Inquiry: People should know how to take care of their animals.

People should know how to take care of their animals. (Triggered by seeing someone abusing their dog by pulling the leash and obviously not knowing how to relate to him in a decent way.)

  1. True?
    Yes. As usual, it feels true. (Feels uncomfortable when I see someone who don’t, according to my story.) My stories tells me it is true. The stories of many others tells me it is true. (Especially those who relate to animals in a more knowledgeable way.)
  2. Sure?
    No. It is just a story. Also, I don’t know what is best for me, them, the animals.
  3. What happens when I believe that thought?
    • I feel better than them. I know, they don’t. I know how to relate to animals as equals in terms of value, and with skill, including how to effectively and easily train them using only positive reinforcement. (Clicker training.)
    • I replay memories and images of how humans treat other animals, and the ignorance and cruelty that is often there. The blindness. Not seeing that how they treat our fellow beings mirrors exactly how we treat ourselves. Not seeing the suffering that is inflicted. Not seeing the blindness in treating animals as objects to own and treat without respect for them and their experiences and suffering.
    • I see myself as embodying views that will be more common in the future.  A wider circle of care, concern and compassion. Seeing animals as equals in terms of value. A wider circle of us, which includes animals, and also the Earth as a whole. (And, eventually, whatever other life in the universe we may encounter.) My views today may be the common views at some point in the future. (Unless there is some global catastrophe setting us back.) Here too, I am better. I know better. My views are more advanced, more sophisticated. I am right, they are wrong.
    • In all of this, there is a sense of separation. Of aloneness. Being alone in my view, in being right, in seeing things the way they are.
    • There is a sense of precariousness. Of having come upon a more sophisticated view, which may be lost again. I need to maintain it. Rehearse it. Prevent it from going away. Prevent it from being corrupted by the more mainstream views.
    • There is a sense of uneasiness, from separation and precariousness, and also from seeing how all of this is created from beliefs. I see how I get caught up in certain stories, take them as god given truths, and everything that comes from that… reactive emotions, rigid views, a closed heart, sense of separation, precariousness, uneasiness.
    • When did I first have that thought? In my early or mid teens, at the latest, when I got into animals rights.
  4. Who would I be without that thought?
    • More clear. Seeing what is happening, how it could be different with different views and skills, yet also without getting caught up in stories and reactivity. Sense of compassion with the animals and humans. Sense of compassion for the mess we create for ourselves, which also impacts other creatures. A compassion that happens within clarity and recognition of myself in all of them. A compassion for us.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • People should not know how to take care of their animals.
      • Well, they sometimes don’t. They act from the circle of care and the skills available to them. Most often, they just treat animals the way their parents did and those around them do.
      • It gives feedback to themselves. Suffering of others triggers discomfort in ourselves, which in this case is an invitation to examine how we treat animals and find different ways.
      • It helps me examine how I treat animals, my beliefs around it, and how I treat people who treat animals this way.
    • I should know how to take care of animals.
      • Yes. As usual, the advice is for myself. I can develop my skills further.
    • I should know how to take care of people.
      • Yes, even more true. I should know how to treat those treating animals this way. I can explore how I treat them in my mind and actions. I can find ways that are more caring and more effective.
    • I should know how to take care of myself.
      • Yes, including by examining my beliefs around these topics.

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