I tend not to read newspapers, and generally get my news intake from the BBC or from Sky. This means I can generally be pretty selective in my news intake, and probably get a broad appreciation of current events.
We are, perhaps, inured to some news stories about human suffering – the stories about troops in Afghanistan, piracy in Somalia, drought in Africa, are all very sad but perhaps lack the personal impact. I do have every sympathy for those who have lost loved ones, but through overexposure the stories don’t necessarily touch me personally.
And then, every so often, we have a story about unspeakable cruelty and some of these make me feel sick. There was one a few months ago about a mother who drowned her toddlers in a river – young lives tragically cut short.
Yesterday the press reported the jailing of a woman who microwaved a kitten in a fit of revenge or spite. This story made me feel physically unwell, and I cannot comprehend either the sickening cruelty shown by the woman, the hideous suffering of the kitten, or the mental anguish of the kitten’s owner. As a cat person I feel for the latter two and know that I would possibly have wanted to knock seven shades out of the perpetrator of such an act. Hopefully, someday, karma will exact its own revenge.
In this nation of animal lovers, should I be surprised that the news stories which shock me most are about cruelty to the defenceless?