This is Jackson, my very first dog. I brought him home from the animal shelter because, well, he was a hot mess. He was so skinny his ribs were showing, he was throwing up and had diarrhea due to untreated intestinal worms, he was dirty, his teeth looked like those of a senior dog even though he was less than two years old, he flinched at every sound, and he was terrified of men. In fact, for the first several days, I had to physically carry him from place to place because he was often too afraid to even walk a few feet.
I have no clue what happened to Jackson before I brought him home. He was found roaming the streets. That’s all I know. I can only imagine the terrible things he experienced and I often wonder, if only people had treated him the way they would have wanted to be treated, he never would’ve been neglected, abused, or traumatized. To this day, nearly eight years later, he’s still extremely timid and skittish.
I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called Live and Let Live. It’s a thoughtful examination about the relationship between animals and humans, and it discusses the meaningful reasons why people choose to be vegan. It really made me think about this idea of the Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” which typically involves human to human interactions. But it’s important for people to understand that by not extending the same courtesy to animals and the environment, we’re not only hurting them, but ourselves. We must understand that everything is interconnected and if we want to do good, we must do good to all.