The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. Mahatma Gandhi
We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. Immanuel Kant
Because it is inherent within nature to stay in balance with the harmonious frequency of the Universe, when we do something that sets things off balance, nature must respond by trying to put things back in balance. Our disharmonious administration of the planet causes us all – humans and the rest of the earth – to lose that balance. And nature ever operates to put things right. Gregge Tiffen (Life In The World Hereafter: The Journey Continues)
Earlier this week two viral posts crossed my path and made my heart ache. The first was a short clip from a surveillance camera showing a puppy being abandoned by his family. The second was an article saying that pet abandonment is highest with the approach of holidays and vacation time. An accompanying photo showed a long line of people and their pets outside of a shelter where the people were about to “surrender” their pets. (Note: I’ve not verified the veracity of either, but a quick check of statistics on the number of pets arriving in shelters nationwide it heart wrenching in and of itself.)
In the midst of my anger and sadness, I wondered how it is that we came to this. How is it that so often our convenience beats our care? Up close and personal, what habits do I practice and beliefs do I hold that contribute to this darker side of our culture?
It dawned on me as I took out the trash this morning that we’ve created a culture of disposability. Despite my best efforts to reduce, recycle and reuse, I generate waste (hopefully far below the national average, but waste none-the-less). That waste needs to be disposed of for practical reasons. But as we generate more waste and accept disposability of ‘stuff’ more, is it a leap to think that disposing of life could become more acceptable? Is it possible that our all too frequent disregard for life can be traced back to the boom in creating things that are ‘convenient’, thus disposable? If so, how did we make that leap? And, more importantly, how can we restore our understanding that all of life is sacred? How can I conspire with nature to improve life on the planet rather than working against her (and, therefore, against myself)?
I don’t know. But this week I’m going to sit with these questions. I have a hunch that I won’t like everything I discover. I have a hunch that there will be some new possibilities, new choices, along with opportunities to reconcile past and future choices with my understanding of the dominion over the planet we humans were granted.
I invite you to reflect and adjust with me.