Change the World by Changing the Conversation
Eckhart Tolle was ahead of his time when he advised us to Be in the NOW. Today, more than ever, we live in a real time world. If someone gets mauled by a tiger, you will probably know about it within the hour and news broadcasters from Tampa to Hong Kong will have it running in full color video, with the 911 call playing and commentaries from around the world weighing in on who was at fault.
People love the blame game and it seems that most of the comments that are posted about such tragic events are assigning blame to the authorities who get called in to kill the tiger when it has escaped and wreaked havoc. No one who loves animals can blame the tiger for doing what comes natural; nor should they. What is confounding is that most people never seem to consider that the tiger’s owner was almost always the one person who could have prevented the tragedy.
Whether that owner is a private “pet” owner or a zoo, the tiger was being held in an environment that is totally un natural for a tiger. They are meant to roam hundreds of miles, leap great distances, and kill prey that is larger and far more powerful than a mere human. If the tiger is in a cage, it is because someone chose to breed or participate in the trade in some way to put him there. Of course, a tiger attack could happen at a legitimate sanctuary, but in most cases even the sanctuaries are not really doing anything to end the trade. In many cases they are enabling the bad behavior of those who breed and discard big cats incessantly, by providing an easy dumping ground. At Big Cat Rescue there is written contract required by anyone abandoning an exotic cat that bears financial penalties if they ever own another exotic or even pose with one.
The best way to educate people who are commenting on such stories is to join the conversation. Whether the story is about someone being mauled by a big cat, or a fair or mall promoting some pay-to-play session with big cat cubs, the conversation quickly shifts and takes on a life of its own in the comments section. All too often the only people who bother to comment are those who either make a living from keeping lions, tigers and ligers captive, or those who enable them. Big cats and their cubs need the voices of people who truly care about the plight of captive big cats. They need to be heard.
Changing the conversation can change the world for them.