I grew up with animals – loads of them. Until Chloe, my horse Snuffy (actual name Cheyenne, but his lip hung really amusingly low as though it was full of snuff) was the most wonderful animal friend I’d ever had. I had a beautiful dog, too, name Lassie that I loved tremendously; she would sit with me in our barn as I sat every day talking to Snuffy about my day, his beautiful huge eyes staring at me with full attention. Chloe is now one of my rocks. I talk to her as we walk. We stroll around our community garden nearly every night, and I talk to her about my worries, or how lovely she is and how well she behaves, or about nothing other than my most random of thoughts. Humans as a group see animals as somehow a lesser part of nature, as though it is only we who matter in this world, as though we aren’t the world’s most destructive predator and foe. Cattle being plowed over with bulldozers as they’re led to slaughter, ducks being force fed, dogs being locked up and abused and killed in forced fighting, cats being tossed into the streets, plugging along as bees and frogs and birds and other jewels of nature are wiped from the Earth. So many others, too. I think of those things nearly every night before I go to sleep and find myself fighting the hate I feel. People, on a spectrum from┬áblatantly cruel to ignorantly blissful, should know what it’s like to stare into an animal friend’s eyes and feel a love for something other than a human that touches you to your soul.