From a Facebook Friend Come Words of Wisdom
My friend and fellow animal advocate on Facebook posted something recently that made me want to not just share his words but to shout them from the rooftops.
The animals that suffer can’t speak, they can’t tell us what they feel, they can’t stop their abusers, and we alone have the power to rescue them from the terrors that man puts them through simply for a meal on a plate, one that we don’t even need to be healthy and that likely will actually make us less healthy.
He writes of the devastating loss of his pet ferret and what the experience taught him.
“Recently I had to put my boy Frankie to sleep. He was in the prime of his life, seemingly very healthy in all respects. He developed a small, occasional cough, and I monitored it closely, not thinking much of it because he continued to eat and play and live normally.
One day, about two weeks after the cough started, suddenly he was having trouble breathing. It worsened throughout the day, and I brought him to the emergency vet that night, thinking perhaps he had developed some kind of respiratory infection. My heart was shattered when an x-ray revealed a tumor that had taken over about 80% of his lungs. It must have been extremely aggressive to have progressed so quickly, and a few hours later, I had to put him to sleep. He was worsening, despite being in an oxygen chamber, and there was zero hope of saving him. It was a surreal nightmare, and his sudden loss has deeply affected me.
Through my grief over the last few weeks, I’ve thought long and hard about the pain he must have been hiding. If one of us had that kind of aggressive tumor taking over our lungs, we would surely be on all kinds of pain relief, perhaps getting radiation or chemo therapy, and anything else to help decrease the agony. But Frankie, like most other animals, instinctively hid his pain to the best of his ability. Our beloved companion animals can’t speak to us, and even when we’re so tuned in to their daily condition, we can fail to see something as destructive and painful as an aggressive, malignant internal tumor.
The senses of many, if not most, non-human animals are so much more acute than ours… their senses of smell, hearing, taste, sight. Wouldn’t it logically follow to think, given the acuity of their senses, that when they suffer, they could be suffering a lot more than we would be in the same situation?
We know that pigs, cows, chickens, and other animals on factory farms suffer horrifically, but I don’t think we really comprehend how severely they are suffering. Frankie’s passing has reminded me of how these non-human animals, with their instincts to remain safe from predators, hide their pain as much as they can. Add in the possibility that the pain these animals are experiencing on these farms from wounds, infections, diseases, cancers, and human abuse could be far greater than ours would be if in their place… and I don’t think we really comprehend just how much harm we are doing to them… and why it so urgently needs to stop.“