Kerala Elephants - Never Stop Fighting For Them
By Dominick Mezzapesa
Two years ago I created wildlifeplanet.net in hopes of bringing just a little bit more attention to the plight of animals. My goal was to create a site so people could spend less time searching the Internet for stories on abused animals instead of actually reading about them.
My motivation was driven to spur our readers to get involved locally, and move them into lending their voice and skills in the hopes of ending the insanity.
Since the site went online two things became clear.
Upon waking each and every day I search for the next story to post on my site. My hope is to one day create a website that has enough meaningful stories that it will outlive my existence.
I receive countless emails with leads or suggestions, and I am fortunate enough to be a member of many groups that care about animal welfare, so my next story usually present itself without much effort.
The problem I have is every story is worthy of being written about, so the question of "How do you choose?" remains ever present.
In the hundreds upon hundreds of stories covering human beings' persecution upon the wildlife on this planet that we both share, sometimes when I am doing research one line sticks out, or one picture becomes so poignant that it compels you to do your best to speak about this animals' plight.
I have never been formally trained in writing, so I know my words could never do justice in bringing to light these living beings heartaches, but as always, I hope someone more intelligent, more scholarly in speech could flame the fire for which I have hopefully sparked.
When I started wildlifeplanet.net my never to make money and in fact when I started I just wanted to work a few hours each week focus was to cover only the threats facing Endangered species and in some small way direct the course of the conversation toward compassion and love for these animals. lend a hand in this immense fight, I certainly never intended to work 24/7 and barely keep myself above the poverty level. But the more I became of just how much cruelty needs to be exposed the more I was consumed and the more I needed to work everyday to give a voice to the voiceless who suffer so dearly.
Within days of the launch I soon learned that the daily deluge of animal cruelty that I was subjected to tore open the emotional scars that had formed in my own life.
On the site while we continually update the daily perils facing not only our animals, but the planet itself, we also sprinkle in silly, and pointless "Cats wearing funny hats" stories.
Before I started this site I thought these stories were pointless in their stupidity and had no purpose, but in fact they serve the greatest of purposes.
We post these stories not to make light of Endangered species, but they do keep us balanced emotionally. If day after day the only thing you are reporting or reading about is heartache, no matter how much compassion you possess, no matter how true of heart you are, you'll become numb to these animals' plight.
I know this first hand. Growing up the man I loved, and looked up to, a man I called Dad, beat me everyday. He was a product of his times, and my heart and soul forgave him long ago. But as with these animals a 7 year old is unable to change his daily fortune without a champion.
Unlike these helpless creatures, I and millions of other children grew up to become men and women who said "Enough." No longer would we accept our fate. So we fought back and change our destiny to what we wanted, not what others tried to determine for us.
The beatings I endured became routine, the pain dulled, and as a child lying in bed sobbing, battered from the nights punishment, I swore that I would never let any child, woman or animal suffer like this. I would willingly sacrifice myself in order to protect anyone from harm and in the years that have passed, life has presented me with far too many opportunities to put that seven year olds promise to the test and I have never once failed in honoring his vow.
If you visit the Wildlife Planet's Site and you start laughing while seeing a picture of a dog, bug eyed with a caption that says "You mean you weren't joking when you said we were out of snacks?" don't berate yourself.
Without experiencing the joy and happiness life offers us every day we will lose the compassion that is ingrained in us all.
When viewing a picture of an animal, skin peeled, raw from the wear of it's chains that bound this innocent creature to it's master, the laughter helps us comprehend the depths of anguish an animal must be feeling.
We must fight the good fight every day, not only for the Elephants of Kerala, but for all animals who are subjected to man's cruelty, but we also must never forget to have fun to ensure our compassion never wavers.
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