Perhaps the famous German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said it best when he said:
”The assumption that animals are without rights, and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance, is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”
The week of June 17th marks the eighteenth Animal Rights Awareness Week (ARAW), which was called into life by the California animal rights group, In Defense of Animals.
ARAW is designated as celebration of our synergistic relationship with animals and to educate people about means to bring more awareness and compassion into our world.
It can no longer be denied that animal rights and human rights are complementary, not contradictory.
I do not begrudge anyone buying their puppy or kitty from a store for the simple reason that these pets need a home, too. But the sad truth behind that type of spontaneous purchase is that it has far reaching ramifications.
Excepting ethical, and regulated breeders, it is a fact that “pet stores” perpetuate an evil sequence of cruelty, suffering and slaughter; and the buying and selling of animals solely to amass profits is not only ethically wrong but it supports the puppy mill and backyard breeder’s assembly line of production.
As long as politicians like New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, decline the regulation of animal cruelty, the toxic status quo continues to spread, and endangers more animal lives.
Every person I know treats their own pets with kindness, love and compassion. In other words, they already view Fido or Kitty as “family” and treat them with the same tenderness as human children. Sadly, many people are still not aware of the conditions in puppy mills, pet shops, some shelters, labs, zoos and circuses.
Animals are not mere commodities to be bought, sold and discarded on whim.
As long as we view animals as our personal property this vicious cycle cannot be broken. But a small adjustment in our thinking that animals are commodities might help raise awareness and compassion.
We are not their owners; we are their caregivers, companions and guardians! Or have you ever met a mother claiming her child to be her property?
This simple change of mind can greatly benefit animals. It can potentially lead to an increase of shelter adoptions, fewer abandonings, and people might develop a deeper sense of respect and compassion for companion animals that are now part of their families.
Collectively, we must make it our goal to work toward elevating the status of animals as well as to help increase today’s animal protection movement.
We should spend more time evaluating the relationship with our own furry friend, and then use our compassion to convince others of the fact that animals enrich our lives in countless ways, and, subsequently, persuade humanity that kindness and respect is due to all sentient creatures.