Most volunteers at any animal shelter, myself included, love spending 1-2-1-quality time with the animals, particularly the ones who have been traumatised. We feel a sense of helping them on some level. Volunteers who are asked why they are doing this work often say: “…because I would like to give something back….”
Actually we receive A LOT.
One morning, when I was walking Tara, a 7- 8 year old brown coated boxer bitch, she stopped in her tracks and “spoke” very clearly to me. Animal communication is not an exchange of words but rather a message is sent as a feeling first, which then translates into an inner knowing, which in our minds is formulated into words or a sentence.
She addressed me by “saying”: “you believe you are doing good for us here by coming to walk us for a few hours”. Yes, of course, I thought that is why I come here every week. Tara went on: “I have to tell you that we all are only here because we are a waste product of your (human) society and behaviour. We are just like all the other things you throw away.”
Tara’s message was so clear that came to me in a way I had not thought of before.
She told me, “All shelters everywhere would be empty if you would get your act together.”
Such firm, simple and true insights.
I know there are many organisations that are tirelessly working to bring awareness about stopping cruelty to animals and working towards a better treatment of animals.
However, Tara’s message struck me on a much deeper level.
Who are we to behave in this way?
Which connection have we lost in our development to cause such “waste products”?
How can we change?
Who is helping whom, I thought. Looks like the help is coming from the animal world to us rather than the other way round as I presumed in the beginning.
We are living fast lives: fast motorways, fast internet, fast –food and fast fixes are important to us. We want to cram in more things in a day, do more work and inevitably create more waste.
I had an idea! Perhaps for one day in a while we could try and re-connect with what is around us, create a low-waste day by walking or cycling, cooking unpackaged vegetables, collecting and using some rainwater, staying aware of when we use the bin, leaving off the TV, or even have a meal by candle light. I am sure after one day we will feel different, perhaps have a better appreciation of what is around and in us, and connect with something deeper which we did not know about.