The Mis-Read of Abuse and the Art of Sentience

So about a week or so ago I came across one of these videos that are supposed to be received as comical.  It was a video of young animals reacting to mirrors or more specifically their reflection in a mirror; it does have a comical essence depending on individual sense of humor.

Someone in the audience (commenter) cried out that this reflection interaction was abuse and how would humans like this kind of abuse levelled upon themselves?

I was a bit confused as to how animals interacting with their own reflection could be qualified as abuse.  If someone was forcing them to deal with their reflection that might fit into the realms of abusive.  But these animals were reacting from their own will, similarly as an Animal Kin might react to their reflection in a puddle of water.

Why are some folks so eager to qualify things as abuse?  As every living thing on this planet does something for some kind of gain, what gain do these folks get out of lambasting something as abusive when there’s no discernible, actual abuse happening?  

Aside from publicly demonstrating they probably have not grasped the definition of abuse, I can only guess that perhaps their statement comes from some attention-seeking, drama-addicted space.  They may have some kind of perspective where they actually feel that they are doing some type of good.  Or maybe there’s something else going on there.

Declaring something as abusive that with little effort can be determined to be not abusive at all, suggests a certain disconnect or at least distance from sentience.  That is to say, the individual isn’t coming at their exclamation from a place of feeling with the living being in focus;  they declare first, then ask and learn second, if at all.

Actually, when it comes to mirrors and abuse, the human animal has rather cornered that market.  Scores of humans abuse themselves with mirrors every single day.  They look at themselves with harsh criticism and sometimes downright hatred.  They starve and butcher their bodies, and still don’t like the reflection of themselves in the mirror.   

Animals such as dogs, cats, dolphins, elephants, apes and similar learn rather quickly that the image they see in the glass is of no real consequence.  Science has demonstrated that some mammals can even correctly determine that the reflection an Animal Kin sees in the mirror is their own.  Actually, in the science world, the “mirror test” is used as a marker of demonstrating self-awareness and certain levels of intelligence.

In fact, I believe our non-human Animal Kin understand and react to mirrors correctly; the mirror is an exact picture of one’s self.  It is the human animal that has the harder time with mirrors.  The human animal can interpret their reflection through such a self-critical filter that they conjure up images that aren’t even there and brutally abuse themselves as a result.  

Perhaps a person that regards interactions of young animals with mirrors as some kind of abuse are committing a kind of Freudian-slip confession of their own self-unlike.


Take care out there, All,
Cap’n Toni…


2 thoughts on “The Mis-Read of Abuse and the Art of Sentience

  1. There is an element of society who feels that humans have no right to interact with animals in any way at all. This is simply ludicrous, in my point of view. How can we NOT interact with species we share this globe with? How can we not try to help endangered wildlife, or leave an injured animal to suffer, or allow herds of living creatures to starve, and still be human? These people see pets…those beloved, pampered, often spoiled creatures sitting on your sofa or bed as ‘slaves’. If you could ask those animals if they would prefer to either be outside, unfed, untouched, and unloved, how do you think they’d answer? How about unborn? Because most domestic animals would cease to exist without human interaction. Yes, sometimes my critters might get perturbed with what I don’t allow them to do…like the little fuzzy black, tan, and white sheltie sitting under my chair giving me the stink eye because I won’t share my tomato-mozzarella salad, but that’s for his own good. 🙂 He’ll forgive me as soon as I ask him where is ballie is. Yet these same type of folks would call my playing ball with him “abuse”. I don’t get it any more than you do, but I acknowledge that there are such people out there, and some will kill…both humans and animals…to make their point. I have yet to figure out where the benefit is to the 500 mink that were turned loose just to die on the roadway, be killed by wild predators, or starve. Or how it is beneficial to anyone to kill the researcher whose work saves animals from disease as well as humans. (Jerry Vlasak, spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front, told the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works that killing medical researchers was “morally justified” to save laboratory animals
    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2005/10/33105/#DEZUIRSJe0wJAa7h.99)

    I want people who actually abuse animals to be more severely punished, but first we need to create REASONABLE definitions of abuse.

    Liked by 2 people

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