Coping with the soul-crushing realization that man has lost his humanity

Image via Pinterest
Image via Pinterest
Alright. So before I even get into this, a disclaimer: This is going to be a heavy post. If you don’t want to feel like I feel at this very moment—nauseated, disgusted, and slightly depressed—you should probably surf on over to something a little more lighthearted.

I know my content is usually fashion and lifestyle, and my reason for this great divergence is not to shock anyone or to be controversial. It is simply me coming to terms with my own despair at the realization that man seems to have lost his humanity, on an epic, or rather, epidemic scale. And also because I’m almost positive that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

What set me off today is this. I was kind of mindlessly trolling Facebook…I do follow a few dog rescue groups, among other things…when I saw this headline and image:

Video: Live Dog’s Legs Cut Off By A Woman

screen-cap
via saynotodogmeat.net

I’m sorry to have embedded this image in my post, because it alone is horrific, and I didn’t even and could never ever watch the video. I can’t even watch horror movies, much less witness a real life horror movie of this ilk on the Internet. And I have NOT embedded the video here…this is simply a screen capture. But without it, you would not understand what has brought me to this point.

This image was enough to derail me, almost immediately. I cannot even begin to express the deep, gut-wrenching, sorrow and anguish I felt seeing this image and realizing what was done to this poor creature. What kind of person can watch an animal writhe and scream in agony, the two of you bathed in blood, and continue to slowly torture it to death? Is there not a special kind of hell for someone like that? I hope so. There is a black hole where that person’s soul was meant to be.

As I type, the tears continue to well up in my eyes and I am distraught because I know this instance of sadistic cruelty is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg.

And here is what pains me further: I am a meat eater. I try to eat organic and responsibly, and I try to avoid factory farmed meat when I can, because I know it is equally as cruel. Since I grew up in a society that views dogs as faithful companions and loyal workers—NOT MEAT—I cannot help but view the consumption of dog meat as barbaric and wholly unnatural. But if an animal is to be killed for consumption, can it not be done with some respect for the life of the animal? Can we not give them a humane death so they do not suffer before we do with them as we will? And yet, I know the paradox of my plight; I know the conundrum that I am in. I also know that cruelty is abhorrent and while I know karma swings its own scythe, I cannot help but feel helpless and hollowed out. My heart breaks when I see a creature mistreated, and I’m fairly certain that if I were expected to hunt my own food, I’d be a pescetarian.

But ultimately, this post is not about what I eat or don’t, or what they eat on the other side of the world. It’s about our collective loss of humanity. It’s about the mass murders. The cruel acts against children and animals. The pollution of our lands and seas. The depravity and filth that we read/see/hear about every day.

Lately, I repeatedly find my mind tripping over the same old question:

 Are we really more depraved and divided than ever, or are we just seeing our own truth more clearly with the advent of smartphones and social media? 

I don’t know what the answer is. But it sure does seem that the more “connected” we’ve become because of the Internet and mobile phones, the more disconnected we are; disconnected from God and each other, all of us swimming right by the ones who can barely stay afloat. The more freedom we have, the more locks we need on our doors. In the grand scheme of things, what we can’t seem to remember is that we are all connected even we we try to act like we’re not. The effects of abuse, neglect, bullying, and tyranny ricochet through the abused and bullied, through the bullies and abusers, through the witnesses, all of us.

I don’t know how to fix this kind of OM-level hurt I feel, how to look at myself as a human being and be proud of myself when sometimes it feels like everything I do directly or indirectly contributes to a universal wrong. The beauty products that are tested on animals. The chickens shoved in their cages so we have meat and eggs at the ready. The convenient plastics killing us and our wildlife. The toxic chemicals leaching into everything, from everywhere. The wifi signals and the microwaves and the radiation and the ozone depletion.

We know we can save one, help one here and there, and it’s a happy ending. But the hope-numbing reality that there are still thousands of wrongs happening every minute of every day that can’t be righted…it’s almost too much to bear. No wonder why we have so many instances of disease in these modern times. Our bodies and souls are bombarded with so many toxins daily it’s a wonder any of us can really accomplish anything.

I am just one person. All I can do is help when I can. Blow the whistle when it needs to be blown. Say a prayer and ask for the milk of human kindness to flow a little more often.

And hug my little rescue pup just a little bit tighter.

If you want to DO SOMETHING: http://saynotodogmeat.net

18 comments

  1. Vahni……I get it. I mean I really really get it. After raising 4 kids, I haven’t wanted the responsibility of a dog (we have a cat), but I have the utmost respect for pet owners like my stepdaughter and sister who care for their dogs like children. This whole subject is sickening.

