Sunday, 29 June 2014

A mirror to the dark and the light

The thing about the internet and social media and everyone having a platform and a voice and a thing, is that you see some of the best of humanity and some of the worst of humanity, often within moments of each other.

Take animals, for example. I spend half of my time online interacting with and attempting to support/help/whatnot people who save/rescue/adopt animals. All kinds of animals. Dogs, cats, lizards, bats. I don't care what it is, if it's non human and it needs help then I want to help it. And yes, this does include the animals that I occasionally eat and yes, this does make me a massive shiny hypocrite. All I can say is that Quorn is featuring more and more heavily in one's diet recently.

But, my constant argument with my own brain over eating meat aside, I know some truly fantastically selfless people who spend time, energy and money trying to save animals. Trying to keep then from harm or rehome them or feed them or get them the medical care they need. People all over this world are doing this right now.

There are people who have devoted their entire lives to the cause and live in amazing places surrounded by dogs and capybaras. There are people who look after sloths full time. Others who just try their best to help, share lost pets online, take pictures, write stuff, sell stuff... basically they try. These people fill me with delight. I love that I'm not alone in my adoration of animals above humans (yep, I said it) and I love that people are trying every single day.

Every life saved is worthwhile. People think I'm cray cray for shipping a three legged fox thing all the way from Romania when I could have just bought a puppy over here. But they don't get it. They don't get the magical feeling of knowing that, for this animal, I have made a difference. I have changed her life from dark and cold to light and comfort and I love how happy she is.

So I get to see this stuff every day on my Facebook and Twitter, and other forms of social media, if I could but be arsed to keep up with them all. And that's nice.

But, on the flipside, I spend my time trying to convince mouthbreathing fucktards that they really shouldn't be breeding cats, dogs, rabbits, whatever in order to make money. They really shouldn't be flogging animals on crappy Facebook pages that have been set up in order to swap second hand clothes. That they are perpetuating a problem they don't even understand. That, for every puppy they sell, they're potentially causing untold damage to the dogs' lives and to the generations that will come after them, or at best they're depriving an already unwanted puppy a home. That the £100 they make is nothing to the damage they have caused.

It's a cycle of abuse that never seems to end and, the thing with everyone just being themselves all over the place on the internet, it's just there. All the time. In front of your face. People abusing animals. People selling them like they're bits of leftover fucking food. People laughing about it. People using them to fight. People starving them, neglecting them, hurting them. There it is. Easily found and seen. Every day. All you have to do is follow a couple of charities on Facebook and you see it. It's horrific.

Without the internet and Facebook I would see neither of these sides of the coin. I wouldn't see the abuse but I wouldn't see that there are at least as many people fighting against it. The internet highlights and showcases the best and the worst of humanity. And allows us all to show who we really are, even when we try not to. And, of course, there are the cat pictures and hilarious memes. And porn.

Maybe it all balances out in the end, in some cosmic weighing scales way. Maybe there has to be a yin and yang or some shit to keep us all going. If there wasn't darkness to fight and move against, then where would we be? Covered in dogs and cats actually, that's where we'd be. And it would be amazing.

Sometimes I don't want to look at these things anymore and I just want to stop fighting with people about breeding and cruelty. I just want to stop looking at the bad and stop looking at the good and pretend that I don't know what I know. You know, like the 1980s.

I want to bleach my brain and start over in a world where this stuff doesn't happen. But that would be a world without people. And who'd want that?

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