I love people and I love lions
I care about people and I care about lions.
I know that what I am about to say is going to make some people mad, and that’s okay but that is not my intention. I am genuinely writing this in hopes that I can help some of you who are angry understand a little bit more from the heart of an animal lover.
First, I have to admit I am offended at the amount of God-loving people I have seen post judgemental facebook statuses and comments attacking the people who have voiced their disgust over the famous lion, Cecil, being killed by a dentist.
It’s okay if Cecil being killed meant nothing to you. It’s okay if you think it’s a minor issue. It is not okay for you to assume people who care about Cecil are not concerned about ISIS, cancer, or sex trafficking. It’s not okay for you to make any assumption about their heart OTHER than they care about a lion who was killed because THAT is what they expressed.
Not everyone feels okay posting articles about abortion, ISIS, racial issues, or cancer. To some, these issues are so important they’ve decided to leave them for conversations had around a table as opposed to social media. Sometimes people have even been personally affected, and it’s too painful to talk about. It’s important to remember that people have feelings that you don’t hear, and the loving thing to do would be to give them the benefit of the doubt. For instance:
I have a friend who posted about how sad she was that Cecil got killed. She was then ridiculed on Facebook (mostly by Christians) because people are starving and dying and how dare she post or even care about a lion when much worse things are happening. What those people obviously don’t know, is her. I know her. I know that she was saved from sex trafficking when she was in middle school. I know that she spends her weekends volunteering and mentoring with girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking, AND I know that she has a side business so that she can give money to those same women to help them find jobs. I also know that this is all kept private for reasons that aren’t really our business.
I love animals. I cannot tell you how happy they make me. Animals make me feel closer to God. I know. I sound like a weirdo. I get it. It’s odd. Maybe that’s the ocean for you. Or maybe it’s your children… I’m sure my children will make me feel like that too. Maybe it’s music, or maybe it’s traveling. When I am sad, I watch YouTube videos of puppies. Seriously. I know I could spend my time listening to an inspirational song or reading a book or talking to a friend… but watching baby animals always dose the trick. I don’t know WHY I am this way… but I am this way. When I hear about animals being mistreated I deeply care. I used to feel guilty for caring.
One time, in college I gave money to an animal shelter and a religious leader involved in my life sat me down and told me I should never give money to anything but saving people. I think what she was really trying to say to me but didn’t have the right words, was… make sure people matter more. I know that I am not wrong for caring about the animals that God gave us. I also think that most of you that are angry are angry for the right reason… you care about people. You want people to matter most.
Can I ask you a question? Have you ever posted something on Facebook that wasn’t about caring most for suppressed people? What camera you should buy? Where you should go eat when you visit a new city? Maybe about the death of your pet? Maybe a Kickstarter link to raise money for you or your friend’s new project (even though there are starving people in Africa)? How many miles you ran this week? How many pounds you lost? Your newest selfie?
I’m not judging you for posting any of those things. I am asking that you not judge people who are offended because a beautiful lion that God created was unfairly killed… and it just so happens that a lot of people cared about that lion. I think that shows just how empathetic our generation is. I also believe most of those people deeply care about people and the major issues going on right now EVEN IF some of them don’t post about it on social media. Social media isn’t the only place to talk about issues.
I have never met a person that loved animals that didn’t love people more.
However, we SHOULD be angry and up in arms about rights being taken away from people. How each of us does that will be different. In the meantime, lets give each other the benefit of the doubt, and stop attacking each other because it really is only causing more division, and in turn making us weaker as a culture.
I love you guys. Sorry if any of this offends you, it really is not my intention.
Disclaimer: I can’t really be responsible for anything I say right now because I am highly emotional thanks to pregnancy.