Animal Sanctuaries, the Drama Triangle and Victim Consciousness

The Drama Triangle describes a model of dysfunctional social interactions and illustrates a power game that involves three roles: Victim, Rescuer, and Persecutor, each role representing a common and ineffective response to conflict. We can apply it not just to our personal relationships, but also to our whole medical or “health” system. As long as you consider yourself to be the “Victim” of your body or of some disease out there, you are caught up in it, independent of whether your rescuer are meds and surgeries or herbs and supplements.

We can also apply this dynamic to the way we look at animal farming. Generally, the animals are the victim of ruthless industries exploiting them and vegan activists or sanctuaries come in to rescue them.

What are animal sanctuaries?

These are places where abused animals, after being rescued, get to enjoy a “happy” Life, where they don’t have to earn their right to exist by being productive, but are valued for simply being a living, sentient being. 

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Even more so, if you see pictures or videos from chickens being cuddled, pigs playing in the mud, or cows happily jumping up and down in the meadows. The message is that farm animals too love their kids, make best friends, like to play, enjoy to cuddle and being cuddled, and generally just want to feel save, just like you and I. And, so the narrative continues, none of that is possible when animals are farmed, because then they are exploited for lucrative reasons, and by definition you are their enemy, stealing their eggs or milk or even slaughtering them cold-heartedly.

How could anybody NOT agree? How could anybody NOT want to help save those pure victims from their reckless abusers to give them a better, more “human” life? How could anybody NOT melt away and want to donate to that compassionate cause of selfless LOVE? And I believe that this is exactly what these videos are about: touching peoples heart and making them donate, because this is the ONLY way sanctuaries can actually finance the extremely high costs involved in raising, feeding and taking care of animals, given that they do not sell their produce (milk, meat) to make a living, as farmers do. 

With all due respect, only people living in cities who have no real idea of agriculture and animal farming can believe those kind of one-sided, “all Love and Light” messages. 

Yes, animal abuse and animal suffering in factory farms is very real, and I am by no means supporting it. Neither am I doubting the good intentions people running or supporting an animal sanctuary have or that they are not indeed helping individual animals.

I am simply pointing out a very common dynamic of the human psyche, namely the tendency to unconsciously keep alive the very same thing we are consciously fighting against. Trying to fix the symptoms of a dysfunctional system is not the same as providing a true alternative to it. While we can of course always alleviate symptoms and suffering, it is necessary to go to the root of the problem, and this is neither veganism nor animal sanctuaries.

It is supporting a different way of farming animals, because if we do not, as I explained in this article, we will eventually only be left with industrial food production, both for plants and for animals. 

A different way of farming animal DOES exist. A way where you would also see chickens pecking freely outside, pigs playing in the mud, cows jumping up and down in joy, mothers licking their babes, best friends cuddling and farmers caressing, protecting and deeply caring about their animals.

Yeah, but then you go and kill them brutally at the end of the day. How can you betray their love and trust in such a cold-hearted way?

Because I am not making them the VICTIM, as I am not making anybody the victim even if they die from a disease or are killed in an accident. Agreed, none of these experiences are comfortable, and it is in fact not at all pleasurable to sacrifice an animal that you have raised yourself – as it is not pleasurable either to see it be destroyed by a predator that you tried to protect it from… But I believe that our souls don’t come here to only make comfortable experiences, they come here with the desire to experience ALL of Life, independent of whether we, as humans, would label those experiences “good” or “bad”. Just like I can be a channel to give Life (to beings, to ideas, to projects), I can be a channel to give Death (to beings, to relationships, to ideas…). It’s the same thing, just coming from the opposite side. If I give Death with consciousness, I am not being a perpetrator. I am an instrument of the Divine helping an energy to change dimensions. So there is no need for anybody to come to the rescue. The problem is if I give Death while being unconscious, but that is also true for giving Life unconsciously.

On the other hand, if I make the animals the poor victim of the ruthless companies abusing them, of course I need to come in and rescue them. However, in that constellation I actually need the abuse to continue so that I can continue rescuing. In fact, this is what the model of animal sanctuaries is built on: They constantly need a fresh stream of animals, since they do not allow their animals to reproduce. They argue that this decision is taken in order to not contribute to the already existing overpopulation of animals, but the real reason, I believe, has more to do with the fact that, if you do not castrate the male animals, you would eventually have to separate or slaughter them, because it is just not possible for several males to co-exist in a herd or flock without fighting or even killing each other, and mass-abusing or even killing the females, which of course would not be half as heart-melting for people to know about. 

