Sinking Hopes for Rabbits
There is a saying that goes something like this: No matter how hard it gets pushed down, hope always floats to the surface.
I used to believe that hope will always float up. But lately, I am not feeling that way. After years of watching the suffering and pain that occurs regularly here in Richmond, and yesterday seeing the terrible damage inflicted on a small, helpless, completely innocent creature, I am sadly losing hope. Hope for change, hope for the future, and hope that humanity still exists here.
For those of you who don’t know or for those of you who have forgotten, Richmond has a problem. The problem is pet rabbits are routinely abandoned in our parks, beside our streets, and on our doorsteps. And life for those rabbits is hell on earth. They go hungry, they are attacked, they become sick, and they live short lives full of misery.
And right next door to the million dollar homes, the high end shopping malls, and all those new and improved public buildings, are the cemeteries of the rabbits. One of the largest is called Minoru Park. This park is full of the dead bodies of pet rabbits. You may not always see the bodies, but they are there. Sometimes they lie out in plain view for a while before being whisked away, but more often they are hidden deep in the bushes. That’s where the abandoned rabbits go to curl up and die slow and agonizing deaths.
Now there are those individuals who try to help the abandoned rabbits. But they are a small army fighting a quiet war in the shadows. It is a difficult war and sadly they are losing. And you need to be concerned about this. For the problem goes deeper than failing efforts to save the lives of the abandoned rabbits and stop owners from abandoning their pets.
It’s not just the rabbits who are dying; it is the last of our humanity that is dying here as well. When people lose their ability and willingness to care about the suffering of the smallest and most innocent creatures, the fate of our humanity hangs dangerously in the balance.
And the price to be paid for ignoring and tolerating the inhumane suffering of our rabbits is going to be high. In the words of Albert Schweitzer: “Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any living creature as worthless is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives.
I always believed that no matter how hard it gets pushed down, hope would always float to the surface. But now, under the weight of Richmond’s endless inhumane treatment of the abandoned rabbits, I don’t know how hope will ever float up again.