Start by doing what’s necessary;
then do what’s possible;
and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
- St. Francis of Assisi
This week has been especially disturbing to me in terms of farmed animal welfare. Two new undercover videos were released from Mercy For Animals (MFA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
The first, from MFA, shows dairy farm workers at an Idaho farm sexually molesting dairy cows. You can read about it and/or watch the video here.
The second, from HSUS, chronicles a practice in a Kentucky pig breeding factory of feeding ground up body parts of piglets back to the mothers. These piglets apparently die from severe diarrhea, so that is in there too. You can read about it and/or watch the video here.
Meanwhile, I was also reminded this week of the Cambridge Declaration of Consciousness which was signed in 2012 by a group of neuroscientists. It states that based many non-human animals have “neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors,” including all mammals and birds.
Interesting juxtaposition. We exploit and abuse animals. <—> They might be conscious like we are. Quite an implication for us.
Now I know that science competes with itself, so is the Declaration based on “sound” evidence? I don’t know. But I know that it shows that there are people alive, now, who are discovering animal consciousness to be at the least a possibility.
Don’t you feel sometimes like your pets are self-aware or are connecting with you or other animals emotionally? Don’t you sense that they have true affection for their babies? That they fear? And love?
Then why not a pig? Then why not a cow?
It is hard for me to imagine any sound argument supporting our culture’s current treatment of our fellow creatures. Whether you base your reasons in the science, the spirituality, the indigenous traditions, or just the gut reaction you have to animals in pain, doesn’t something seem off? Doesn’t it seem like something should change for the good of our OWN species, let alone all the others? I’m not talking about “extreme” changes like a vegan world or animal rights being written into law…I’m pointing just to a basic respect for non-human animals. A humbling of ourselves to recognize the impact our choices have on them and to entertain the possibility that we, as a species, could treat them better.
I personally believe that our future survival really does depend on a change in consciousness. It requires an end of division and competition at the levels we suffer now and a new collaborative, cooperative civilization. Not just with each other, but with the Earth and its other inhabitants with whom we should be sharing this home. It is the hope of that civilization (brought about by necessity, compassion, and divine guidance) along with my own proactive efforts to propel change that keep me hanging on.
So hang on! To each pig crammed into a gestation crate, each elephant shackled in a concrete shed for our entertainment, each of you that feels like it’s too much to try and change….hang on. It might not be in my lifetime or yours, but I believe that things will change. Or, I should say, that they MUST.
In the meantime, go to those links, sign the petitions, get some more meat out of your diet, keep on improving your own choices to align with what you believe and FIND YOUR HOPE! There is always hope. Truly.
I think I might be a broken record when I’m writing about this. And I’m guessing that I’m probably preaching to the choir. So be it. There’s too many reasons to keep writing.
Love to you all. The world needs you!