Tuesday, February 4, 2014

When Uplifting Isn't Enough

 I love wildlife. I love wildlife so much, I gave my pet-niche-only blog a complete reboot, summed up in the new tag line, "loving life, inside [pets] and out [wildlife].

So why did it feel like such a chore today to sit down and type a post? 

This question dominated my thoughts as Toby and I took another (freezing) walk. It bothered me at my doctor appointment and when I stared, overwhelmed, at my blog reading list, emails, and Facebook news feed. 

From recent emails:
-Idaho wants to kill 450 wolves!
-Protect endangered Florida panthers!
-Protect polar bears from oil drilling!
-Say no to Keystone XL!

My Facebook news feed has sad stuff about the orcas at Sea World, black-footed ferrets, migratory songbirds…oh my. 

While thinking of ordering a cool new book, The Sixth Extinction, a small voice in my head said, "Are you sure you want to know more about that than you already do?". 

It's no different on the domestic animal side of the house. Pets needing adoption to dogfighting to factory farming, there's a constant drumbeat of suffering. Man, it can be a real downer to care about animals. Like the song says, love hurts.

Wouldn't it be better if we stopped talking about all this misery? Couldn't we tell only the positive, uplifting, stories? Is that the direction my blog should take?

 Some people do a HUGE thing that shakes an issue like an earthquake, that gets shared 4 zillion times on social media, makes Google News, and goes viral on YouTube.

Meanwhile millions of us are doing tiny things, acts that no one will ever know about, that can be fit into busy lives; actions that won't bust the budget, cause a family argument, or land us in jail. Google News won't be headlining your $25 donation or your signature on that petition. You won't be on the front page of the paper throwing a can into a recycling bin or bringing a reusable water bottle to the gym. 

Big and small, all these actions, in the aggregate, have a positive effect. They have something else in common too.

Each action begins with someone who knows about a problem and does something about it. In the fifty years since Rachel Carson, the environment and our treatment of animals  has improved because heroes spoke out loudly about ugliness that no one wanted to see.

No. My blog can't be only about the day-brighteners. Sometimes an issue needs thousands of big bright lights shining on it so it can't  hide on dark fringes of society's awareness. And on some days, one of those lights can be mine.


  1. My mom is sad when she read all that sad storys. Latest about all the dogs in Sochi. But again if no one writes about it, no one can ever change a bit.

  2. Well, we have come to the conclusion that we care about those things that are uplifting, like our puppers and there happiness, cause they are happiness to us and that makes them happy also!

    The Whole Mad Scots Family

  3. I think it's great that you've decided to take this path for your blog. We all have a voice, no matter how big or small. Even the smaller causes need help spreading the word. But you're right, all of this stuff on social media can be a bit overwhelming at times. I think it's nice to find a way to talk about it that doesn't make people "just want to ignore it", if you know what I mean.

  4. As Laika's mom says, if no one writes about the "sad" things, things won't change.

    Very upsetting about the wolves. They were talking about that on NPR yesterday and what a polarizing issue it is with the locals. One person got a letter from a person on the other side saying they were going to pray every night for terrible things to happen to her family. What kind of a thing is that to say to someone!? People can be so ugly. Maybe someday the animals will be lucky and be rid of us.

  5. Never too cold to walk say Ruckus. Sapien always disagrees with me!


We love to know what you have to meow, bow-wow, growl, or just plain howl. Leave a comment for us!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...