Sep 09

sad-abused-girl-with-bear

I am often asked the question about what I would do if I won the lottery. Of course my answer is that I would give the large majority of it to The Toilet Paper People Foundation, a foundation created to serve child abuse victims in an attempt to give them new and creative futures outside of their abusive pasts.

“Um, well once the damage is done to a kid, it’s kinda done isn’t it? Kids have plenty of opportunities that animals don’t.”Some well-intentioned people will ask me more questions of this nature until I have to wonder if it would have been more p.c. of me to have suggested I give the money to the Humane Society.

In many cases question askers of this variety will go on in an attempt to discredit the already disenfranchised, “I mean, humans have more of an opportunity to get it right than animals do, one would think, right? It is ultimately a child abuse survivor’s choice to drink and do all sorts of drugs in order to escape the memories that inhabit the landscape of their lives. Why would you want to put your money to THAT problem?” I may be giving these people a little more credit in the adjective department than they deserve, but the question still remains.

Do humans really have a better chance at a happier survival than animals do once they are abandoned, neglected, and/or abused?

The marketing efforts of the Humane Society would have us thinking that your hard earned dollars can solve an abused pet’s problems by securing them new homes and happier accommodations with more suitable “owners.” I am more concerned by the LACK of marketing regarding our homeless youth problem. It is my opinion that homeless humans wreak more havoc on society than neglected puppies and kittens do. Those humans who have been marginalized by a hugely conformist society are at risk of all sorts of self-defeating behaviors that would put the plight of any abused pet to shame. But, we don’t like to talk about that.

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We would rather be outraged by someone else’s treatment of animals. We would rather put all sorts of money to an animal’s housing and well-being before we ever really want to discuss PTSD and how PTSD alone can cause a 12 year-old to disassociate from his or her peers and how bullying can push this already victimized teenager into acts of violence and rage that we feel more comfortable labeling “crazy.”

When was the last time you heard someone say, “it’s a dog owner’s right to parent his dog in whatever way they see fit, regardless of the physical and psychological damage they are doing to a poor, defenseless creature?”

There is nothing crazy about a kid who reacts like a caged animal after having been beaten his entire life. There is nothing crazy about abused and neglected children becoming desperate and oftentimes homeless adults. Inevitably people will point fingers at the parents of these individuals without REALLY holding them accountable for the damage they do. After watching an episode of Pet Cops on Animal Planet, I wondered why more of an effort isn’t made in holding child abusers accountable for the damage that no one really wants to deal with.

When well-meaning friends tell me that it is difficult to read my book, I don’t blame them. Just like I don’t blame those who turn away from Humane Society commercials. What we do after we turn away is the deciding factor on whether we are really committed as a culture to finally DO SOMETHING about the offenders. If we put more of our dollars into helping humans cope with the damage caused by other humans, we will save many more pets in the process. There is no doubt in my mind, that the offenders are the same on both accounts.

This article was originally published on toiletpaperpeople.blogspot.com.

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