Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Empathy for all living things


There is a mountain lion on the loose in the Bushnell area, or so the rumors say.

According to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission website, mountain lions have been making a comeback in Nebraska since the 1990’s. Many of you may remember the one that was found in a tree across from Gotte Park about ten years ago and what happened to it.

If you want to learn more about mountain lions in Nebraska, go to http://outdoornebraska.gov/mountain lions. There, you will find an excellent interactive map of where they have been sighted (pretty much all over the state), hunting regulations, (only one season has ever been held and that was in 2014, since then the commission has not recommended hunting) and the full Mountain Lion Response Plan. I read through that 29 page plan and although I’d like to make several comments, I feel it’s better to keep my opinions to myself at this time.

Instead, I’d like to trapeze over to the definition of the word empath which is, according to empathguide.com, “a person who can psychically tune into the emotional experiences and feelings of a person, place or an animal.” It goes on to say that an empath is an “intuitive personality type, usually hypersensitive, especially to the emotions and conditions of other people.”

I have known since I was little, that I was different. My parents used to say I could tame any animal I came across. I was often seen holding or playing with feral cats in our country neighborhood that would tear an adult to shreds if given the chance but they loved me and vice versa. Truth be told, I talked to them and believed they understood every word I said.

As I got older I had “a way” with pretty much all animals including horses, goats, cats, dogs, even birds. That was an admired trait when I was a child but seemed to be brushed off as improbable as I became an adult.

Today, now that I understand more about who I am, my emotions and abilities, I know for certain that I’ve always felt more deeply for animals than the majority of people do. Not only do I have a heightened sense of empathy but I realized that I am also an empath.

Which brings us back to the mountain lion that is rumored to be hanging around Kimball County. According to the NGAP Mountain Lion Response Plan, basically anyone has a right to kill one on site if you believe it may bring harm to your family or livestock as long as you contact the NGAP within 24 hours of killing said animal and they will confiscate it.

The thought of the needless death of such a beautiful creature of earth sends waves of nausea, sadness and anger through me and I cannot shake the feeling of hypocrisy as well as the inhumanity. Oh, I know that there are many more of you out there who will take the side of the human and think I’m crazy but I don’t care what you think, because I know what I feel.

As humans we are the top of the food chain and we’ve become, as a whole, indifferent at best and merciless at worst. When you look at the recent political news and see how humans treat one another, it’s of no surprise that we have so little compassion for an animal that is just doing what God created it to do.


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