Judging Can Hurt Animals (from Janet)
It was a informative Facebook post about an animal in need. The issue: a dog in North Carolina, kept tethered outside 24/7 without insulated shelter. The owner: a woman who believes that a dog is just a dog, and dogs should be kept outside because to bring them in “costs money” that she would rather spend on her wardrobe.
The Facebook poster is the founder of a well established rescue group that travels the continental US helping dogs that are the victim of tethering. But she didn’t advertise that on this post.
Instead, she was simply providing information on a dog that needed some help, and was sharing information in the hopes that someone from that area was also aware of the dog and to also bring awareness about yet another victim fallen to being chained in the same spot every damn day.
That’s when the judging started.
I get it. People are reactionary, and usually those reactions come from feeling passionate about something. And there are many people who are passionate about Animal Welfare.
But I don’t think that being passionate is an excuse to be judgmental.
Usually, when someone is judging someone else, it’s because the person doing the judging is getting something out of that; maybe that person is angry or jealous or vengeful. Judging someone else allows venting, release and for others, closure. Judging someone else may make that person feel superior. Judging someone also is a way for a person to share their feelings about something they feel passionate about, without actually having to confront the person they are talking about, or do anything about a situation because people who judge feel that they have done something by doing just that. Sometimes judging others is an introduction to simply gossip. And many times, the person being judged has no idea they are being judged.
I was not surprised that so many people would rally for the dog on this post. What did shock me though, was the number of people who immediately, nastily and with much vulgarity, attacked the dog owner instead of coming up with positive suggestions to address the issue.
Here’s the thing. Although I don’t agree with anyone chaining a dog 24/7, no-one knows the circumstances of this situation. Granted, the owner of the dog DID say that she believes that a dog is just a dog, and dogs should be kept outside because to bring them in “costs money” that she would rather spend on her wardrobe. But that was not a face-to-face conversation, and we have no idea where that thinking originated from.
Believe it or not, some people judge ignorance as being stupid or indifferent. However, sometimes being ignorance simply means things can turn around with conversation and education. And yes, I’m saying “sometimes”.
In this situation, there was so much hating on the dog owner, that the originator of the post removed it from Facebook because things were getting out of hand and nothing productive was being suggested. I was glad she made the decision to do that, because after a while no-one was even asking about the dog, they were simply taking turns posting extremely inappropriate content about someone they knew nothing about.
Don’t misunderstand me here. There are situations that I don’t budge one inch on. I can be very rigid in my thinking, especially when it comes to animal neglect and abuse. But – but. There are situations where things may not be what they seem, and until facts are gathered and information is confirmed, sometimes you can’t just assume you know the whole story.
No matter how passionate the guy next to you is (or is posting), YOUR passion should come from YOU and YOUR knowledge, not from others. And then turn your passion into something constructive – judging others is anything but.
Judging someone or a situation prematurely has the ability to possibly negatively impact something that shouldn’t be shaken up. In some cases, incorrectly judging a situation has actually resulted in pets being removed from their home environments when they shouldn’t have been, euthanized before their time, and caused bad publicity towards someone who simply needed some education on how to be a better pet owner.
And just so you know, the originator of the post privately messaged me a few hours later to let me know that after she spoke with the dog owner, the dog owner agreed to let others help her put up a fence so her dog didn’t have to spend any more time on a chain. And that was after one conversation. Who knows what might happen after a few more talks? Education, taking the time to talk things out, and positive suggestions go a lot further to help animals than judgement.
It’s all about the animals in need. Judging takes up time better used to save or better a life.
Don’t be judgmental – be HELPFUL instead.