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Be Kind to All Creatures

I am absolutely amazed and awed by the animal kingdom. Many a night I prefer to watch National Geographic Wild than any other TV shows. Over the last few years, I have learned so much about how animals interact with each other and how smart and compassionate they are. Therefore, I am increasingly appalled by those who say that animals do not have any mental reactions when they are held captive or physically abused.

Studies show that the psychological damage suffered by dogs living in puppy mills is profound and exists long after these dogs have been rescued. Even when placed in loving homes with individuals who take great care to handle them with love and tenderness, many of these dogs still have elevated levels of fears and phobias, as well as an inability to respond to affection. And there is more evidence that dogs who lack normal human contact and live predominately in cages often suffer from post-traumatic depression.

When I took a Psychology 101 course in college, we discussed something called hospitalism. This was a diagnosis used in the 30’s to describe infants who wasted away from the absence of human contact during their hospital stay. The symptoms could include retarded physical and mental development and disruption of perceptual-motor skills and language.

Many soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have returned with post-traumatic stress disorder. The sounds and images of war and this constant state of “fight or flight” leaves the brain more vulnerable. Often, these soldiers are unable to integrate into their former lives without counseling and the love and understanding of friends and family.

Many of the articles I have read about war and the toll it has taken on our mind/body and spirit are startling. How could you not be influenced by being a witness to death and destruction?

Whether it’s an animal, a baby, a young child or an adult, the brain holds on to memories long after they have passed; we cannot simply erase them. These memories are a part of who we are.

I often wish I could remove thoughts that seem to have a mind of their own. Round and round they go and they create feelings that can be positive or negative. Perhaps the day will come when there will be a global epiphany and we will all realize that kindness, respect, and compassion toward each other and our animal friends is the only way to live.

Lighten Up Your Week:

Keep kindness in your heart for all those around you and all creatures on this earth.

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