Relationship-building Communication. Practical Insight. Honest Connection.

Janet nurtures and helps deepen the animistic bond between humans and all sentient beings, helping to build right relationship that fosters understanding, agency and well-being for all.

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It’s NOT Coming Up Roses

white rose upside down black background

I seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time hiding posts from my timeline on Facebook. I tend to do that with the majority of political posts, but it’s hiding all the posts about animals that is really getting my goat.

Why?

Because people are generating and sharing posts I don’t want to see. This is a smattering of the posts and pics showing up on my timeline:

  • abused animals
  • dead animals
  • cats with arrows through their heads
  • cats who have been dyed purple/blue/green/take your pick
  • cats used as chew toys
  • puppies used as bait dogs
  • starved animals
  • animals used in lab experiments
  • the list goes on and on…..

The other day colleague and friend Kris Scanlon asked me if I had seen the video going around encouraging people to kill (the euphemism used was ‘euthanize’) their senior pets because they are old. Because. They. Are. Old. (They’ve lived a good life, don’t you know.)

Dear lord, I sincerely hope my family and friends don’t decide to ‘euthanize’ me simply because I’m getting older.

I quickly deleted the post that started out…….

****GRAPHIC PICTURES****

(Don’t look if you’re squeamish)

I’m sorry, but people REALLY need to see this……..

…..but not before I started yelling out loud:  What the hell, I’m SEEING the pictures you’re telling me not to look at, your warning of graphic material didn’t do one damn bit of good. You’re NOT sorry, otherwise you wouldn’t be posting this hideous content; if you’re going to post something like this, at least speak truthfully. And NO, NO, NO! I DO NOT need to see this to know this horrific abuse exists.

Click in right hand corner —> click on ‘hide post’ —> post is magically gone, it never existed. Life is good, right?

Not really, because those images, those words, those feelings of hate, anger and fear that are attached behind the words and images that are now seared on my brain and in my thoughts. I am an intuitive, sensitive and empath. While I can unsee, unhear, and unfeel the images, it is not an easy process to do so.

It Takes All Kinds

Luckily I am surrounded by a group of supportive folks on whom I can call when I get like this. I contacted Tracie Nichols and Kelley Harrell, two extraordinary, strong women who have that incredible knack of knowing when to say “there, there” and knowing when to ever-so-gently give me that mighty kick in the butt and tell me to get over it.

In conversations with them, I conceded this is not a simple conversation in which to engage. There are too many layers involved – how people take in information, what people need to see before they will take action, what action folks consider beneficial, what post/pictures cultivate action, what post/pictures cause denial in a person because they are unable to take in the idea of such shocking abuse.

Posts like these can end up causing us to feel helpless, overwhelmed by guilt, becoming paralyzed instead of taking positive action. This paralysis is most likely not coming from a sense of complacency, but one of hopelessness. It can even be because perhaps we fear not knowing what to do, or we might even be thinking we’re not educated enough to handle this problem.

In my opinion, the confrontational methods used in these posts have an underlying desire to create guilt and shame in the people seeing the posts, hoping to create action stemming from those negative feelings. However, they more often result in people distancing themselves from the posts BECAUSE they create those very feelings.

Let’s face it folks, if there were a simple answer to this, this problem would have been taken care of long ago.

So What’s A Person To Do?

As I said in “I’m Just Too Damned Tired to Care“: “I am just too damned tired to waste my energy on what is, IMO, the equivalent of a reality show, which of course does not reflect reality at all”.

Which brings us around to right relationship. Simply put, ‘right relationship’ means living at one with all with whom we cohabit on this planet. It means taking responsibility for our own actions, consciously deciding what energy we want to put out in the world and have as our legacy to this world. It means thinking ahead to the generations to come, not thinking selfishly of only our own generation.

I often refer to right relationship as relationship-with instead of power over another.

Which elicits the question: how do I help these animals without succumbing to anger and resentment, without diminishing my energy in trying to help them?

Here are some questions to ponder that may help you discern how best to move forward when sharing posts:

  • Put yourself in that animal’s place. If you had an arrow through your head, would you want your picture pasted all over social media?
  • Does sharing the post simply add voyeurism to the post or does it offer a way to help the animal?
  • In sharing these posts, what kind of undercurrent is created? It it continuing the cycle of anger, hate and sensationalism or does it create a way to offer hope and possibility?
  • Energy is energy, what energy are you propagating by sharing the post? And don’t fool yourselves, at some deep, heartfelt energetic level that animal in the post is aware of the energy being created

I know I don’t have the answer, and if you do have the answer, please be so kind as to not to share it with me. Why’s that? Because this issue is far too complicated to have only one right answer. Each one of us is called to examine this from our own perspective, and take action in our own way, keeping the well being of the animals affected by these posts in mind.

Of one thing I am most confident: when we keep the idea of right relationship in our hearts and minds, then each one of us will make a difference with those animals.

