I once told someone, an 18 year old who works in the same warehouse as me, that I thought animal cruelty and exploitation was the most unbelievably messed up thing in the world.
He replied, “Those are things I do everyday.”
I told him that’s extremely unacceptable, and asked if he was serious.
He said yes, that he killed his friend’s cat for five dollars, and that he was really doing the cat a favor by ending its life.
I asked how would he feel if he were skinned alive and his family burned right before his eyes.
He just kept laughing, both as he spoke and while I questioned him.
I recounted the story to a few other coworkers, and told a manager I was prepared to quit.
I just can’t work with someone who has that type of attitude.
We had a long meeting about it, and all agreed the offender was a complete idiot and an immature child. The two managers even described their jobs as ‘babysitting.’
The manager spoke to him, and afterward advised me that Dalton ‘was just saying whatever,’ likely to offend me and get under my skin.
My point is, whether he was joking or not, spreading an attitude of acceptance and even pride over cruelty toward animals is intolerable.
That kind of attitude is the reason for everything wrong in the world.
Joking about animal cruelty might be funny to one person, if understood as a form of extreme absurdism, but to another person it may sound like the person is advocating for cruelty toward animals.
That isn’t okay, no matter how you spin it.
There has been a string of animal murders in the area, and a member of the community has even reported their cat being burned to death.
Such cruelty targeted against members of our communities, and members of our Mammalian family, is absolutely intolerable, as is the mindset that allows it to thrive.
Featured image credit Wendy Berry, CC BY 2.0 / cropped