It may be true that animal cruelty exists in the world but I don't think people are always aware that their treatment can cause suffering. However, you don't have to be a psychologist to see that people who don't take a good look at their own behaviour will usually carry it on unhindered even when adverse consequences of their behaviour are pointed out.
Although I wished to highlight the need for compassion towards the various species that rely on us for everything through my Tikaboo Tales children's books, I realised my own interest in attempting to improve animal welfare was in helping people change their perspectives which in turn could lead to modifications in their own behaviour which would eventually be to the longterm benefit of animals and the community at large.
My first book, called Icicle on His Bicycle, concentrates on a dog foster situation where the real needs of the main character, a working dog, were not taken into consideration. The dog's carer is visited by another animal who has to spell this out for her until she commits to modify her treatment of him. Smidgen & the Bear is a similar tale of changing perspectives. The Trouble with Traoloch and Scruffy & the Coracle deal with accepting others who seem quite different from the mainstream and whose talents can actually save us. Squirrels Who Swim asks if we should carry on the traditions and norms of our societies unquestioningly? The Weather Dog asks us to shift our mentality to accept that harmful situations that need our response do exist even though they might not currently or directly affect us, such as global warming. Bubbles & Bits reflect on the expected personality traits of gender as well as believing in your own power.
As the various Tikaboo Tales convey, human beings always have the capacity for change, which is not fiction! In the same way we have trained ourselves to behave in such a way, we can re-train our minds to think in other ways. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks as my childhood Jack Russell will contest to at age 13!
My non-fiction booklet Try Not to Kill Them! is based on my experience as a minder of dogs, cats, chickens, donkeys and horses and as a trainee veterinary nurse. Containing tips on how to be more aware of an animal's needs, it hopefully offers something that contributes towards our fellow-creatures greater good.
Happy reading and snuggling with your pets!