Coffee Shop Thoughts 3: Animals and Heartbreak

Animals

tw: animal abuse, animal cruelty

On my way here, a little girl begging on the street grabbed my hand and wouldn't let go. With her tiny hand in mine, I went with my usual phrase when people in the street ask me for things, "I'm sorry, but I can't". Being the actual child that she is, she childishly says she isn't going anywhere until I give her something. I tell her she can tag along, but I'm sorry and can't do that.

Her equally young brother is waiting for her to come back from this hopefully-fruitful hand-holding session.

We lock eyes after a second, then she angrily lets go of my hand in a gesture of anger and disappointment. I think of how the logical thing to do is thoroughly wash my hands when I get to my destination. But why?! Research shows a lot of people don't wash their hands after going to the bathroom, masturbating, changing diapers, and this is only the tip of this iceberg that I'm not surprised by. I'm not the most hygienic person in the world myself, as I figure (and research proves) a lot of other people aren't as well. So who cares?

Almost immediately I think of all the times people have had a problem with me touching or cuddling stray animals. For years now, people have ~been so kind to~ let me know all the diseases and infections I'm now prone to because I wanted to pet that dog. That's what you get for not being able to resist the cuteness. Looking into that cute dog's eyes though, makes my heart break into a thousand pieces and that's why, for me, it stopped being a matter of cuteness a long time ago. 

 

It all started when I was a child. My grandparents had this big house and an even bigger garden where all kinds of animals lived, some of which I don't even the exact name for in English. Yeah, that diverse.

We had names for most of the chickens and each of them had its own distinct features and personality. This particular day, it was the first time my uncle came back from Greece since he'd left many years ago, and the first time I met his new family: his wife and son. Unrelated, but, my cousin and I spoke different languages and were too young to speak English, however, I swear we understood each other completely. Like, freakishly so. In Albanian, we call that the language of blood, ain't it amazing what our brains can accomplish?! Now that we both speak English and the internet exists, we hardly ever talk, lol, but anyway...

Anyway, my cousin and I were hanging out and my grandmother comes and says we should stay put for a while and NOT go to the other side of the house. Being the curious, rebellious child that I was, I said fuck that (basically, placebo is inert, meaning it's not supposed to do anything, but placebo is a rebel and breaks the rules) and went over there.

I saw my grandfather kill with his bare hands (and probably a knife) one of my favorite chickens. I burst out crying and tried to stop him, but my grandmother took me out of there and gave me this BS explanation of what was happening. I've talked with a lot of people who had a similar experience growing up, maybe not the actual slaughter, but you know, "losing" animals they'd grown to see as friends and part of the household, even if they'd only stayed with them for a few days.

Now, for as long as I can remember, I'm affected deeply by animals. I might see a stray dog, in a safe place, and just looking at him smiling (smiling dogs are a thing and you know it, don't @ me) /waiting for someone to play with him /show him even the tiniest bit of attention, and I get goosebumps, a bump in my throat, shivers... I've gotten pretty good at not having an emotional reaction every time, or even most times, but injustice gets me to my fucking core.

Why are some animals in loving homes, being bought for hundreds of dollars, getting toys while others are ran over in highways, left there, kicked, and a lot of other cruel things that I won't go over because a.) everyone knows b.) I'm in a coffee shop and I don't want people asking why I'm crying in the club right now, okay?!

Why are there big corporations protected by state laws making plenty of $$$ in the most disgusting of ways, but this old lady near my place, coming from miles away to sell her fucking produce in the city and make just a few dollars a day, is surrounded by ~7 cops and required to pay huge fees and move the fuck out of there?

I know, I know, I'm just describing...life, but -speaking from a place of privilege- I love life, I love the people and the places and the possibilities that life has to offer. Just realized; I didn't come here to write about police brutality, so I won't get into that (just now), but about animals and the shit they go through, unfortunately, figuratively and literally*.

Also, in the country I grew up in, you almost never come across LGBTQ/POC issues, or even members of those groups. There are only a few publicly known trans people, who work as prostitutes and are harassed, and the occasional coming out story, whereas the only POC you meet are Roma people, who are usually asking for money, so yeah.

Maybe, that's why, growing up, animal cruelty was the thing that most got to me, that, and because, they're voiceless. Actually, a lot of animal rights advocates consider themselves a voice for the voiceless.  As women, we might be silenced for speaking up, but at least we can do that; animals can't defend or speak for themselves.

