The Stages of a Heartbreak... Human Victims of the Animal Industries

>>  Monday, February 13, 2012

Since it's Valentines Day - Maybe it's okay to talk about emotional things. Specifically what happens when people discover the truth about the treatment of others... And the inevitable heartbreak that ensues.
We all like to think we're kind - It's the way we were brought up to be... Nice.  Good.  And fair.  And if there's ever a reason to cause harm... It's only to protect the underling.  Well, lots happens when someone is exposed to the reality that they've been living their lives in the a way that goes against their perceived values.  People get shocked, regretful, angry, sad and resolved... Not unlike the 7 stages of grief.

Recently I saw this occur at the state fair that my group participated in... We set up a FARM sponsored pay per view outreach where the 12 minute video Farm to Fridge was shown.

And the reactions are the same as I've seen many times before. Ask someone what they think happens to boy calves at a dairy.  Explain to an acquaintance the life of a caged pig. Meet a stranger and reveal the fate of chicks in a hatchery. It's always the same.  Witnessing these incidents of discovery, I always initially see a kind of disbelief. I guess they figure it just can't be so!  But reason kicks in - Sometimes with the aid of visual proof and their shock turns to regret.

They usually regret not thinking things through enough... I've heard "how could I be so" blind, stupid, deceived, conned, duped, dumb, or whatever description one can use if they think they've been a chump.

And then they get mad! Mad at themselves. Mad at our culture. The system. The industry. The lies... I think they are like me - They get mad that our own species is capable of such hideous acts. They see humankind in tatters.
And that brings a terrible sadness...

And with this broken heart... Some tell their story in the form of videos like Kay7271 did in this Letter to the World part 1

and part 2

Kay7271 like countless others did the only thing that would mend her heart and give her open eyes new direction... She refused to support systems that were an abomination to her kind senses. And so begins restoration - Or something as close to a cure as one can find.

And yet... The heartbreak I must admit does continue. Not only because of the incessant malicious treatment to the gentle beings killed for gluttony... But also because of witnessing still, the heartbreak others endure in the learning of it. It creates quite a dichotomy... To want to teach, inform and expose - And then to want all the right reactions -  The sorrow a necessary part of it all... 

If it's true that the only way to heal grief is to go through the experience of each stage... Maybe that's why advocates are so solid in their resolve? We see the heartbreak over and over again - We live the solutions and stay at the message - Regardless.

If you are not already living your life awake, aware and engaged... Please get your heart broken! Please really love the animals enough to stop killing them. And speak up for them whenever you get the chance. Please.


A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes but to get into accord with them: they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world.
Sigmund Freud


veganelder February 14, 2012 at 7:20 AM  

Nifty quote from SF. He was/is one of the real originals of us human animals.

I fully agree, more need to open their eyes (and feelings) and have their hearts broken again and again until enough have had enough of human inflicted horrors on the lives of the children of the Earth.

Thanks Bea.

CQ February 14, 2012 at 9:46 PM  

I'm glad your time at the state fair was so productive -- and thought-provoking to those who watched the pay per view, Bea.

Did any people exit the booth crying? If so, did you console them?

I ask because I was remembering yesterday how when Harold Brown brought the original version of the film Peaceable Kingdom to my city for a showing, I went up to thank him afterward and started bawling and shaking. He tenderly embraced me in an understanding hug. Just as he learned to do with Snickers the cow and then all other animals.

When you write "please get your heart broken," that is very moving. No one WANTS to have that happen, but when one has been lied to, deceived, and in a sense had their sense of fairness (think of VE's post that you liked to above) stolen right out from under them, and then becomes aware of that treachery, it would be unnatural for a heart NOT to break.

"Please *really* love the animals enough to stop killing them."

Yes, please learn that justice is for all. Then you can't help but love those you treat justly. And then you and they will find wondrous peace and welcome freedom.

Bea Elliott February 24, 2012 at 6:21 AM  

Thanks Vegan Elder... Of course psychology is not my field - But I know enough to say that the way we treat others is totally dis-jointed from the way things ought to be in a reasonable and reasoning mind... And that "mind scientists" should have a field day in dissecting why we do the things we do.

But it's no surprise that even those interested in psychology would rather stay away from that particular "animal issue". I see that Marc Bekoff often gets flack for bringing the subject up... He gets criticized for posing in the "wrong forum". And it's wrong why? Because his message is the truth! And his conclusions that the way to repair ourselves is through more thoughtful living. To some that's "heartbreaking" news - They may actually have to examine their habits and change! Yet these very same people pose to be critical thinkers and mental-concept junkies. But don't touch the meat-eating practices... Those are on "sacred" ground. Give me a break! :(

Anyway - Thanks for being one of the real humans too... I know you've had your heart broken many, many times - And it's only made you the stronger and wiser for it!

Bea Elliott February 24, 2012 at 6:34 AM  

Hi CQ - Yes to both your questions about the reactions at the pay-per-view. Sobbing and an attempt to ease the tears... It was great to see the resolve many had when stating that it didn't have to be this way... That there were choices... And that changes could be made to stop the horror.

I'm glad you were comforted by Harold Brown - He's a beautiful soul!

Yes, requesting (begging) that people open themselves up to unpleasant truths is totally challenging - As you know. I've had adults literally cover their ears and sing "La-La-La" loudly to drown out where the conversation was going. For any "love" that I have for man-kind - That becomes a heartbreak for me. :(

So for many - I don't think it's asking them to "learn" so much as it is asking them to feel or care. Care enough to act... And that certainly is not the "break" part but the healing one. If more only knew!

Thanks for living justly CQ!

sam March 29, 2012 at 12:02 PM  

I was recently told that to care for animals was the "terrible gift". It is indeed because once you have had your heart broken it opens you up to continue to have it broken. I cry for the miserable lives we condemn animals to daily and oddly feel reborn to bear witness to the brutality they face and to try as best I might help other have their heart broken.

Bea Elliott April 6, 2012 at 6:04 PM  

Hi sam and thank you so much for choosing to bear witness as well. I was not aware of environmental issues in the Bahamas - It's easy to think of it as an eternal paradise... I see from the posts on your blog that I have a flawed "tourist" perception.

I watched Sylvia Earle's Ted presentation - Now I have a much better idea of the problems we face.

I appreciate your visit and am grateful you are also in the good fight.