Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it’s beauty.
I feel inadequate with the notion that what I write could ever make a difference but because of ill health my animal rights website is the best I can do to hopefully make people think differently about animals. But really it all feels hopeless as people everywhere continue to stuff their greedy faces and sate their insatiable appetites with the dead flesh of another sentient being; or wear the skin that once belonged to a thinking feeling creature who like them enjoyed the warmth of the sun on their once vibrant living feeling skin; or drink the milk taken by force meant for the baby of another animal who spends her life confined in a shed, her baby taken from her at birth until after years of this torture she takes her only trip into the sunshine to be loaded on to a truck and driven to the abattoir. I am of course talking about cows. Yes I know obvious, but is it, is that plastic milk carton you buy in the supermarket really thought of as anything other than a drink, its origins rarely considered or the suffering that goes into providing you with a food product that is not meant for you and which you do not need. No other animal except human beings drinks milk after weaning or drinks the milk of another species. Cows of course are but one of many animals exploited for their flesh, skin,wool, fur, milk and so on as billions of pigs, sheep, poulty and cattle live wretched lives in factory farms and suffer slaughter to provide humans with a food and materials we do not need.
The world seems to me an awful place made worse by one and only one animal, and that animal of course is man; the most destructive creature on the planet. He destroys all in his wake in the pursuit of wealth and comfort, mostly by struggling not only to subdue the millions of other species with whom he shares this world but also by controlling and enslaving millions of his own kind, many of whom allow themselves to be so exploited because one day they think that they will have good fortune and one day they will have the big house, the latest cars, technology, and millions in the bank when sadly all they will have is bondage to a mortgage or rent, a dreary job with little or no hope of happiness, no time to live to or appreciate that which they have enslaved themselves for. Without question the masses of enslaved humanity continue to dance to the tune of the drummers of the big corporations, who like the medieval lord of the manor control their lives until they find themselves old and seemingly of little value other than as drones who must now work until they drop with little hope of a pension, of a little life before their lives, along with their hopes and dreams, are spent, until they are left with nothing but regret for a life never lived. However many have no such dreams the reality of wealth an impossible illusion as they see their children die of starvation, as they walk ten miles for dirty water, die of treatable disease and suffer all manner of deprivation unimaginable to most of us here in the west
Why? What drives the continual exploitation of other human beings, other animals and the environment by the few in the cause of greed, the insatiable need to acquire more and more wealth while others around them suffer the consequences? It appears that some people consider their lives are of more worth than that of other people or other creatures. It is almost as though they are not aware that others have needs, that others suffer and are alive in the same sense that they themselves are.
The lives of all beings are to my mind of equal value, life as Siddhārtha Gautama founder of the Buddhist tradition says is precious to all. Thinking that one is better than others is of course one of the reasons why the world is an awful place to live, the hostility of the environment made worse by people who think that they are better than everyone else. It’s okay for this or that person to sweep the streets, empty the dustbin, generally for a pittance, spend their precious lives slaving in a factory or office, it’s all slavery white or blue collar, but not me. Somehow I am better I should have millions in the bank because somehow I deserve it.
I cannot even imagine the rationale that makes one person think it is okay to exploit thousands of others, let children die of malnutrition or disease while he or she lives in luxury. What goes on in the minds of all those who accrue enormous wealth while others die, while every three seconds a child in the developing world dies?
Is it callous indifference, outright evil or insanity? To my way of thinking the kind of mentality that never questions the morality of their voracious acquisition at such a price is truly insane, dangerously insane because it seems that it is that kind of thinking that rules the world. Surely the competiveness, the exploitation, the greed and callousness for human and nonhuman suffering cannot be the result of rational thinking. What kind of society allows one child to die every three seconds of hunger, a child to go blind for want of medication that costs about 50 pence, billions of sentient beings to be slaughtered the world over to feed the rich a food they do not need and is not natural and results in the suffering not only of the unfortunate creatures themselves but other human beings and the environment. In many regions of the world the rain forests and other land is used to provide fodder for farm animals.
It’s a crazy crazy sick world ruled by greed and avarice, ruled by those whose sole motivation is to acquire more and more wealth to do with as they please at the expensive of others. I often wonder if there are other beings out in the universe and if they observe us and what they think of the nightmare of hell we have created. The wars that rage created by the powerful and greedy to continue to control and subdue, to seize for themselves the world’s resources at the expense of the other beings with whom we share this world, other generations.
In 2011 we commemorated the tenth anniversary of those who died in the 9/11 attack and rightly so these people should be remembered if doing so brings comfort to relatives and friends and reminds us of the horrors of the consequence of hatred, greed and intolerance and plain and simply mans’ inhumanity to man. September 11th 2001 was a sad day, as it is a sad day when anyone dies, particularly in such circumstances but what about the 112,049 plus who have died during and since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, most of whom were innocent people going about their daily lives as were the people in the world trade centre. What about the 16,000 children who died of Malnutrition on the same day as the 9/11 attack as they do every day or the millions of helpless animals who were slaughtered that day, (in the UK alone about 2 million are slaughtered each day) as they are each and every day to feed the few. Also consider the estimated 26,000 people who go to their graves earlier as a result of the unbridled greed of the energy companies in the UK. Did you know that more people here in the UK die of cold than in Siberia? When will we remember them, when will we stop the killing, the greed, the exploitation, the genocide and for once and for all time recognise that every creature has a right to life regardless of species, race, religion, ideology, age or any other status with which humans set themselves up upon a pedestal and consider they are better than others or they have the right ideology, religion or are member of the right race or species or whatever.
Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming ALL other living beings, we are still savages.
Thomas A. Edison
Here are the sickening statistics and relevant facts regarding the points made above in more detail including links to sources and further information. Of course the above is simply the tip of the iceberg; to make a list of the appalling suffering and neglect of our fellow beings both human and nonhuman would comprise a long and shocking list of exploitation, brutality, greed and neglect perpetrated on the many by the few.
Death from starvation
Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes. That’s one child every 3.5 seconds.
Every 3.6 seconds one person dies of starvation. Usually it is a child under the age of 5
People who died in the invasion of Iraq
Documented civilian deaths from violence 111,885 – 122,388 , plus wiki leaks Iraq war logs may add an additional 12,000 / the stats above are for civilians. These are people who died during and since the 2003 invasion
Animals Killed worldwide
In the USA
Animals killed worldwide for Americans’ in 2009 amount to 8.3 billion land animals and 51 billion sea animals. (So, a total of about 59 billion animals.), also 56 billion worldwide.
Over a lifetime, this amounts to 15,000 animals per meat eater.
Animals killed for Vivisection (experiments) the Estimates range from 17 million to 100 million.
Each year worldwide over 40 million animals are killed for their fur.
Animals killed by hunters;there are well over 200 million animals reported killed by hunters every year in the USA alone.
Again in the USA approximately 3-4 million cats and dogs are killed in shelters in the United States every year.
In the UK
The total number of animals killed in British slaughterhouses in 2003 was approximately 900 million.
This included 9.35 million pigs, nearly 15 million sheep, 28 million turkeys, 20 million ducks, over 850 million chickens and 2.25 million cattle.
This equates to 2.4 million animals slaughtered every day; 100,000 an hour; 1600 per minute and 26 every second.