“For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the Earth”
– Henry Beston
I have often said that if I had to choose to be in the company of humans or in the company of animals, I’d choose the latter.
Animals are pure, beautiful and Divine creatures. Wild animals fill me with awe. Domestic animals, like (for example) dogs and cats, are trusting, loyal and love unconditionally. When humans betray their trust… by mistreating or ignoring them, this – in my view – is a heinous crime.
I condemn the act of hunting and killing animals for sport. It is, quite simply, repugnant.
In my most bleak and darkest moments, my dog and cats have raised my spirits and given me solace. It is an honour and a privilege to be their caretaker.
Over the years, my husband and I have saved and provided a haven for frogs, lizards, birds, quails, squirrels, possums, cats and dogs. We have eight indoor cats (four were born in our home and we hand-raised one that was abandoned by her mother at only five hours old). We also feed all the stray and feral cats in our immediate neighborhood – seven of them (at last count). Our beloved 14½-year-old Black Lab (“Bacchus“) died four months ago and we are still grieving. Even our cats are mourning his loss.
Animals… ALL animals… need our protection and respect.
If you are an animal lover/activist, then I am preaching to the converted.
However, if you are unaccustomed to or uncomfortable with animals, then I urge you to befriend a dog or cat. I am certain that you will be smitten after the first encounter. But, if you’re not, simply remember to extend kindness to any animal that may cross your path.
They are the innocents. They have no voices but their eyes speak volumes.
They cannot advocate for themselves. So, it is up to us to do that for them.
After all, the very best of humanity is the practice of human kindness and compassion. It should, it MUST be extended to our animal brethren.
“Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission–to be of service to them whenever they require it… If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”
– Saint Francis of Assisi
“Cry of the Innocent: The Voices That Can’t Speak” (written, directed and produced by Katherine Lowson)
Some Book Recommendations:
For the Prevention of Cruelty: The History and Legacy of Animal Rights Activism in the United States – by Diane L. Beers
Heritage of Care: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – by Marion S Lane and Stephen L. Zawistowski Ph.D
Photo via flickr.com