I used to walk down by the Ottawa River on the bicycle path. It's a lovely walk and I've been lucky to see lots of animals down there. Mostly squirrels but I've also seen Great Blue Herons, a pair, and it excites me every time to see creatures in nature.
I'm always surprised and I admit a little angry to find that other people who walk down there don't care for them at all. I was upset one day when a young man on a bicycle almost ran over a rabbit. He saw it but didn't feel he had to swerve to miss it. Why care about little defenseless animals, they think?
Now, I like animals and don't understand the reasoning that because something is harmless, it fair to hurt or torture it. I find it cowardly because it means that if an animal can 'whup your butt' you wouldn't be brave enough to challenge it.
Take bears, for instance. When I was up in Algonquin Park I found so many people who would never do anything to hurt a bear. They would not report when a bear stole their food so the bear wouldn't get shot. They do shoot them up there for that, too. But some nice, tiny, peaceful animal is fair game for attack. They don't care if they're being cowards, that's for sure.
So I wonder if there's an underlying Western thought behind this. As is being polite to your superiors, like your boss, even if he's a prick. Maybe it's so ingrained in Western people to bow down and not insult the stronger people of society that they even feel that way about animals.
Or maybe it's just a sign of the times, where people don't believe in fair competition anymore, but dirty tricks and getting away with things. I would faint if I ever saw a young man of these days look at another man and say, "Yes, I think I could take you on." It doesn't happen anymore. Most men believe that it's stupid to fight someone whose stronger than yourself. It's stupid to lose. So attack, take on, weaker things. Like disabled people or little animals. Or people who have no support, no friends. Losers, if you like. But why, if they're losers, would you want to waste your time besting them? Isn't it too easy? Alas, that's what modern people want.
So when I think of what I like in people, I think of the other young man down on the bicycle path. The one who saw a rabbit and called out "Hi, bunny." I love sweetie-pie people, I think they're the standard we should all attain to. I didn't even laugh when the young man waved a greeting to the rabbit. He was wonderful.