    Honestly,I think as a population we have been so desensitized to violence and overly sensitized to the slightest perceived offense. You’re right about the Internet of course. The things we are able to witness is appalling! And it seems only to serve to further dull our humanity. Our muscle memory to gasp and turn away seems to have faded. It all makes me want to retreat into my own little “Sereneland” where people respect each other and violence still horrifies.

    1. Serene, thank you for commenting on this. The fact that no one else is commenting, the fact that no one else is sharing or replying to acknowledge the horror of this makes me want to close up shop on this blog right now. I’m sick with despair, frustrated, and exasperated. But I thank you, again, for your comment, and for your thoughtful perspective on this post and so very many others.

      I’ve been wondering for a long time why I’m still blogging. Now I’m thinking there is no reason left, if this kind of post doesn’t phase anyone enough to incite an angered or heartfelt response. What’s the point anymore? I think I am done.

  2. Hi, I just wanted to reply to say that I feel you. I don’t really have anything to add, but I didn’t want to let your post pass without at least saying that it’s important that when you feel this way you say so and that it’s brave of you to put it out there. I think most of experience despair over the state of humanity at one point or another and cruelty to animals (and children) hits a particularly hurtful spot for me too. Thank you for writing this.

    1. Hi Sarah…thank you for your comment. I appreciate your support, and while I’m sorry that you also feel the same, it’s good to know that I am not alone in being disturbed by this.

  3. Thank you for sharing and writing this post. Ever since experiencing the wildness and beauty of Colorado last October and truly getting in to and enjoying outdoor adventures (camping, hiking, rock climbing, etc.) have I begun to realize what humans have done to this world. It is still an amazing and beautiful place, but even the smallest human footprint can disrupt eco systems. And to think what we’ve done through building dams, houses, strip centers and destroying forests, rivers, and deserts. I know this isn’t along the same lines as what you wrote about (I cringe every time I read/see/hear about animal abuse – it’s so needless and heartbreaking), I think it falls in the vicinity in that humans, for the most part, have been set on consumerism and satisfying their own needs at the expense of others, that we are slowly destroying ourselves. I’m honestly not sure how or if we can truly come back from the state we are in.

    1. Hi Sydney, thanks for your comment and for sharing this post. What you shared is also the kind of thing that I touched on in my post: humankind’s flagrant disregard for nature and its creatures. You absolutely nailed it in this line: “humans, for the most part, have been set on consumerism and satisfying their own needs at the expense of others, that we are slowly destroying ourselves.” That is exactly what I feel too…we have lost our collective conscience in the name of modernization and convenience. It’s a hard pill to swallow when you know that you’re just another cog in that wheel.

      Anyway, thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

  4. although I didnt WANT to click through, I did- to the site about dogmeat and I threw up in my mouth. I actually threw up in my mouth. As my two doxies lay sleeping in their beds behind me…I just CAN’T. I honestly can’t understand the cruelty in killing ANY living creature…ok…keeping it real..ants, I can kill ants without feeling bad but anyway.
    My husband and I were JUST talking about all this horrible pain and killing sprees and bombings and so on and so on..its like everyday there is some news about it…we were discussing if its always been this way, but now with social media its just MORE alive..and then that “alive” makes others who weren’t even thinking about it..think about it.
    Who knows. At the end of our conversation we decided to just to the best WE can everyday and make sure our two little boys are raised kind, caring, thoughtful and respectful of all those around them. Its the best we could come up with.

    C

    1. Hi Carly, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I always appreciate reading your perspective. I agree that teaching your little ones to be caring and thoughtful toward people, animals, and Mother Earth is about all you can do. We can only control/change our own actions.

  5. just read other comments. You can’t stop blogging. I love your blog. Its so DIFFERENT from mine…and thats why I love reading. I don’t always have time to comment but I do when I can.

    Agree however that if someone isn’t SO horrified by this to comment, they might as well not have a pulse.

    C

  6. Hi V,

    I hear you. Loud and clear. I often feel like the world is coming to an end, and I am not even sure that I think that’s a bad thing anymore. I read about atrocities done by the Islamic State, refugees drowning in the Mediterranean, girls being raped, elderly people robbed in their own homes, the live cattle trade (just as horrible as the dog meat market), how we treat our animals that are raised for meat and yes – the dog meat horror.

    I really have no words and sometimes get the feeling that everything is meaningless anyway, there is too much evil in the world. Blogs are my rescue where I try to feed my soul with beauty and kindness so when I saw that you too write about dog meat I just moved on. But I do think that you are doing the right thing using your own space to speak up.

