Animals are remarkable creatures. They can make you feel good by the simplest and smallest of things. By wagging their tail as they see you. Running up to you with joy. By purring rolled up in your lap. By sleeping beside you when you’re feeling blue. They have an instinct many people lack: the ability to be perceptive. To sense when something is wrong. And to empathize with you. To defend and protect you. They also have an innate characteristic lacking in humans: unconditional love. They will love you and be faithful to you forever. And all they ask in return is for you to love them back, care for them and respect them.
It is amazing how animals can look straight into your eyes and touch your soul. How you can feel that they are almost talking to you in their own way. There are so many studies proving that animals do in fact provide consolation, and for example stroking a cat or dog will relieve stress. How many can deny that a playful puppy jumping around, a kitty meowing and purring, a bunny lying feet stretched out both ways all cute and fluffy, are an instant pick-me-up. And a natural one too!
It is truly a shame though that these beautiful creatures do not often get the treatment they deserve and are entitled to. Dogs are abandoned in the streets by owners who no longer care, cats are run over by reckless drivers, horses are shot the minute a disease is detected. So much of our lives, however, actually depend on animals. The food we eat comes from animals reared and sacrificed for that purpose. Cows and goats provide the milk and cheese from which we obtain essential nutrients, while fish provide the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Some, like sheep, bears and foxes are even sacrificed for their fur, while in some regions seals, dolphins and whales, are killed for their meat as a “delicacy”. Horses carry on their backs people for all sorts of activities – from driving cattle, to riding as a sport, to racing for money. And the smaller ones, the cats, dogs, bunnies, birds, hamsters etc. provide company and a compassion that cannot be matched by anything else. They become your best friend and even more, a very member of your family.
Animals are not racist – particularly the panda: it is black, white and Asian! They don’t care in which nationality, race, religion or culture you belong. They will love you and be loyal to you nonetheless, as long as you do the same. People could learn a lot from animals. How to live in peace and harmony. Selflessly. How to be loyal to those that care for you. How to care regardless of anything. How to just be there in silence, knowing that simply their presence besides you is enough.
It is not strange that people share more funny pictures of animals than any other. And more importantly most beloved cartoons involve animal characters. Images that stick with you no matter how old you get. Donald is a duck who always wears only a t-shirt, but when he gets out of the shower, wraps the towel around his waist. Mickey is the adorable famous mouse of Disney. Garfield is a fat, lazy cat who loves lasagne. While Coyote is probably the most wronged cartoon character – he never gets to catch the Road Runner, but nevertheless persists and does not give up hope. Animals seem to live by the saying “Dum spiro spero” – as long as I breathe I hope. They hope that they will get their way in the end – the meowing cat for food; the jumping dog for a walk, Coyote for the Road Runner. They are persistent, determined, and honest. Which is definitely more than can be send for many Homo sapiens.
In fact it is true that a person’s character is reflected in the way s/he treats those that can do nothing for them. How they treat animals and how they react to their actions. It is also true that animals can sense who will care for them and who not, who is afraid of them, and who simply ignores their very existence. Animals are much smarter than many think. And to be honest, if people were more like animals, the world would indeed be a better place.
Also part of Daily Prompt: Menagerie