Naturally animals, catherine edwards, words hurt, alison canavan, animal health, holistic animal care, horse, do animals have feelings, be complete

As an animal therapist I visit many different environments. It can be hard at times, as I have been invited in by the ‘owner’ to help their animals, but sometimes the situations still shock me. It is vital that I stay non-judgemental and that I approach every situation with love and compassion. I always do.

This week I attended several clients whose horses had gained a bad reputation for themselves through no fault of their own. They had been labelled as ‘dangerous’, ‘too nervous / spooky’, ‘rude’, ‘disrespectful’ to name but a few. It amazes me that people do not understand the impact of these labels on another being, whatever its species. Every word has an energy associated with it, and animals are far better at picking up on this energy than most humans. Being constantly miss-labelled for something you are not has a devastating effect, emotionally, which then leads to physical problems.

There is always a reason for perceived ‘bad’ behaviour, whatever the species (and yes that includes us humans)! These horses were both in severe pain that had not been detected, despite all the warning signs being given by the horses! These horses were expected to carry a rider, both had poorly fitted saddles which would have been causing severe pain when ridden, yet when they expressed this pain via initially facial expressions (which were ignored), then by more extreme behaviour e.g. not being caught, biting or bucking, they were told off severely, often physically but always emotionally by being told by everyone how horrible they were and that they would be sold.

During their session with me, amongst other therapies, I used essential oils to help release traumatic emotions (more on this amazing process of animals self-medicating in a later blog). The release of emotions is amazing and heart breaking at the same time, the scale of hurt and abuse these majestic animals carry is humbling. I then working with the humans to change their perception of the animal, to see that when you have no language for communication, the only way you can express your fear, pain etc. is through physical actions, and if no one listens to you then your actions have to get more severe to try and be ‘heard’.

When people understand why an animal may be behaving in a certain way, it changes their approach completely. The animal immediately respond to this new approach, and the healing of the relationship can truly begin. Knowledge truly is power, but only when it is applied!

So today I encourage you to always talk kindly to others, whatever their species. Unkind and insensitive words really do hurt and can have a devastating impact on an animal. By trying to understand why an animal or human is behaving in a certain way, and by approaching them with compassion rather than judgement, a positive outcome can always be achieved. Our animals will always reward the slightest effort by us humans in kindness, compassion and true communication. They will help us understand ourselves and how we impact on others if we are prepared to listen, and we should be truly grateful for every interaction we have with these beautiful animals.

Ring of Kerry

I am so pleased to be writing weekly for #BeComplete. It encompasses so much of my life values and beliefs. My articles will be all about our furry friends. My Company, Naturally Animals, empowers owners to understand what their animals (of all species) need to be both physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy.

Do you believe that animals experience the same emotions as humans? If they do, how would this change how you look after them?

We are often taught in school / society and surprisingly in University that animals do not have the same feelings as humans. Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human form or other characteristics to beings other than humans, particularly animals. If we accept that animals do experience the same emotions as humans do you then accept that this renders them worthy of the same levels of moral care as humans?

Did you know that the part of a cetacean (whales, dolphins and porpoises) brain responsible for emotions and memory formation is more complex than that of humans?   Imagine the implications of that! Many other animals, such as elephants and the great apes, also have amazingly developed limbic regions of the brain (the area responsible for emotions and the formation of memories). The scientific evidence is there to suggest cetaceans (and many other species) have the ability to feel emotions, and communicate in ways we humans are unable to imagine (except in Sci-Fi movies) for some reason we humans don’t often value this.

As a Scientist, but more importantly as an animal therapist, animal communicator (more about that in a later blog) and an animal owner, there is NO DOUBT at all in my mind that animals clearly feel the same emotions as humans. So if they do:

  • How do you think animals feel when queuing to go into a slaughterhouse?
  • How does a rabbit feel when it spends its whole life in a cage, often looking out on grass (its natural food) that it can’t reach?
  • How do you think a dog feels when it is left on its own all day, or a horse (a herd animal) locked in a stable all day?
  • How does a dolphin feel living its whole life in a large bathtub being made to do tricks all day for its feed?

So today, I ask you to have a look at any animals in your care / environment and really look at the world through their eyes. You only need to make a simple change today to make their life a little easier. Try it and just see the animal’s response! The great thing is there is lots of help out there, for those wanting to learn more and we are here to help!

Ref:  human-intelligence-versus-whales-and-dolphins