Water for Elephants…Why So Cruel?

I haven’t read the book “Water for Elephants” yet.  I’ve been trying to, but the whole circus thing makes it hard for me to read it.  Maybe I will read it sometime this year.  Last night, though, I actually checked the movie out from the library and watched it.  I was getting ready to turn it off to start on my latest book, “The Oracle of Stamboul” by Michael David Lukas, when the elephant beating happened.

I wanted to kill the guy after he beat that elephant until she couldn’t get up.  Who in the hell does that?  I literally sat there with my hands over my mouth in shock and cried.  I had to keep reminding myself that this was only a movie…BUT stuff like that happens in real life.

I won’t go to the circus thanks to Kim Basinger’s campaign to educate the world in the animal cruelty that happens behind the scenes at circuses.  After learning this…even though a lot of things have changed thanks to PETA…I still won’t go to the circus.

You hear the stories in the news all of the time.  One place, they had too many dogs for dog sledding, so they not only starved them to death, one employee was forced by his boss to shoot them all or risk being fired.  He ended up doing his boss’s bidding and then he went out on disability for PTSD, because he was traumatized by what he was forced to do.

Then you see the dog fights and rooster fights that people bet on.

Then you have pit bulls that are starved to death, chained to the back of a truck and dragged along a road…there are holes in the poor dog’s legs.  He’s put down by animal control because he’s a pit bull…not because of the injuries he sustained being dragged.

Why are people so cruel to animals? 

I have found nothing but love and true care from animals.  I always find it strange when I’m traveling that dogs will walk down the street and out of nowhere come right up to me to say hello. They won’t stop for the people I’m with…they just come right up to me.

Animals sense things.  They can even sense when someone is a good person and when someone is really sick.

In Oia, Santorini, Greece, I had a whole island filled with dogs that escorted me all over their island.  They made it their duty to aid the sick.  The locals talked about how they were the spirit of the island.  That’s why they all took care of the dogs by leaving out food and water for them.

The dogs acted like tour guides and bodyguards for me.  When a guy they sensed as being evil started to approach me, the dog that was with me took off and started snarling and barking at him.  Next thing you know, four more dogs came out of nowhere, growling at him.  A couple of the dogs backed me up against the wall to protect me when the guy drew near. 

The guy stopped to talk to my friend.  I could only veer my friend away and head back down the path, because the dogs were restless.  We walked away and all five of the dogs followed us down the path to ensure we were safely away before breaking off.  I remarked to my friend that I didn’t think that guy was good news, because of the way the dogs were reacting.  She said she got that feeling too…but then remarked that the dogs weren’t protecting her…they were protecting me.

In Morocco, it’s considered rude to not eat your entire meal.  It’s like you’re saying the food wasn’t good if you don’t finish your meal.  Well, I can’t eat a lot.  Thank goodness for the cats.  They ended up hiding the fact that I wasn’t eating, because they ate everything for me.  I can’t eat three pieces of chicken.  I can eat one chicken leg.  The cats…they got two chicken legs.

One night, they made couscous with chicken, a lamb tagine, and beef with figs tagine.  That’s a lot of food for just one person!  A cat came out of nowhere and I started feeding the lamb to the cat (lamb is not something my body likes or can break down).  I could only say…thank goodness for the cat.

I also stopped to say hello to a donkey in a busy marketplace filled with donkeys.  Would you believe that donkey ended up coming to look for me in the marketplace later?  He literally came running up to me and stopped when he got to me.  He had this big ole smile on his face.  If I was living in Morocco, I would have bought him and brought him home right on the spot.  As Driss said to me later, he thought that maybe my soul connected with the animal.  He’s seen it happen many times but with dogs or cats.  This donkey and I connected and he was so happy to see me when he found me in the marketplace. 

Truthfully, the only reason why I even approached the donkey to begin with…I saw him looking at me taking photos of the donkeys.  He was watching me with so much interest, I went up to him and said hello.  Donkeys usually don’t care what’s going on around them…taking that much interest in a human…that says something.

There was even a time when I was younger that we brought in a new cat from off the street.  My brother was trying to horseplay with me when all of a sudden the cat came flying out of nowhere, jumped on my brother’s back and started attacking him. 

My brother stopped, a little confused by what was happening before we just bursted out laughing.  Needless to say, after I left, Gordon would only come back to visit when I was home.

Most of these animals I’ve encountered in my life have always been kind to me.  Since I got sick…they’ve acted as guides and protectors…and sometimes even doctors and lifesavers.  I can’t tell you how many times Surita knows when I’m going to throw up before I do.  She gets that look on her face.  20 seconds later, I feel it. 

When my lung was stopping, she managed to jump up onto the dresser and make a running jump to land on my chest to get me to wake up and ‘startle’ the lung into starting back up again. 

Every now and again, I’ll notice her wake up in the middle of the night and if she can’t hear me breathing, she’ll come and sit next to my face to check to make sure I am breathing, especially if it’s a night where I’m having difficulties.  She’ll sniff around, put her face in places she would not normally do if I was awake.  When she realizes I am awake, she backs off because she doesn’t like being caught doing that kind of stuff.

Animals have been very kind to me no matter where I go in this world.  Why anyone would treat animals so cruelly…or teach them to be cruel is beyond me.  There’s no logic to it.  Why beat an animal up because you want to show it that YOU are in charge? 

It’s a power thing…it’s the same kind of power thing that makes bullies beat up on other kids, and men beat up their women, and serial killers kill people. 

There is no room for cruelty in life, because someone is always watching…whether you see them or not.  Sins against humanity is not limited to sins against each other…cruelty that lies within a man’s heart…that’s what you are judged upon.  Acting upon that evil, that’s what is unforgiveable.

About Michelle Kenneth

Michelle Kenneth is the voice behind PerfectionistWannabe.com.