All day, in writing about animals, I try to give the facts some shape, make the problem thinkable, lend the suffering a story. I look into my lit screen to find the animals, then I call and ask questions to which I may or may not want to know the answers.
One of the hardest pieces to write was about the cat who was killed with an arrow. I saw the photographs of the woman who bragged about "her first bow kill" holding up the arrow with the limp, dead body of a cat dangling from the end.
After, I watched a video of him, Tiger, when he was still alive, purring. There was no sense I could make of it, but I tried. I wrote the article and then I wrote another. I checked for updates every day about the court case, which is still pending.
I could not bear to hold the image of Tiger in my mind while looking at my own cat. Sometimes, I had to go for a walk outside, and not be around the animal I love at all.
* An animal activist tells me over a vegan lunch that she can't sleep at night.
Months later, approaching the Yulin dog meat festival, I cannot eat.