The other day, I had a brief conversation with a young man…yes, I’m now one of those people who say “young man”…who has a degree in marketing but would like to pursue another degree, perhaps in biology or related discipline. He, like many others, is giving his time for zero pay to an organization that helps animals. He aspires to make a living helping animals and aiding in conservation. I frequently run into people who aspire to get paid to work with animals whether it’s a pre-veterinary student, an aspiring zookeeper or park ranger hopeful. The pay is low for most of these occupations, but the payoffs can be outstanding.
I overhear conversations from people who say they want to work with animals because they don’t want to work with people. “People talk back,” they will state. Meanwhile, they treat even the friendliest person with great disdain and contempt and I think about how, as hard as they may try, they will usually wind up working with the very people they despise and in the process make life miserable for themselves and those that are unlucky enough to have to deal with them.
People go into working with animals for various reasons, but when the ego is prominent, it makes me wonder how sincere is their desire to really help animals. Sometimes I can’t help but hate people too (especially those that hurt other animals) so I can understand their sentiment. But to have that as their driving force seems somehow corrupt. If I were in the position to hire an animal caretaker, “because people suck” would not be high on my list of given reasons to take them under my wing.
I really wish that young man well.