Do you love animals? All animals, or only specific species? I don't and I think that's ok. But I also think it's important to have a healthy respect for other living beings and creatures. We might not love or even like them but we can at least let them live life.
I'm always trying to find friendly solutions to wildlife/rodents and pests problems around horses and their environment. At my first job in the US they used to trap rodents and leave them to die slowly in the scorching desert heat. I asked them to kill them instantly instead of torturing them and when they declined, I secretly set them free whenever I could. I also found drowned squirrels in the horses water troughs multiple times a week. A couple miles away, on a different stable, they put small water bowls next to the water troughs so small animals could drink without the risk of drowning and contaminating the water.
Things aren't much different here in The Netherlands, where we share a small country with rodents, lots of birds, livestock and also (somehow) apex wildlife (the wolf). The nuisances are growing, along with people's patience and legal options. So logically, emotions rise as well. People resort to solutions that are at hand. Solutions that aren't always kind.
Why do we punish them for the imbalances in our world? Why do we think inhabiting nature doesn't come with consequences for and from all of her creations? Especially since we've learned so much about the importance of insects and how we can't survive without them, but our attitude towards them doesn't change that much. We still think as us humans Beings being above those that are just Creatures. Because they have no self-awareness, no free will. Does that mean we get to take away their freedom, too? Or even take their life?
For a species that is self-aware and able to make conscious decisions, we most certainly seem to make very poor ones.
Zoë van Mourik | Equine Trauma & Behavior Specialist
www.zoevanmourik.com & www.houseofhorsemanship.nl