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the proverbial straw is my eyeball

February 16, 2010

I was recently trapped on a research trip by what was dubbed “Snowpocalypse 2010.” Being trapped by this blizzard has involved a canceled train, a canceled bus connection, a delayed bus, a missed plane and 8 days added onto a research trip. And now, to add to it all, an eye infection!

In the beginning of this trip I focused on all the great things: interviews with wonderful people, the fact that strangers are letting me couch surf, seeing close friends who live far away, the excitement of being blizzard-ed in and the fact that this is the last leg of data collection for my dissertation. But then (dun dun dun…) the eye infection came in the middle of the night last night. After calling my insurance company and finding out the only clinic within 15 miles of where I am staying that is open late enough to see me and will also treat an eye infection is not covered by my policy, I had a total turn around.

The crying started. I mean, really crying. I thought about all the bad things: I had to fly cross-country for this trip (and I am afraid of flying), my significant other and I broke up while I was out of town, it will be an extra week before I can see my kitten, infighting among my cohort of activists is rampant this month, I can’t afford the extra hotels/ plane tickets/ etc. and I am having major troubles contacting at least a half dozen people I need to talk to ASAP… And when I say the crying started, I mean it. I’ve been gushing.

The above rant was not only for the sympathy –but I do need sympathy! so post me your loving comments below ;)—but to address the “big picture” items this mini-drama has forced me to face. Mostly, the plight of the animals.

My research is concerned with the history of the animal rights movement and so I have been out of town, traveling to different animal rights organizations on archive trips. Today I found a very old newsletter from 1985 about the rescue of Britches. Britches is a monkey that was artificially blinded as an infant as part of some asshole vivisectors’ research. He was resuced by an Animal Liberation Front Cell on April 20th, 1985.

At the moment, my eye hurts. A LOT. (And because the US health care system sucks, it will hurt until I get to go back home in 5 days.) But my eyes are in Disneyland, in comparison to Britches’ eyes. This unparallel comparison is helping me keep my (swollen) eye on the prize—working for a greater good.

I’m not saying that I am not going to cry again tonight. And I am still desperate for a hug from someone who loves me. But Britches has helped me to objectively (even if not emotionally) put my privilege in perspective.  I plan to use this realization to inspire me toward action that will utilize my comfort for good. I am sure I will have plenty more pity parties, but I hope the sting in my eyeball (and any other sting I face along the way) propels me to continue committing my energy toward helping non-human animals in their struggle to live free of torture.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Nicoal permalink
    February 17, 2010 7:40 pm

    I really enjoyed the conclusion (in addition to calling the vivisector an asshole haha!). I, too, have had a few pity parties recently and need to realize that I am in a severely privileged position in contrast to non-human animals.

  2. February 17, 2010 9:49 pm

    As a wise and strong redhead with a mean set of curls once said:

    When I’m stuck a day
    That’s gray,
    And lonely,
    I just stick out my chin
    And Grin,
    And Say,
    The sun’ll come out

    Oh and if you are looking for the perfect accessory to your outfit, that same firecracker also said “You’re never fully dressed without a smile”.

  3. Jamaal Berschauer permalink
    March 4, 2013 9:37 am

    Many common viral eye infections resolve on their own. In cases of severe viral eye infections, an antiviral eye drop may be prescribed. Some viral eye infections require careful administration of steroid eye drops to reduce related inflammation.’

    Visit our own internet page as well

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