Why the suffering of animals sometimes hurts most

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Rachel Marie Stone with her dog, Molly, 2014. Photo courtesy Rachel Marie Stone.

Rachel Marie Stone with her dog, Molly, 2014. Photo courtesy Rachel Marie Stone.

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Part of human longing for home--a longing that often looks a lot like faith--seems to include the hope that not just we, but our animals, too, will find a place beyond suffering, beyond fear, beyond death itself.

  • Peggy Bressmer

    Dogs are a special part of my life. It is my hope that people will develop or allow their sensivities to view deeply caring for animals and believe our pets will be there to great us when we go home. Thank you for your publication.

  • Melissa

    I’m right there with you. i cannot handle animal suffering and have missed out on a fair number of phenomenal books and movies because of this. I agree that a big part of my tenderness in that area is a longing for all things to be made right. But that longing applies to humans as well. So why the strong reaction when animals are involved?

    Perhaps the difference in investment for me is the line of culpability. We humans wrecked the world. We humans destroy ourselves and each other. We humans have terrible power over animals, and so often abuse that power.

    but what did my poor, limping, hip-dyspepsia-suffering pup ever do but be the creature God made him to be? he is unrelentingly loyal to me, in pure ways that my muddled heart cannot mimic.but still, he suffers. he was abused and tossed aside before we brought him into our home. he’s still twitchy and unsure because of what he suffered. and his body is starting to betray him. and when i see him struggle, i am undone.

    It breaks my heart in a visceral way to witness animal suffering because animals simply never signed up for this. Yet, they must live in a world filled with evil and disease anyway, without comprehending why. to that i say, Lord, come quickly and put all things to right.

  • Mary

    I was just thinking of that the other day, myself! Why the commercials for saving animals tough at mt heart more so than the commercials for sponsoring a child. It seems crazy to me! Is it because we have devalued human life?

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  • MImel

    No, it isn’t because we have devalued human life. I think it is because humanity as a whole has devalued animal life, and it makes us sad. Think of it, when a human suffers and dies, most of the time we have assurance that person was loved. He will be remembered by his family, friends…a whole network of people.
    And humans are given assurance of place in heaven, if they accept Christ as savior. We have no such definite assurance that an animal will be remembered by it’s creator. We only hope.
    And for an animal, more times than not….the animal is forgotten. It lays in the dust, and rots and noone remembers it or cares. When I see this or think of it, the only thing that comforts me is the thought that this animal’s life was truly in the hands of God. I have to tell myself that the animals were created by God, they belong to Him, and their lives are in His hands. I can only HOPE that there will be a place for them in heaven, as there is for us. I don’t have definite assurance, but I hope.

  • Catherine Adams

    I struggle with knowing the abuse and neglect that animals suffer. I can be so affected, my entire day, sometimes days leave me feeling sad and hurt.

    Your friends and family will tell you “You can’t save the world Catherine”. I say, “what if everyone just turned their back on the ugliness and did nothing”? Of course I don’t have the power to end the torture, abuse, neglect, and suffering of animal’s, but I can’t ignore this fact. We’re supposed to be positive, enjoy our lives, and be productive well intentioned human’s. Yes, how I enjoy my days when I’m trying not to be plagued by these horrid thoughts.

    It is comforting to know, other caring, empathic people have these feelings for animal’s in a different way than human suffering. Although, human suffering is difficult to cope with as well, it impacts me differently. Maybe because as human’s, we have choice’s and we create suffering for the innocent. The innocent are at our mercy and they have no choice.

    My search for answers with God’s guidance led me here…. My journey continues as I strive to find more answers and the strength to live my life as God intended.

    “Give me hope and the strength to cope”, In Jesus Name Amen.