By now, you’ve probably heard about that dipshit dentist who slaughtered a lion in South Africa. I’m not going to go into detail, because I don’t want to glorify him or his actions, but I will say that I will never understand how people can be cruel to animals.
You don’t have to like animals – My friend Lea didn’t shed one tear during Water For Elephants. NOT ONE TEAR!!! – but at least treat them with decency and respect.
Personally, I love animals. ALL animals. Even the ones I’m afraid of. I’m just like, “That’s cool. You stay in your corner and I’ll stay in mine.”
When I was on holiday in San Francisco earlier this year, a dog bit me after I accidentally stepped on its paw. I felt so bad, that despite the gaping wound on my leg (I still have a scar), I actually turned around and apologised profusely to it. Given all the growling that was coming my way, I doubt the dog accepted my apology, but at least I can say I tried.
And while I’m not a vegetarian (yet), I’m finding it increasingly hard to eat meat unless it’s disguised under a mountain of sauce. You’ll never catch me eating a steak. I’ve also tried to avoid pig products ever since I read Charlotte’s Web and watched Babe as a kid. Four words: “I want my mum!” It chokes me up every time.
My first experience of going to the movies was to see Bambi when I was about four years old. Although I don’t remember much of this, I do remember being inconsolable after they shot Bambi’s mum. This happened at the very beginning of the film too, so I cried hysterically throughout the whole movie. Fail.
Years later, after I started working as an entertainment journalist, I went to a media screening of Marley & Me. Once again, I cried hysterically. The film ended, and I was in the bathroom sobbing, while Yumi Stynes (an Australian TV personality) – who I had never met before – rubbed my back and assured me everything was going to be okay. Despite nodding and tearfully replying, “Thank you, Yumi Stynes,” I cried the whole way home.
In high school, there was a period when I wanted to become a dolphin trainer and work in ocean conservation. Needless to say, I ended up working with a different type of animal – the media. I did get to swim with dolphins when I was 14 though, so I kind of lived the dream.
For my 29th birthday, my parents gifted me with the opportunity to work as a zoo keeper for a day at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. I loved every aspect of it, even having to sweep up the zebra poo… Okay, maybe not so much that, but overall, it was one of the highlights of my life.
After entering the zoo’s bear enclosure, I was lucky enough to meet a beautiful sun bear, who was anxiously pacing up and down in his pen. When I asked the (actual) zoo keeper why he was doing this, she explained that the bear had been rescued from the back of a restaurant in China when he was just a cub after witnessing his mother being shot dead in front of him. Apparently bear paws are a “delicacy” in China. The zoo keeper said the bear had suffered from PTSD ever since, and was even being seen to by an animal psychologist. My heart broke.
People are the worst. I shouldn’t be shocked by this – as humans, we regularly attack and kill each other, so what hope do we have of ever treating another species with dignity?
In April, it was reported there was only one male northern white rhino left in the wild. ONE. That rhino is now under 24-hour armed guard to protect it from poachers. Well done, humanity.
Aside from it simply being WRONG to harm animals, what I don’t understand is why anyone would even want to. In all my experience with animals – and I’ve had pets ever since I can remember – what I’ve come to learn is the unconditional love animals show you. It’s that simple – animals are love.
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