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,