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Animal Welfare - Why Judging Less Means Teaching More

Last time I wrote a blog post someone told me I wasn’t a vegan enough vegan.

Which leads really nicely into this blog post.

There’s a lot of vegan people floating around saying that other vegan people are not vegan enough. The ‘I’m more vegan than you, I’m a better vegan in fact I’m the best vegan’ is banded about regularly on social media - often a bit better dressed.

I’m certain the ‘vegan more vegan’ people think they are doing a good thing. And I’m even more certain their behaviour is based in the hurt and realisation that we all experience when we learn what’s been going on around animals at the hands of people. It’s a broken heart, it feels like anger, like judgement, like madness has moved in and is having a party, it does.

I heartily believe we are seeing the anger stage of grief. I’ve been in that stage and believe me, it’s not a space to get stuck in. It sucks all the life out of you.

Dog training methods can cause a similar response.

There is some horrible, really horrible stuff out there in the name of training dogs. And yes, we hate it, and we judge, and we shame the people who are doing it. Do they care, no, probably not.

Which begs the question, why do we fight for the most vulnerable among us?

It’s a choice we make isn’t it, a choice in our minds that we need to be out there speaking up against bad stuff, unkindness, cruelty, and for the underdog. And I get that, I really do. It’s a beautiful part of humanity when it’s real and happens in the real world. Real world humanity where people consider and empathise with each-other and other animals shows us true human connection. Isn’t that where the magic happens? Of course it is.

But actually, sending blame and shame at others with the insidious idea that they are bad, and we are better, that doesn’t really do much useful at all. In fact it does more harm because it’s distracting us. The people who want a better world for the animals, for the dogs. We are exhaustedly judging others and simultaneously wishing we could change things, but not knowing where to start.

Think of all that wonderful energy we each have inside us. The energy that runs out at the end of the day, so we have to go to bed. The energy that isn’t limitless, that needs replenishing through rest. How much of that do you think you will have left if you spend an hour fighting with a stranger on Facebook? How about thirty minutes? How about thirty minutes every day of every week of every year for your entire life?

Imagine if you used that energy to build your own confidence? To grow your own work based on the changes you would like to see in this world. To bring your gifts forward with clear confidence? Now think of all the people who have made massive, positive changes in this World. Haven’t they all been marching towards something, not away from something while looking back? Have they not put all their energy into creating a new, better way while looking forward right at it?

I would like to propose a new way and an entirely new approach for the quiet (and not so quiet) judges among us and believe me this is going to be uncomfortable. It made me uncomfortable at first too. But it led to the most beautiful personal growth and understanding.

I would like you to look in at yourself, to ask yourself why your power is hidden away in there. To ask yourself why you don’t feel like you can make this World a better place and instead limit yourself to getting upset about things you can’t control.

Take a moment to ponder this. Why can’t you see how great you are?

Why can’t you see that you are filled with enough compassion to outshine even the biggest most brutal of online dog trainers. Why don’t you know that you don’t ever have to go into that darkness to make a difference, ever? You don't have to upset yourself with it, or judge or get angry or any of that upsetting stuff. You just need to throw down your own torch and focus on the puddle of light it creates. That's all you have to do if you want to change the world.

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