I clicked the “leave group” button today on Facebook.
This particular group, specific to a class of rabbits, has been a long-standing area of angst for me. There are some wonderful, educational posts that come through it, and then there are also a lot of inside jokes, inappropriate humor, and attacking behavior as well. Today those attacks crossed a line so… I left.
First things first – people need to understand about defamation, slander and libel.
When you publish photos of someone online and encourage others not to use their product (whether it be transportation, stock purchases, or judging services) guess what – you’ve committed LIBEL. It’s a crime and it’s something that can be prosecuted. Be wary and follow a simple rule:
I know, I know – it’s the same advice your grandma gave you: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” BUT just because it’s old-fashioned wisdom doesn’t mean it’s untrue! Seriously. Be nice or be quiet. We don’t need little gossip mongers in this hobby. We need people who are willing to be kind, promote their breeds, and pet their rabbits. Be one of those people – you’ll have more fun (whether you’re blonde or not! LOL!)!
Because I was pretty steamed this morning about the post in the facebook group which caused me to unfollow, I put a comment up on my regular, private facebook page referencing the poor behavior. That generated some commentary from my facebook friends where I learned from friends across the country that they won’t let their kids get involved in raising and showing rabbits because the ADULTS at the shows are argumentative, resentful, and expletive-spreading meanies. REALLY?!!
We love our rabbits shows for the very opposite reason! We meet people who are willing to take the time with our kids, educate us on best practices in their barns, and generally be awesome. We have found some amazing folks we love at rabbit shows and to learn that other areas of the country are acting awful makes my heart break.
THESE ARE RABBITS. This isn’t an Olympic arena. It’s a fuzzy bunny and we make lots of them. There is absolutely no call for people to get superior or condescending about rabbits. This is like the nerd hobby of livestock – we wander around barns covered in fur and wicked looking nail scratches. Who does this?! Quirky folks who are pretty awesome but probably weren’t the cool kids in high school.
Put it all in perspective… THESE ARE RABBITS. Stop being a jerk. Just be nice and have fun!
So here’s my plea: Make Kindness Normal. Go out of your way to encourage and build up others. Be the positive change in the hobby. Look for ways to be helpful. Keep your words respectful in all circumstances.
Thank you :). I shared on my timeline as a general reminder to people, not just rabbit people lol, be kind. Someone tagged a Thumper clip of him saying to be nice lol. I see way too many harsh comments on the rabbits sights I join. It isn’t helpful and sure isn’t encouraging people.
It really isn’t encouraging at all! I feel like the last few weeks people have been meaner than usual, particularly on for sale posts. I’ve seen people RIP up the rabbit for sale. It reminds me that maybe that rabbit doesn’t look like the rabbits in my barn – but it’s the best that person has perhaps. Who knows?! But there are ways to post positive comments to influence people rather than negative and attacking comments. Sigh.
Thank you for sharing though! We appreciate it!
Thank you for your great post, JJ. You nail it as usual. It dismays me when I see people be condescending or critical of other people. I now try to also avoid those places, but do my best to participate with the fun people who raise rabbits. Its one place we are all capable of overcoming our differences and get along – whether its religious, political, dietary, ethical, or what side of the country you’re on. I love that about rabbit people and having friends all over the country, who are even quite different from me. And that we’re all still capable of being friends. Tolerance is what I appreciate in the rabbit community. And that means not publicly ripping people apart. Some people just need to learn things, what better way than to teach them. Public humiliation is not the way. It saddens me when some people think being competitive means putting people down. I like to see people in friendly competition, where we each get inspired to do better and raise better rabbits. Putting someone else down does not make us better. — Mardi
LikeLiked by 1 person
I agree – there’s an amazing amount of diversity in the rabbit world and it’s generally very accepting and kind. It’s those people who start to lose their grasp of the idea of “hobby” who want to belittle others… they need an attitude adjustment. Of course I think we all need a reminder every once in awhile to chill out.
True, myself included – lol.
Thank you and I totally agree! Posting this article in my rabbitry and personal facebook page.
Oh man, this is one of the huge reasons I got off facebook almost a year and a half ago…not only could I “not” keep my passion down about homesteading and other back-to-the-earth things I was driving friends nuts over (yes, ppl were making fun of me behind my back, lol, didn’t mind that;), the way people continues to treat each was driving ME nuts! haha…can’t tell you how much peace and quiet I have inside my head now;] It actually took me 2 weeks to “detox” from forming my thoughts into “facebook” posts, in my head! I am pretty sure facebook is a cyop to control people’s minds and slowly turn them into mean zombies…but I digress;] Loved your blog on it!