My animal-loving daughter takes death of animals – even in the movies – to heart

I’m raising some animal loving kids. Both kids are very compassionate about animals. I guess this is to be expected as we have three cats, two dogs and a hamster.

Lexie in particular loves dogs and wants to be a dog rescuer when she grows up. If I let her, she would start now. She always concerned when she sees a loose dog on the street or a sign advertising a lost pet.

While dogs are clearly her favorite, she does love all animals. And this love has been clearly shown in her reaction to two movies that we have watched in the past few months.

When we went to the theater to see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Lexie was particularly troubled by the scene where the brachiosaurus dies in the fire. It was by far a sad scene for everyone in the theater, but it bothered Lexie quite a bit. Beyond just the tears during the scene, for days afterward she would suddenly wail out about the injustice of it all and why did it have to die?

For that matter, in the first Jurassic World, she was quite upset when the Indominus Rex goes on a killing spree of the other dinosaurs on the island. She had very little concern for the people who died but the dinos were another story.

Last week, we watched Alpha. We almost didn’t make it past the opening scene where the warriors chase the buffalo over the cliff.

It doesn’t matter to Lexie that this is just a made-up story or that these creatures weren’t real. She feels for the innocent creatures. In fact, she always seems more upset about the death of animals than she does about the human characters. Maybe it is because humans are flawed or simply because she doesn’t think the animals deserve to die. It doesn’t even matter if the death is so others can survive such as in Alpha when the boy Keda has to kill a rabbit to feed himself and the wolf Alpha.

Guess this means Lexie will never be a hunter. And I guess this means we need to really monitor what scenes Lexie sees in the movies, on TV or YouTube. Because as we all know not everyone out there loves animals. Not everyone sees them as creatures with feeling. There are lots of bad people out in the world who mistreat animals and these people are portrayed in movies and on TV. It was sometime over the summer that Lexie was devastated about a cartoon on YouTube in which someone threw a puppy against the wall. For the longest time while she was crying about this, I thought she saw a video of a real dog being killed. Ugh.

In the end, Lexie did like both Fallen Kingdom and Alpha. Heck, she even watched A Dog’s Purpose which is about a dog’s spirit who gets reincarnated as several different dogs throughout its life. The first death was the hardest but with each one it got a little easier and she loved the end of the movie. By the way, we warned her not to watch this movie but she insisted because it was about a dog.

I know we can’t protect her forever from these images and stories, but I do think we have to remember how sensitive she is to the lives of animals and while my husband and I understand the scenes in these movies, Lexie might not. At the very least, we can warn her about anything that will leave her in tears.




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