Having successfully extracted myself from the hell that is School (momentarily, that is), I blissfully climbed the Everest, a Ford SUV which is matter-of-factly deserving of its name. Instead of the Route to Home though, we were tracing the streets of Manila for Star City.
(As expected, I’ve never been to the said place, which further increased my Lameness Meter by ten-fold. Or by a twenty.)
We went there to explore this “Dino Island” my little brother has been dying for ages already (according to Dad, Google reported results of its still being present in the said City), but we found none apart from rides that look like they carry souls, instead of people, to be shipped to the next life. Luckily, there existed another Land there: “Animal Wonderland”.
So, that became our immediate Plan B since little brother adores the Kingdom Animalia. After paying Php90 for a ticket (multiplied by four for Mom, Dad, me and little brother) and having our wrists stamped with a violet silhouette of what appears to be a turtle, we finally entered the Wonderland, which was apparently a Petting Zoo.
I’ve always been madly in love with animals. And so, as a baby goat welcomed us, tears unexpectedly brimmed in my eyes. I didn’t know why they were stimulated to existence again; ‘twas probably a mixture of the adorability and the compelling smell of the animals.
Forgetting that we were there for my little brother, I was lost in the flurry of various species: petting guinea pigs, eye-to-eyeing with an ostrich, scaring away goats and lambs. But what really, really caught me was Doney, the Donkey (now that’s a very well-thought of name). He looked at me with his sad, droopy eyes, and I found my spirits impractically plummeting. I knew I was the one giving meanings to what was happening, but it didn’t even help in uplifting my now–trodden emotions.
Aside from the lonely expression etched on Doney’s face (Note: think about Eeyore; such a lonely creature it’s heartbreaking) and his continual biting on the wooden box for food within his stable, it was the thought of domesticating animals that much that saddened me. Is it not our fault that they’ve lost their habitats? Is it not our fault that they are deprived of their home in the wild? Is it not our fault that they are forced to live in conditions conducive only for our species and not theirs?
Well, it is.
As I brushed Doney’s hair (he is huge, and so beautiful in that brown mane), I realized the brimming tears did have a reason I didn’t notice at first.
Had the situation been reversed, lower forms of life dominating over ours, wouldn’t we want freedom? Does it follow that since they are incapable of rational thinking, they are incapable of feeling too?
Sometimes, I think, feeling is more rational than thinking. And maybe my argument is invalid, of animals having feelings and all. But we’re merely animals too. We’ve been down there, according to the Theory of Evolution, and now we’re up here.
My point is, if we humans are granted the privilege of staying in our natural habitat, then why can’t animals be given the same?
To end this, I shall quote a few lines from A Fine Frenzy’s The Minnow and The Trout:
“Not your everyday circumstance: a hummingbird, taking coffee with the ants. And I said, please, I know that we’re different. We were one cell in the sea, in the beginning. And what we’re made of was all the same once. We’re not that different, after all.”
Geology says we have some fraction of the stars within us. We all have this common denominator even if life is now diversified, and that’s what I believe in.