Good morning Pilgrims, how's your journey in search of truth and light progressing?
This morning I have a biblical style story to tell and it once again gives me a chance to report on my progress through the Kings James bible.
I have just exited Genesis and moved into Exodus passing the story of Joseph and his coat of many colours and concluding my journey at the moment that Moses is pulled from the water by Pharaohs daughter. You see if this broody spinster had let Moses float on by, the world would be a very different place.
It's quite a coincidence that the story of Joseph was in my mind as much of todays lesson came to me in a dream, perhaps whispered in my ear by some greater power...no not Mrs B. If it's good enough for the Mormons, it's good enough for me.
As I was about to retire for the night, feeling under the weather, I glanced at Facebook and I noticed a very long thread concerning an alleged break in at Willow Farm Family Park. It was claimed that someone had broken into the park and then they had stolen animals which had then been killed. The thread was a little short on fact but full of outrage and threats of vengeance. There were many comments about animal cruelty and the disgust of others, some local, who wished to distance themselves from the perpetrators.
Again, perhaps due to the fact that my head was full of the Hebrew Bible, I imagined some awful scenario where youths had stolen a llama or a small pony which had then been sacrificed in some blood lust to satisfy the pagan gods of Shirebrook. The levels of disgust and outrage in the Facebook posts called for a scene of that magnitude to have been played out such was the outpouring of vitriol and bile.
As I read through the thread we gradually learned that two chickens had been stolen and killed by local teenagers and I was suddenly left with a series of questions.
Before I pose the questions let me first of all say that I do not condone the acts of the guilty parties, they deserve to be punished for their acts but do they really qualify for the extra burden of all the calls for vengeance?
So, the questions...what makes people so angry about this story? Is it that there was animal cruelty? Is it that the theft was aimed at a children's farm? Is it because it made the area look bad? Or is it something else?
I would imagine that most of the people who were going on about animal cruelty were meat eaters and again although I don't like the idea of any animals being tortured for fun, anyone who has ever eaten a fast food burger or chicken leg has been part of an industry that treats animals with little respect.
The chickens that we buy and eat from the supermarkets are often kept in circumstances that are far removed from the natural life of a chicken. I recall seeing a lorry load of pigs being taken on a long road journey to be slaughtered in a factory style slaughter house, all looking through the side of the lorry at me and blaming me for their fate.
None of the meat that goes into your burger comes from cows that decide to make the career choice of joining McDonalds you know, we drag them about the road system before again killing them in as humane a way as we can.
As a meat eater I have come to terms with this process but it has led me to change my purchasing habits with regard to the type of meat I buy but how many of those Facebook ranters even consider where the meat comes from?
Outrage at animal cruelty from those who would quite happily eat cheap chicken is a little odd.
As for being angered because the theft was from children, well children are the target of crime everyday either directly or indirectly and we don't see this outrage on Facebook.
So, is the real reason that this incident puts a bad light on the good folk of Shirebrook? I suppose we will only know the answer to that if we can find out how many of the commentators came from the area.
The more I think about it the more I believe that the viral response to the posting of these stories is just that, almost unstoppable. What might help calm the outburst is a dose of truth.
The original post was placed on Facebook with the very best of intentions, of that I have no doubt, but this overblown and over moralistic response from people who could not look in the mirror and see anything other than flawed human beings looking back, shows that we should all of us be careful about getting drawn into throwing that first stone (back to the bible again).
So there we go, my little dose of penicillin to treat the outbreak of VD or vengeance disorder as I like to call it.
Now I feel quite dodgy so I'm going back to bed, so have a good day and enjoy your Sunday roast.