I have always been an animal lover. Ever since I was a little girl, if there was a dog or cat around, I was trying to pet it; if there was a horse, I was scrambling on top of it. I was fearless and enthralled, but I was neither stupid nor cruel.
I am still sickened and astounded by how idiotically cruel some people can be to animals. More than once, I have had to stand up and stop someone or some animal from getting hurt.
I've always had a soft spot for birds. One day, a few years ago, I saw a group of students at my old school gathered around tossing rocks at something on the ground. Drawing closer, I saw that the black lump they had been aiming at was a baby bird who had fallen from his nest. The students had cornered it and were literally stoning the poor baby to death. Angry, disgusted, I slipped past them, picked up the bird, and left without a word.
I took the bird back home with me, and cared for him as best as I could. I had had some practice with baby birds before, and have had more experience since, but all my care wasn't enough to bring the bird back to health. He died a week later, but I rested more at ease knowing that I at least tried to save him.