On Being the Bearer of Bad News
There’s a reason the phrase, “don’t shoot the messenger” is so common.
Oh, how I wish I didn’t feel driven to be the bearer of bad news.
All my life I’ve been the kind of person who works hard to make other people feel good about themselves and their choices.
I have considered it a life long calling to comfort the grieving, uplift the depressed, boost someone’s self-esteem, give words of solace and make people smile and laugh whenever I can.
So when I decided to create a blog urging mercy for all animals (not just the select few we call “pets”) and when I began speaking out on my Facebook page, my world was suddenly turned upside down and I became the dreaded bearer of news no one wants to hear (let alone acknowledge).
I understand this completely, as it’s only human nature to avoid that which is disturbing to us and to block out negativity. Who wants to feel guilty or sad or shocked?
So it was with reluctance and sadness that I felt I must now be the person who was suddenly making people feel bad simply by speaking the horrible truth about the way mankind treats animals.
Instead of uplifting others, I now had to face the fact that I was making people feel guilty, angry, sad, or a combination of all of the above.
And though the old saying, “no one can make you feel something you don’t already feel” is true, nonetheless, bringing those feelings to the surface is not pleasant for anyone.
Naturally, this automatically results in the loss of friends and family (unfriending and being hidden in newsfeeds on Facebook, hearing the phone ring less often, less people attending your parties, etc.).
Make no mistake about it: by speaking out against animal cruelty, you are choosing to be rejected, avoided and even hated (one look at a comment section on the internet bashing vegans and you’ll see what I mean about being despised).
And even if friends and family still love and accept you, you will find that the subject of your animal activism is rarely if ever brought up, no matter how close you are.
One of if not the most passionate, driving forces of your life is strictly off-limits in your heart-to-heart talks.
So it’s immensely disappointing and frustrating, because you can never truly be yourself with your loved ones. They can’t know the sorrow, the depression, the horror you feel on a daily basis, knowing what you know and caring about innocent suffering in a society and a world that is blind and deaf to the cries of animals being tortured and slaughtered.
The irony is that most people would be shocked and distressed to learn what they fund whenever they buy animal products, and they share the same compassion that you do–the basic, decent conviction that animal cruelty is unacceptable–but that compassion is only generally shown to pets and wild animals, not “food” animals.
Your presence reminds them at some deep level that there’s an elephant in the room and they no doubt feel it would be best if that elephant would just go away.
Yet if they saw a dog or cat being beaten to death, stabbed, shot in the head, thrown into a vat of boiling water while still conscious, immersed in an electrified “bath”, having its throat slit, having limbs sawed off while still alive and aware, being ground up alive (the shocking list goes on), they would be sickened and infuriated!
Yet here in the west, we do all these things to cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and other animals we deem “food”.
And we pay for it to be done.
I really hate being the bearer of bad news.
But I hate animal cruelty more.