There is an article that has floated around numerous times that contains computer simulated "ultrasound" pictures of various animals in the womb.
I always look at each and every one, fascinated as hell. And, with every single picture stuff like OMG how adorable and look at that lil baby how cute! and all kinds of other silly words run together and pop out of my mouth in a very high voice that is not at all in my everyday nature.
At one point a male friend told me I sounded like "one of those women in the supermarket asking to feel another's baby bump". I said, really????? ewwww that's gross I do not. And then I went about my cooing, happy to bubble over baby bats, elephants, even snakes all curled up like little bundles of animal joy.
It got me thinking though. I would have never even opened the article had it been one with human ultrasound pictures. I would have rolled my eyes and said something completely callus like oh, god look, the billionth miracle. LOL. Hey, don't hate me I admit I'm callus in an overgeneralizing sort of way. Some people say it is because I have never birthed a child. Well, I have never birthed puppies either but I could ogle puppies all day and night!
So, no, I don't think that is it. I have come to the conclusion that I am mostly missing a gene. It is the one that provides that we will, in general, find our fellow humans to be all the things I find animals to be. I don't think I was in the correct line for that gene. Maybe I got lost in the hallway. Maybe I went back to the line that was handing out extra helpings of the tendency toward mischief. Maybe I slept late while all the other fetuses were getting fed the blue pill.
The thing is, I recognized that I felt differently than most others at a really young age. There have just always been a limited amount of people that I do genuinely care about. I don't believe that blood is thicker than water. I don't wish anyone harm (unless they wish me harm) but, in general I am a loner with my own ideas and they don't tend to mesh with the societal mire that seems to surround me. This has, of course cost me companionship on a number of occasions, friendship as well, such that it is. It has gotten me labeled as "a bit cool" and things like "aloof" and even "hard". But, I'm not a good actress and I don't have time to be indirect. Life is short and I'd rather not spend it (again in general and for instance) going to lunch with people I don't truly like or agreeing with social norms that I don't really feel or getting caught up in the quicksand pit of other people's expectations that I know I am not going to be able to fulfill.
But.... I have always cared about animals. Deeply. I find them fascinating in a way no human could ever be. I find them pure. Not in the sense of "good" because good and bad are not even words that can be used to describe nature. I find them pure in the sense of they just are what they are. The lion eats the gazelle. Well, OF COURSE the lion eats the gazelle, he is a lion. Animals are the heart and soul of what gives me hope. They are often the only glue that holds my day together. They are perfect and right just the way they are and no one expects them to be anything else. They have no pretense, no ulterior motives (again, the gazelle is damn sure the lion is going to eat him the lion doesn't need to pretend otherwise), no delusions of grandeur, none of the annoying things that plague our human culture and daily interactions.
I don't look at them and see something different than myself. Rather, I look at them and I see my soul. I see their truth and their struggle. I see their history. To me, each life matters is a true statement. The difference is that it brings to mind animals to me, not people. It isn't that I don't think people matter. It is just that my heart and soul belong to the other in our world.
I always drift back to the service of animals, even when I am doing other things. I have worked within the veterinary industry, the animal rescue industry and even the animal wellness industry (working at an upscale dog food and supply store which sells only foods with human-grade/quality control tested ingredients). I've also been far from those things, while working in the insurance industry for instance, but managed to busy myself with smaller offerings to my soul companions. I think that honestly, those offerings were fine with the animals in my life, it was me who suffered withdraw from my purpose and what brings me joy.