    Hope that you will continue to blog, I really enjoy reading here.

    All the best,

    Bea

    1. Hi Bea, thanks so much for your comment…and for opening this post even against your better judgement!

      I, too, use blogs for escape and inspiration, but part of my own personal escape occurs through writing on my blog…which makes me extra appreciative when readers like you let me know that you enjoy my posts. Thanks again for your comment and readership!

  7. …and here I go with my second comment in a row, ironically.

    This kind of thing IS soul crushing and sick-making.

    Please try not to be too hard on your readers that didn’t comment – some simply cannot think about/respond to something this hideous and have to crawl away and cry or hide. Many souls are just too gentle to handle it. Hopefully they help balance out the corrupt people who carry out these (and other) kinds of atrocities. I myself could not click through and have to “think next it to” the photo just to be able to compose this response. But I couldn’t not respond, partly because of the subject/photo, but also because your reaction touched me deeply.

    Frankly, I cannot watch/read the news without working myself into a shouting fest of anger and frustration or a crying jag of sadness and despair. Because it’s both, some of mankind is becoming more depraved, AND we are seeing more it because of the advances we are making in technology.

    Many parts of humanity ARE losing their “humanity”. I could go on and on. Fortunately, some of us are responding with action, reaction, sharing these awful truths, and participating when we can.

    I initially thought I would list the small things that I am lucky enough to be able to personally do to try to combat this “disease” that humanity is bringing on itself. Not as personal aggrandizement, but to help you in times like these, time of deep desolation, to remind you that so many of us DO care and are doing what we can. But the list seems puny in the face of the odds. On the other hand, it’s not. Many of us are doing everything we can, be it small acts of random kindness, or huge donations of time or money to worthy causes, and everything in between.

    Bringing the injustices to light is one of those acts, just as you have done by sharing this post. So thank you. Even though you made me cry, thank you.

    1. Aw, thank YOU, again, Tessa. Sorry I made you cry. But thanks for taking the time to consider this post, for your encouraging words, and for the fact that you DO care.

  8. I so understand thwt despair. Whether through an email from change.org or a photo from Pinterest, my heart feels like it is in a permanently broken state. I don’t know who is on the earth with us, but too often lately I feel as if there is more evil than good. And that somehow all thwt evil is okay with most people. My own blog is kind of new, but I had done a post about using makeup that doesn’t use animal testing and talked about this same topic. I don’t know who could do these things, but I know doing the same to them would be on my dream based bucket list. Sorry, it is how I feel. More must demand justice and speak out as you have done. I hate that your heart breaks too, but glad there are those still with a heart.

    1. Lynn, thank you so much for your comment. I am wholeheartedly on the eye-for-an-eye bandwagon when it comes to this kind of thing. It feels like it’s the only just thing to do to teach abusers a lesson. And change them forever. You don’t have to apologize for feeling like they deserve to get back what they put out!

  9. You’re not alone. Randomly found this page when searching regarding my own disillusionment of today’s world. Animal cruelty and disrespect for the planet is just the tip of the iceberg as you suggest. All the while money is the end game we are destined to fail as a species. We’ve arrogantly forgotten we are animals and our focus is no longer on what’s truly important; namely respecting what we have been gifted (whether from God or just plain science). We have the intelligence and awareness to do good things, amazing things (exploring and trying to understand our universe) yet we fail to see what’s in front of our noses. We have been swindled by the corporations and governments (or more precise those behind who coerce our ‘leaders’) and it seems no one can stop the might and power of money. It’s clear most wars have been in the name of greed rather than justice, and brainwashing, be it using fear or religious nonsense, is rife. People are set against other people in an attempt to cause panic and strong feeling. Look at the what the US has done in recent years in the name of freedom. Now they have further control over US citizens with the ‘Patriot Act’. The irony in the words they use. There are plenty of good people in this world, yet try raising a serious issue on Facebook etc if you dare. You’ll be met by awkward silence, because those who think out of the box and want others to look outside the Matrix are made to feel awkward; a freak for not just getting on with it. Be a good citizen – Watch your adverts and eat your fried chicken. You’re weird if you’re not content. Still unhappy, buy some more stuff and take some happy pills! Anyway, I feel better for venting… I’m writing this for the benefit of others too who might be having a deluded day. You’re not alone, and you’re probably NOT deluded. Do the good you can, and be true to your beliefs.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Stuart. Glad to know we are not alone in our feelings of disgust with certain aspects of the world today. You can vent here any time!

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