Here’s To New Beginnings,

Janet

 

14 Comments

  1. Jacqueline Martens March 8, 2016 at 11:51 am #

    I’m in total agreement. As a highly sensitive person, it causes extreme pain and you can’t un-See these images. We carry that with us. Blessings for the work you do.

    Reply

    • Janet Roper March 8, 2016 at 1:59 pm #

      Hang in there Jacqueline, you’re not by yourself feeling this way. There’s more of us than one would think. If there’s anyway I can help, let me know, and thank you for your kind words 😉

      Reply

  2. Emily Lagergren March 8, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

    I agree as well. I couldn’t even read past the second example on your list, as I was immediately horrified (another visual in my imagination that I can never “unsee”) — I scrolled down without reading the rest of them. I can still feel it in my body.
    I always wondered if there was something wrong with me — sometimes people say things like, “Well, you have to face it because it’s out there – you can’t hide your head in the sand” and things like that, but I become debilitated by these images and they NEVER go away. I can remember images from National Geographic magazine I saw as a child – seared into my imagination – that still break my heart. And then things people say…Anyway, I’m glad to hear your take on it. I can see how it creates a lower vibration and NOT its supposedly good intention of making people more aware, or even more ridiculously, stopping someone who might contribute. . Thanks Janet.

    Reply

    • Janet Roper March 11, 2016 at 9:12 am #

      Emily, the only way I could write that list was to put blinders on, not think, and just let my fingers type! There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with you or feeling compassion for the animals. Thank you for being so connected to the animals 😉

      Reply

  3. Anita Williams March 10, 2016 at 1:05 pm #

    Janet I’ve been going through the same dilemma … so much so that I shy away from reading my FB newsfeed but in doing so, tend to miss the ‘good’ posts. As an empath I feel the pain & distress these poor animals are feeling & I see it in their eyes. I cry for them & I dream about them. Feelings of anger & disgust at certain members of the human race are ever present. Having worked with & for shelter animals since 1975, watched the undercover videos over the years & signed numerous petitions, I’ve reached the point where I have to take a step back, not because I’m abandoning them but because my sanity is at stake. Animal abuse will remain an ongoing problem as long as there are people who have no compassion, consideration & respect for them. I love all animals & always will. Thank you for your email newsletters & your FB pages – reading them always lifts my spirits. ?

    Reply

    • Janet Roper March 11, 2016 at 9:10 am #

      Anita, it’s so important that we don’t fall into that – what I consider a trap – of manipulation of our feelings through guilt, pity or condemnation to result in a specific action. Once we see it for what it is, it becomes easier to step away from it and honor our own feelings. Thank you for helping the animals and taking the time to drop by and express your feelings.

      Reply

  4. Susan Hagan March 12, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

    Janet, very well put. I feel so fortunate NOT to have such images coming up on my facebook stream! If I did I would likely “un-friend” whoever sent them, and explain that I couldn’t tolerate such graphicness, which could readily ruin my focus and my day.
    To Janet and other animal advocates so active in social media, you are unfortunately in their path. Thank you for what you do.

    Reply

    • Janet Roper March 14, 2016 at 12:16 pm #

      You are welcome Susan. I think the majority of folks have good intentions and think they are helping the cause of the animals when they create and/or share these posts. Unfortunately, it often has the result which you describe.

      Reply

  5. Ferris Jay June 22, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

    This is indeed a thorny subject. I believe that everybody means well when they share and are passionate about their causes, and, as you so eloquently noted, it isn’t easy for many people to see and it doesn’t always promote positive action.

    Like you, I don’t think there is ‘an answer’. We all get to choose what is acceptable to us and, as you said, I hope we all manage to choose with love and the best interests of the animals in our minds and hearts.

    Reply

    • Janet Roper June 23, 2016 at 10:29 am #

      Ferris, if there was one, single, ‘correct’ answer, it would have taken care of this a long time ago. Yes, you are right on – everyone means well. I’m with you that folks choose with love and the best interests of the animals. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

      Janet Roper
  6. Charli Mills October 18, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

    Thank you so much for saying this!!! I have a well meaning friend who thinks because I love dogs I want to be tagged on every issue dog related, including abuse issue I can’t stomach or resolve. Recently one of my beloved dogs passed and she’s posting memes about how important dogs are and their death matters. I feel bludgeoned but haven’t been able to articulate why until I read your post. Now I feel I can better address the situation.

    Reply

    • Janet Roper October 19, 2016 at 11:34 am #

      You are very welcome Charli, I’m glad it has helped you. I hear what you say about feeling bludgeoned, never thought of it with that word before, but it’s true 😉

      Reply

      Janet Roper

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. It’s NOT Coming Up Roses – Doggd - March 9, 2016

    […] Read the full article here: http://janetroper.com/abused-animals-social-media-solutions/ […]

  2. Being Complicit in the World of Animals | Janet Roper - December 27, 2017

    […] the abuse, neglect, the trophy hunting, whatever, it’s a given that It’s Not Coming Up Roses for our animal kin. Just imagining what the animals regularly encounter at the hands of humans can […]

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