That's meeeee! I just have so much love and respect for animals, so it frustrates me when some people think that human beings are the 'superior species' and that they can rule over or mistreat animals, or make them work for them under inhumane conditions. Yes, we can read, speak different languages, can operate machinery, can write books, can look up 'what does it mean if my cat ignores me' on the internet, can stitch up a wound or prescribe antibiotics. Yes, we had mastered the art of eating and turned survival into gourmet restaurants, creative cooking and Gold Plate winning dishes. For me, honestly, that only makes us different. Our brains are designed to think differently and our bodies to operate and function differently from other animals but does that make us more superior? I cannot agree with that.
Have you ever watched a TV program or documentary on how animals live, move, hunt, mate, reproduce, and survive? Have you ever found yourself thinking 'what? How? How do they do that? What, they do what? That's crazy!' The way animals do their thang is beyond us. For me, that is a different type of intelligence. We are different species and therefore are wired and designed differently. It would be preposterous to think that because they can't do what we can, we are of higher intelligence. We as human beings would never be able to replicate what the animals do so why are we putting that same flawed logic on them.
It also frustrates me watching videos of people teasing or laughing at animals because they react in a different way from what a human would in the same situation, or put animals in a situation where they would not be able to succeed. It frustrates me seeing humans want to dominate over an animal when the animal is clearly in distress. Animals have feelings, too. Like us, they also have moods, emotions, preferences, likes and dislikes, experiences, memories, stresses and traumas, and we cannot discredit or devalue that. Just because they cannot speak in our language and tell us what they think, how they feel or what happened, it does not make it ok for us to ignore these emotions, sensations and thoughts of theirs. Their joys, their sadness, their pains are just as real to them as ours are to us. Imagine yourself being in a foreign culture where the people there do not understand your language or you. They point at you and talk about you amongst themselves. They ignore your saying you don't like broccoli and they keep forcing you to eat broccoli. They say you are ungrateful for not eating what they provide. They give you a bizarre looking object to play with but you're not interested. You leave it and these people laugh and call you stupid for not knowing what to do with it. You are not feeling the mood to be social and just want to be left alone but they keep on poking you, petting you, taking photos with you, throwing more things for you to play with. Does this sound like a fair and compassionate way of treating someone? If your answer is no, then you probably understand what I'm trying to get at here.
Seeing working horses and donkeys in my travels also make me sad. I understand that for some countries, horses and donkeys are equivalent to our pick-up trucks but at least pick-up trucks regularly get oil changed, maintained, and get their tires rotated, hopefully. The horses and donkeys I see are skin and bones. The loads on their backs are often so heavy it looks like they could break the animal's back. The cargo they haul are so large and full it looks like the animal could be lifted up like the lighter end of a seesaw. I see the animals being dragged around with legs shaking because the weight they bear is so overwhelming. When they are not working, I see them exposed for a long time under the scorching hot sun with no water. Yes, they have hay for food but in 36℃ weather, one would think the importance of staying hydrated would come to mind. I feel like if people took better care of these animals, it would make a world of a difference in their justification of having working animals. Donkeys already have a natural sadness on their faces. Seeing them in such poor working condition just breaks my heart. Perhaps to some, this is a first world concern or not a big deal at all because the welfare of an animal is probably the last worry on the minds of people whose living condition forces them to use working animals. Although I understand this very notion, I also think that is not an excuse to not be respectful or compassionate toward another being on the same earth as us.