder of animals.  This was a much different, heavier loss, and anger.  I was so disappointed in myself for not realizing my part in the betrayal to animals sooner!  I found it as sickening to know I'd been an unwitting accomplice to treachery than the vile acts themselves.  The double lie magnified the evil of it all.  I saw in each new day how the world "blessed" the most unholy practices done to animals.  The world (my world) had become an unfamiliar and hostile place.  And in this way, it was a challenge to find that peace to put things in perspective - in the time-frame considered acceptable to experience grief.

The transition from grief is gradual, but inevitable.  Over time the raw reality and pain of loss begin to heal. There is the eventual consolation that "what's done, is done."  But with the grief I felt over the killing of innocent animals it wasn't ever, isn't everjust so, finished and passed. The regret in their deaths is always felt original in it's source.

It's because everyday the holocaust on animals,  is a relentless repeat of the last. It's the un-funny version of Groundhog Day.  How many animals captured? Caged? Confined? Mutilated? Euthanized or butchered?  In the beginning, this new knowledge as to what specific, outrageous, unthinkable, monstrous acts were done to animals, had me startled from my sleep, with an urgency to find out what happened overnight. What damages were done while I found sweet relief from harsh troubles?  Was it a puppy mill found starving dogs?  A lab accused of beating their "subjects"? Did another warehouse full of pigs or chickens go up in flames? What circus was caught brutalizing elephants (again)? And ever present, was always the institutionalized "humane" killing of the docile farmed animals... And the spin from the industry that does such.

Aside from my resolve to not partake in these atrocities and to speak out against them at every turn - I also felt a compelling need to ally with others who did the same.  I had to align with those advocates who were trying to reach me, while I was still in my safe bubble of ignorance. I wanted to say "I'm here. I'm here!  I'm not blind, numb or emotionally dead anymore"!  These people, strangers before, became my support.  I wanted to be theirs as well... They became my soul Sisters and Brothers. My Comrades. My Family.

And so to this Family: In the depths of my deepest despair- whether on-line or not... Knowing you has made all the difference in the world to me.  My burdens are lessened.  My tears are not spilled without comfort.  Through the darkest place my consciousness has ever been - I found friends... I found hope. It would have been unbearable to carry on (another "Groundhog Day") without YOU!


veganelder February 2, 2011 at 2:12 AM  

It is an acute, accurate and telling truth that healing or recovering from the trauma of the animal holocaust cannot occur because the killing just goes on and on.

It may be that the only steps available for those who have "awakened" (practice ethical veganism) that can even approach trauma recovery involve struggling against the continuation of the horrors. (not that struggling against is anything near or like recovery)

To not speak out and advocate against the horror smacks too much of complicitness and silent approval.

I don't know that the pervasiveness and the thoroughness of the destructiveness allows anyone with any glimmer of its recognition to opt for silent non-participation.

The stakes are too high and innocent others are paying with their fear and suffering and blood and lives for the deficiencies and delusions of we who call ourselves human.

Alliance with others who object is small comfort in the face of the enormity of the ongoing bloodletting...but it is a comfort and please be aware that you and your voice serve as a beacon and a refuge for others also. Know this...and thank you.

Bea Elliott February 2, 2011 at 5:06 AM  

Hi veganelder - How true that awakening to ethical veganism is similar to trauma recovery. I would say, I felt all the classic symptoms of PTSD. I know others have described it the same way. I think I aged 10 years in 3. But I wouldn't unknow a single thing, even if I could.

About being (silently) complicit... I don't remember the exact quote but it goes something like this: "The devil loves a silent conscience". If so, than he, (the devil) must be a glutton in the sordid feast of our culture. :(

I hope you know this post was meant to include specifically "you". You always seem to say exactly the right things - with clarity, reason, truth and with justice at it's core. "veganelder" - you chose your name very wisely!
Thank You!

Anonymous February 2, 2011 at 11:51 PM  

What a kind heart you have, Bea. I'm so glad to be embraced by it.

I love the words you use to describe the friends who bring rest to your soul: comfort, beacon, refuge.

You don't have to physically SEE your friends to FEEL their comforting love, do you, Bea?

They don't have to bring you a lighted candle for you to SEE and FEEL them as a beacon of hope, do you?

No and no! :-)

Well, in the same way, I am convinced that whenever our hearts go out to individual animals who are in need of love, they DO feel the power and presence of our love and are comforted by it, even if they never see us -- the senders of the love!

To tell you the truth, I think the Sender of the love is actually the higher power I call GOOD -- yes, that's GOOD with two "Os"! This GOOD is Love itself. As such, this GOOD originates all the love in the universe. It is this GOOD's love that we are made to reflect, as the moon reflects the sun's light!

That means, to me, that although billions of animals appear to our eyes to live a wretched existence and die a miserable death, every time we reach out to them with kind, respectful, gentle thoughts, they are feeling our/their Maker's love, as expressed by us, through us, as us.

And this Love makes ALL the difference to them. It comforts them as soon as they wake up from the belief that they have died. They realize they have NOT died, that they are still very much alive. They feel Love wiping away their tears. As their eyes dry, they start seeing evidence of Love all around them. They see (we all do, really) that Love alone is Life. That Love alone is eternal. That Love alone is power. That Love alone is true. That Love alone is real.

Just as we experience moments (prolonged or short, acute or chronic) in which we feel great fear or agony or misery or terror (or all the above at once) then we get past moments and once again feel Love's warmth, so can we know with certainty that our precious animal friends will awake from their pain and find that all is well, and they are indeed forever safe, forever loved. True justice awaits them. True peace awaits them. True joy awaits them.

What we advocates for Love are doing here is moving this promise forward, so that our animal friends can experience the fullness of GOOD here and now, and not have to wait for the next stage of life for that blessing!

Bea Elliott February 16, 2011 at 7:44 AM  

Hello Anonymous - I truly love the way you describe this better world. Each day and in every moment I am always hopeful that the Good will come to us all...

Staying centered and on course is the only thing I know to do. To speak what I know is true when I hear that nonhumans exist for us to "use", to "eat", to wear or experiment on. To voice my disagreement when I hear that there's a "kind" way to consume "meat/eggs or dairy". These are all lies. My salvation is to stick to Truth like glue!

Your view of a world based in the possible "goodness" of reality helps me toward that goal.
~ Thank you so much. ~

Krissa February 17, 2011 at 10:43 PM  

This post has touched me very much and I haven't been able to think of a comment to do it justice. It sounds as though we have had very similar experiences. I am glad that there are people like you who can organize their thoughts into articulate writing and speaking. My thoughts get very jumbled up when it comes to emotional things. I feel the emotions very strongly, but just can not seem to articulate them. Thank you for all you do to help first of all our fellow animals who don't speak the same languages we do, but also people like me who find a voice in what you say/write.

Bea Elliott February 27, 2011 at 8:19 PM  

Hi Krissa - I think you express your emotions and thoughts just fine! There's no doubt that feeling and thinking the good thoughts and caring emotions are much more important anyway!

You are so kind to be thankful for whatever small way I help you get through the sadder issues about our animal friends. But you should also know, the support works both ways - I'm blessed to have you on my side too! <3