In other words, animal sanctuaries could NOT exist by themselves, as a sovereign concept, because as soon as reproduction (giving Life) comes in, the need to sacrifice and kill (giving Death) also comes in. Instead, they depend on industries to “supply” them with new animals to continue business. It is similar to running a hospital. You actually depend on people continuing to be sick, so you can “save” them with your medicine or surgery from the random and unfair assaults of their own body. It is treating the symptom, and by doing so, keeping it alive. It is victimizing people, rather than empowering them.

True empowerment implies taking responsibility. Taking responsibility for my conscious choices and also for my unconscious choices. Trusting that there is a sense to everything. Being curious about how I might have unconsciously desired to experience that exact thing I am complaining about. This is why I help people eat and live the fertile way rather than running a hospital. 

So why do farms not just castrate their males instead of sacrificing them?

Because it is a huge cost, first the operation itself and then to feed and maintain an animal that does not create any value for you. That sounds very rational, as if animals have to be productive in order to be allowed to exist, but if you think about it, this is true for every single relationship you have in your Life. It needs to provide SOME sort of value for you, otherwise you would not invest your time and energy into maintaining it. Your cat gives you someone to cuddle and take care of. Your dog gives you company and protection. Your chickens give you eggs. Your goats give you milk. Of course, chickens or goats can also give you someone to take care of, they can give you joy and laughter… they can help you regenerate your land… but the more of them you own (big quantities of animals are needed to actually regenerate land), the more of a full-time job it becomes and the more they also need to provide you with a financial return, to allow you continue investing yourself fully into them (just imagine owning 300 cats instead of just 1 or 2…)

In the sanctuaries this financial return has to come from donations and the value that people get out of it is emotional: it makes them feel good. In farming the financial return comes from selling eggs, milk or meat, which satisfies a basic nutritional need for people. It’s an exchange and I personally believe that the souls incarnating into farm animals agree to that exchange. A good life for what they can produce. I think they even derive satisfaction from being useful and appreciated in that way. After all, we are all here to give our gifts, not to withhold them. (Again, I know that in factory farming they do not enjoy a good life in exchange for their gifts, but this is exactly why we have to support a different way of animal farming by buying from these farmers).

Just like dogs love to feel useful by keeping sheep (rather than walking on leads in the streets of London), a mother chicken feels fully expressed laying her eggs – and occasionally bringing up some baby chicks. If she is allowed to, of course, which she is neither in the food industry nor in the sanctuaries. I actually believe it is a crime to deprive the animals of the chance to mother – or to be mothered – in an ethical way.

Hardly any baby chick these days gets the chance to hatch naturally, to spend the first weeks of its life under the warm body of its mum, to be initiated by her into the world of chicken-hood (before then being abandoned rather abruptly one day when the mother’s hormones change and she gets back to laying eggs and doing her own thing; depending on the time of year, the chicks might not survive this sudden abandonment – how does that fit the idea of loving animal mummies?).

But for a baby chick to hatch, first of all there needs to be a rooster fertilizing the egg and then there is of course the chance that this baby chick will grow into a rooster itself, and what do you do then? Especially since a baby chick usually does not come alone… You could endlessly separate the roosters, keeping them in different installations, but again, this requires a costly investment in land and infrastructures. Or you castrate them (extremely complicated and costly procedure). Or you only rescue females to start with. 

The point is that you are not shown the whole picture. You are being emotionally manipulated to donate. I can personally NOT confirm that chickens LIKE to be cuddled. Maybe some of them ALLOW you to TAKE them onto your arms, but that is a very different dynamic than they proactively asking for your cuddles (maybe rare exceptions exist, but its definitely not the norm). My animals do not feel less safe with me because I might sacrifice a few of them at some point. Animals are not humans. Yes they are sentient beings, but we actually do them a disservice by projecting our human needs onto them.

Rather than energetically feeding the same system, by investing our energy in its opposite side (either fighting it, as in activism, or mitigating it, as in sanctuaries), I argue that it makes more sense to use that same energy to create a different reality, a reality based on consciousness and empowerment, where nobody needs to be rescued, because there is no perpetrator and nobody is victimized. Just like your body is not your enemy and you are not a helpless victim to disease, with no other remedy than taking the meds, vitamins or herbs to “fix” you, farmers don’t have to be the enemy and animals do not have to be the poor victims with no other remedy than to be saved by animal sanctuaries. 

Neither going vegan nor opening or supporting an animal sanctuary offers a real solution or a true alternative to the suffering of animals in factory farms.

It’s time for a paradigm shift. It’s time to step out of victim consciousness altogether. And if YOU do, your view on animal farming also changes. 


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