Since I quit regularly checking my Facebook page, it seems the algorithm overlords have filled in the empty space on my timeline with a huge number of animal rescue videos (and also videos of machines reducing the manual labor required for stuff we probably shouldn’t be doing in the first place.)
Citizens are pulling puppies out of drainage ditches and freeing deer caught in barbwire fences meant to control cattle. Tourists pick up beached sea turtles and point them back towards the ocean. Traffic is stopped to allow a waddling of ducklings to cross the road on the way to their next mishap. Half-frozen elk are pulled from icy ponds, and abused, abandoned pets are taken in and given a do-over.
We all love a good outcome and if these videos are able to influence our general humanity towards kindness rather than indifference, I’m all for them.
But beyond the chance opportunity to do the right thing, it’s important to remember the people dedicating their lives to rescuing animals from the consequences of human activity day, after day, after day.
When enough oil spills that it gets the attention of the media, there are reports on the potential damage to the environment. There are hearings to determine who is at fault. Possibly, there are financial consequences for the perpetrators and funds allocated for clean-up. But after the hearings and the blaming and the media coverage is done, it turns out that someone has to get down in the oil and dirt and muck and try to save what can be saved.
I like to believe these people are doing it because they understand what not doing it will mean for the quality of our collective human soul. I put my hope for the future in people who think as they do.