Nineteenth Century Shaker Poem…..

Most of my life is, in some way, taken up with dogs. As a child, there was always at least one dog in the house. I can still remember my first, “very own” dog, a little brown and white terrier named Cricket. Strangely, I also remember the day she was run over and killed. “Strangely,” because I could not have been more than 3 years old when that tragedy occurred. And, to many people, it will seem strange that I can still shed tears for a dog so long ago gone….about 57 years gone. But then, tears are spilled for dogs I will never know, nor see, nor hear about. However, in the deepest recesses of my heart and psyche, I am aware of the suffering, neglect and abuse they endure daily at the hands of those meant to be their guardians and protectors. It is an agonizing sensation, especially since I know there is absolutely nothing I can do for the thousands who have no recourse but to suffer.

And, I know, too, that it isn’t only dogs that suffer the horrors visited upon them by “humans;” there are the other domesticated animals that are savaged by the hands of “man.” For them, I also cry.

“So,” one may say,”there are humans suffering such miseries, as well! What about them?” To that I respond: the majority of human suffering is, at some point, documented. Perhaps not all, but most. When the trials and tribulations of a person, or groups of people, are exposed, then there is generally a movement to correct those hardships. The success rate in alleviating the problems may be abysmal,   but at least there are a multitude of  “voices” advocating for help and change.  Not so much for animals.

Recently, I read a poem that expressed, much more adequately than my own words, my sentiments regarding the treatment, or mistreatment, of animals by those who are entrusted with their care.  I was told that the author is anonymous, but it is attributed to a member of the Shaker religion. I can’t attest to the authenticity of that statement, but I can say, religious affiliations aside, these are words that every member of the species, “homo sapiens,” should heed. Whatever you believe, universal “karma” is a bitch, and at some point, she is going to demand answers from those who have heaped misery upon those unable to speak for themselves.

~A man of kindness to his beasts is kind.                                                                                          Brutal actions show a brutal mind.                                                                                                ~Remember, He who made the brute, and gave you speech and reason,                                     formed [the animal] mute.                                                                                                              ~He can’t complain, but God’s omniscient eye beholds your cruelty,                                           and He hears the creature’s cry.                                                                                                    ~He was destined to be [your] servant and [your] drudge,                                                             but know this;                                                                                                                                       the animal’s creator is your judge.

And, if there should truly be a “Judgement Day” for the human race as a whole, I would like to be one of the animals’ advocates standing by to mete out justice to those of a “brutal mind.”

About sageryder

Animal lover, advocate and rescuer.
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