I don’t even know where to begin with this post, I am so saddened and sickened by articles and comments on the Internet. I truly hope it is just talk, and that people don’t actually mean what they are saying.
The veterinary community is becoming villainized.
Now, I know there has been a recent outpouring of articles regarding this topic, vets trying to explain our days, our decisions, our emotions, our lives. Every time I read one such article I empathize with the veterinarian, because I feel that way too.
Every time I read the comments on these articles (and I know some are just trolls, I’m not completely naive), it sickens me that people apparently feel as strongly as they do about how “evil” and “monstrous” and “money-hungry” veterinarians are.
I’m not going to write another article, trying to get you to empathize with me. I do that every day, you hear about my life and my struggles through this blog and I should hope you understand the turmoil within me when things don’t go the best way for the animal. You hear about our money struggles and our long hours and the fact that I don’t see my husband more than a few hours a day (usually while I’m sleeping) unless he’s riding along on emergencies with me.
All I want is for you to think.
Think about the little girl who loves animals, who wants to grow up to be a veterinarian. I was that little girl, 20 years ago. I haven’t changed much, I still love Disney movies (and I still cry when Mufasa dies). I still sleep curled up around my dog, although now it’s in my bed instead of hers. I still sing in the car to Britney Spears, I still prefer carbs over vegetables, I still bathe my horse and dress her up in wacky colors just for fun. I’m still friends with my barn buddies from elementary school.
And I am not alone. I bonded with so many people in vet school because we were ALL that little girl (or boy).
So why are veterinarians treated like scum, like we don’t care about animals, like we don’t cry when we can’t save one? Why am I reading comments on articles saying things like “ER vets are the scum of the Earth and I hope they all die horrible painful deaths”? (My husband is a small animal ER vet, and I take those comments very personally.)
I don’t have the answers.
All I’m asking is that next time you visit your veterinarian, or see an article bad-mouthing the veterinary profession, please take a moment and think. Your veterinarian might be 50 years old, gray-haired, and bespectacled, but somewhere inside her is that little girl who just wanted to help animals, who still prefers to sleep with her dog than her husband, who drives a beat-up old car so she can afford premium dog food and dog toys, and who still cries while watching the Lion King.
Just think about it, and maybe think twice about saying something hurtful in the heat of the moment that that little girl will be crying over later. We all have enough things to cry about.