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Name Calling Hurts©
by Jan Saks

Think back to when you were called an unkind name. Remember the hurt? The frustration of feeling helpless? There was nothing you were able to do about it. Do you really feel animals don't understand these harmful words?

If you think they don't, observe their behavior during the name-calling. Then apologize sincerely and see how they respond.

These verbal insults have significant effects on animals...hurt feelings, decline in self confidence and self-esteem, resentment, fear and anger - just like humans.

"Stretch", a tender affectionate horse loved her human playmates. However, one time, one of her human playmates called her "stupid, big, fat dumb horse". She turned, walked to the back of her stall and stared at the back wall. Stretch's other human playmate told her boyfriend to apologize. "You've got to be kidding" he said. She repeated, "Apologize". "Ok, I Apologize" he said. She responded, "Not to me. To Stretch". This took him by surprise. When he sincerely apologized to Stretch, she turned around and walked over to him.

Even when you call an animal a name, without anger in your voice, they understand what you are doing. Don't you, when you are at the receiving end?

Put-down teasing has the same result as name-calling. Often, after being teased, an animal may hang their head down and walk away from the person, leave the room sad or get aggressive with the teaser. And then the person acts surprised about the change in behavior.

Animals give unconditional love. They don't care if you are having a bad-hair day. They love you and cherish you. You ARE their family. Families have bonds.

Maybe some people feel they have the right to lash out at animals when they are in a bad mood, hurt, or verbally attacked. When you are distressing your animals, you are doing yourself a disservice as well. You deny peace to yourself when you choose reacting to a situation in a harmful way.

Your animal senses your moods...and responds to them. When you are feeling ill or feeling sad, they come to your side and give compassion and empathy. When you're happy they share the joy with you.

With a loving heart,



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