Beautiful birdy (a wave to all the kind people here),
I’m sitting with you in your sadness, dear friend. Offering my company, a listening ear, and a shoulder to cry on...but above all, offering you a space to talk and freedom to feel...
I know you feel deeply for the cruelty suffered, and how much it breaks your heart...
For now, perhaps just give yourself space for your tears...it sounds like you need a good cry, mine and other shoulders are open to you...
Sigh, I agree with you that the child versions of most people start out with the potential for expansive compassion. But somewhere along the way, as you said, certain norms teach selective “compassion”...
I read something recently that has stayed with me. This person said s/he believed that (some) people who claim to love animals don’t (necessarily) love animals for their overall protection and welfare, but love how animals make them feel. So this person was suggesting that some of us have a highly conditional, and almost self serving, love for non-human animals.
S/he was suggesting that (some) people love non-human animals for their own purposes (e.g. as “cute objects” that give us warm fuzzy feelings), rather than seeing them as sentient beings with feelings like grief, fear and pain.
While I personally don’t think there’s anything inherently problematic with finding non-humans adorable, I do think it becomes an issue if that is the basis for why a person cares. In other words, I think it becomes an issue if we only see their value strictly in terms in what they can “do” for us or superficially (e.g. their “cuteness”), rather than recognising their intrinsic value as feeling beings.
I agree that cognitive dissonance definitely underpins much of our treatment of non-humans. When that dissonance exists, we can either change our thinking or our actions/behaviour to cope with the inconsistency (or both?)
But I think what often happens is (most) people opt to change their thinking (rather than changing their behaviour). Thus, they try to “resolve” the inconsistency between their thoughts & actions by using personal justifications (thinking) e.g. it tastes good, discrediting vegans, I don’t care, etc.
Sigh, in my own way, I get what hurts you, and what I don’t yet understand, I’m willing to learn, be challenged and make changes.
Perhaps one day, your wish will come true. But till then, we have a long way to go...sitting with you in understanding.
Much love and friendship,