The Compassionate Anzo, Dealing with the Pitfalls of Empathy 

Compassion fatigue is a whole body tragedy that extends out into the world as we interact with it. It can impact how we relate with others, the degree to which we can work, and in many ways, our personal and global health.


As a passionate person in the field of anthrozoology, I have been angry. It has filled me with absolute contempt as I have seen the atrocities humans inflict upon nonhuman animals for minimal, needless gain. I have been disheartened. Sadness has washed over me as I have borne witness to perhaps the worst of all offenses: apathy. I have not become numb and perhaps this is slowly eating away at me, eating away at all of us at least a little. But what is an anzo to do?


It seems in the very nature of this field to hold compassion dearest above all else. Compassion fatigue can bring about severe physical and mental exhaustion, causing us to waver in our efforts as we decline in health. After all, who can possibly work at their fullest potential to do good in the world if they feel as though they are struggling upstream?