Trackback: Best Speech You'll Ever Hear

All they can do is love us unconditionally, as they already do, and just hope for the best: that we don't hurt them, kick them, poke their eyes out, bury them in the ground alive**...but instead love them back.

My heart breaks and breaks having to write this, and I haven't even said anything about the animals killed for food and what they have to go through.

To end on a more positive note, I've cuddled all the stray animals and touched all the people and nothing has EVER happened to me (lol), Germany banned fur farming, a lot of makeup companies are going cruelty-free, the demand for meat and meat products has decreased dramatically in developed countries, demand for plant-based products has risen and they're everywhere now (and very delicious too). This is happening because of the people, the ones that have gotten their facts right and chose to DO SOMETHING! Be it Meatless Mondays, cruelty-free makeup products, only getting faux-fur, not throwing rocks at cats minding their business...

Every little helps. Animals all over the world thank you.
*Not to get into details, but a lot of animals live in such tiny spaces before they're slaughtered, i.e. chicken's cages are on top of one another... Well, you can put 2 + 2 together...
**PETA offered 10000$ to the person that can tell them who did that  *insert an adjective so horrible that it hasn't been invented yet here* thing

Coffee Thoughts Shop 2: Things to Stop Doing

A penny for your thoughts
Going to cute cafés to get work done + My thoughts = Coffee Thoughts Shop.  Join me on this journey to caffeine poisoning and success (hopefully not both).
  •  talking shit about kids’ appearance, even if they are our most hated politician’s children
  • not texting back the people we love
  • being rude to waiters
  •  flirting with waiters– they just want to work and go home and not get one too many friendly remarks by actual strangers
  • being rude to people handing out flyers– to the people who immediately throw the flyer on the ground in front of the person who handed it to them, there’s a special place in hell for you
  •  worrying too much if there’s a heaven or hell
  • not getting the drink we originally want because it has too many calories? Nourish your body by giving it carrots when it feels like something fresh and high-calorie drinks if it feels like something sweet. Life’s too short to not get what you want.
  • staring
  • using images of happy animals in animal products… Cows are raped for milk, animals are killed for food, and I doubt any of them was ever happy/smiley as advertised #TheFuck (Yes, I’m fun at parties, what do you mean?!)
  • actively trying to see what that person on their laptop is doing. I mean, I *can* see your reflection on the screen…
  • sitting down for looong periods of time. (Guilty, but setting an alarm every hour to remind you to move around the office/house/etc. really helps.)
  • equating health to how thin/fat someone is (fact-based research is a friend)

Thank you for reading. Feel free to share your latest coffee shop thoughts. Was your Espresso Freddo as frothy as mine? The cleaning lady just as nice? Any caffeine epiphanies?

coffee thoughts shop: one

A penny for your thoughts
Going to cute cafés to get work done + My thoughts = Coffee Thoughts Shop. Join me on the road to caffeine poisoning and success (hopefully not both).
  • I wonder if the waiters refer to me as the girl who takes more than an hour to drink ONE espresso
  • Every time I look over at the restroom, someone’s in there
  • A little girl is learning to walk and her mother is in awe
  • Someone tried to put peanut shells in the trash and they fell on the ground and she blamed the bin and left them there #rude
  • Someone approached and asked my opinion on something
  • Turns out he was being compensated 15000$ (for land he was wrongfully taken years ago) instead of 1500$ and I was the one who delivered the news
  • If you yell at kids, you need to chill the fuck out
  • A girl’s been hugging her mother for more than 2 straight minutes now
  • The new chairs here are so art deco though
  • Thought I’d get news today, but I will on the 26th #WishMeLuck
  • Guessed the WiFi password on the first try
  • There are only two bathrooms -one person at a time in each- and people will wait outside their assigned gender bathroom when the other one is free
  • If you remove the women/men stickers, there’s literally no fucking difference #FreeTheBladder
  • Having only two tabs open feels like I’m missing something
  • Unless you’re a baby that has little to no control to what you pay attention to, don’t stare at other people
  • People with gofundme pages are really… courageous, for lack of a better word
  • Someone has on this perfume that reminds me of so many good things ahh
  • Replaced by just-popped-popcorn smell
  • Replaced by freshly brewed (coffee shops’ attempt at) black coffee smell
  • You can say a lot of things about Albania/Albanians, but you can’t deny: 1. fucking breathtaking nature 2. the girls… Oh, the girls!

Thanks for reading (a piece of my mind).