Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Debark Or Argue? The Passion Behind Surrendering Your Voice

It has been a very stressful, tumultuous time here in the USA. The government is shut down, everyone is arguing, pointing fingers, bashing each other, and Facebook is riddled with "time to put big-boy pants on and.." statements. It's hard to not get caught up in the rhetoric and hysteria. Real people with real struggles are worried, and worry breeds fear, and fear, well fear brings out the worst in many of us.

Last week I was venting about a Twitter follower who posted a video of their (I think?) cat who is allowed to roam free in the city. The point of the video was to capture the cats perspective of their world with the aid of a camera mounted to its collar. I was upset about it because I believe allowing your cat to roam in the city is irresponsible. As a veterinarian I see countless cats that have been injured by fighting with other cats, attacked by dogs, shot, hit by car, and worse just plain old disappeared. I was upset so I said something to the creators of the video. I spoke out and I was met with a defensive excuse-riddled justification about "not wanting to suppress the cats natural behaviors." What about basic pet safety? And did anyone ever take a second to think about what might happen if their cat stepped in front of my car in the road? I would likely try swerve out of the way and put other people in danger.

Yesterday's Twitter angst was over a group who are trying to ban the practice of devocalization in animals. Which I am whole heartedly in agreement with. It is a barbaric inhumane practice that should never be done, or even considered. A dog barking is a dog in need of something. The bark of a dog is the precise reason we domesticated dogs to begin with. So they could notify us of impending danger. Where could there be angst between me and a group trying to end a cruel practice in our pets? Yeah? I am still asking myself. The problem? In the animal advocacy world there is an over abundance of passionate embroiled outspoken angry activists. You would think that we could all take our single individual causes and band together to speak as a force of kindness and shift the whole worlds perspective on behalf of our four legged friends. You would think? But instead we raise at fist at each other and blame each other as being a part of the problem. Why should our government work together? We individuals can't either.

Aren't we ALL seeking a more peaceful life? Are we ever going to get there by yelling, blaming, or pointing out differences with each other?

"Always be kind".. my motto, those three little words. To which I add...

“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

I wrote an article on debarking for EveryDay Health on the importance of protecting and honoring your own voice. It can be found here.

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