There are times when even the most caring educator or activist wants to throw in the towel and give up their outreach work. If you want to stay motivated to be a voice for the voiceless in society, just keep your eyes open to what is going on around you.
Trust me: Your despair or hopelessness at seeing/knowing what goes on in the world behind closed doors and gates is nothing compared with the amount of suffering that these beings are experiencing….
I wouldn’t say my eyes are really wide open this week, but even so, I have watched bulls being sold at a roadside who were crammed together in a panic as they were being loaded into trailers from three different ranches. I was out running and stopped to witness what was happening. They all turned and looked at me. I felt helpless. What was being done to them was legal and I couldn’t stop it at that moment.
Today I spoke with relatives who found a dead mother mouse in their garage. Soon after, they found the babies who were so tiny they were crawling on the concrete floor to try to get to the mother. These were nursing babies. They put the babies on a shovel and put them in the woods. When I said that these were babies, this relative reminded me that they are mice and not cute like chipmunks and squirrels. I then reminded this relative that even the not-cute babies suffer and need care.
This evening I went past a newspaper on the table and saw the story of the Minnesota Zoo killing a wolf who escaped his enclosure.
There are plenty of incentives and reminders to keep speaking up for all species. Keep your eyes open.
We have been waging a war on domestic and wild non-humans for most of history. We do not have to. It is not necessary for our survival to keep animals in enclosures, kill them for food, experiment on them, breed them or use them for entertainment. We can choose a whole new path. We can choose a path of caring and compassion for all beings.
So, when you have those moments where you think your voice doesn’t matter or you are just feeling too sad or hopeless to continue doing outreach, remember who is counting on you. Imagine yourself in their position. You would never want those speaking out for you to give up because the work was too difficult or because they felt too sad thinking about you. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself feeling healthy and strong mentally and physically. Then, take that strength out into the world and plant every seed of compassion you can.