For the most part, I have found the people I hold dearest to my heart share my love of animals. While I don’t expect them to be as animal obsessed as I am, I tend to be attracted to those who also love and respect animals, whether or not they own them themselves. When I tried eHarmony for a few months, I would only respond to “matches” that also loved animals. In fact, one seemed like Mr. Right (or as right as you can seem on an online dating profile), but when he responded to my short answers saying he is okay with pets if they sleep outside… I immediately deleted him, and muttered under my breath he might be a serial killer in the making. Perhaps I was a bit cynical about dating at that point in time.
I often joke that a person who doesn’t like animals is a person I don’t want to be friends with, and is probably heartless. Okay, extreme, I know. To me, the love and compassion a person displays for animals is often reflected in the love and compassion they display for humans. With all this in mind, I was shocked my freshman year of college when I found myself befriending a girl who absolutely hates animals. Okay, she likes to go to the zoo, and enjoys animals in cages, and she likes horses (if she doesn’t have to go near them and can watch them from a distance). This friend, we’ll call her A, absolutely despises animals, though. She sees pictures of cute, cuddly kittens and she talks about how gross they are. She sees a little puppy, and mutters how ugly it is, or how it is football shaped. I’ll never forget when I first learned of her hatred of animals, taking a walk around campus, we strolled passed faculty housing and a professor’s pet cat walked in front of us… A took off running and screaming. But, despite her hatred of animals, she is the most selfless, loving, kind-hearted person, and has the best sense of humor ever! We quickly realized we were incredible friends, and she would laugh at my love of animals, while I would make fun of her hatred of animals. This is the girl who will order a steak and joke, “I eat animals, because I hate them.” This is also the girl who the only negative thing I have ever heard someone gossip behind her back about was, “Ugh, I hate how A always has nice things to say and finds something to compliment everyone on.” I wish that was the worst thing someone would say behind my back.
A while ago, A changed her Facebook profile picture to this. Please note, in posting this, I do not condone animal abuse. Please also note, that while A hates animals and never wants to have a pet, she too, would never condone hurting them in anyway. In the same way that I am conservative politically, and still laugh as Tina Fey says, “I can see Russia from my house,” I find humor in this... especially in the context that I came to see it… posted as my dear friend’s Facebook profile picture on my newsfeed.