Blog 1594 – 01.30.2020
January Is Almost Done
I heard the woman who founded PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), Ingrid Newkirk, speak of all the changes of mind that have taken place since she began her awareness work on March 22, 1980. Back then wearing fur was considered a status symbol and little thought was given to using, misusing, even abusing animals for entertainment, medical research, trophies, and outer wear i.e. shoes, belts, vests, furs, and jewelry. Today many decry species supremacy as just as false a premise as once the brave few souls did who stood against the equally wrong-headed ideas of racial and gender superiority.
We used to say, some still do, that man is superior to the animals because we have souls and use tools and they do not. But we have discovered that animals use tools too but not to kill one another in anger as we still do. Therefore, it is also debatable, we or they, who has the more fully developed souls. Our history, as supposed stewards and guardians of this world, is littered with mass extinctions of species after species and not even for food and clothing but for greater and greater profits. Many today fear we may also do our own species in as well in the name of profit before we are through. Early man lived in concert with nature and the other critters. When we began believing that sacrificing animals was a way of removing the guilt of our owns sins, I argue, and others do too, that we began some of the greatest and the most horrible of our misdeeds. The other animals all have way more to teach us than we realize. The First People spoke and still do of their spirit animal guides and do not consider themselves to be the top of the totem pole nor of the food chain but brothers with and co-equals with plants, animals, rocks, hills and all.
We, many of us, are even offended to be referred to as animals. It is they who have the most right to be offended by those unflattering comparisons. As lovely as Marilyn looked in the fur above on this January’s calendar page, the original wearers looked even better in it. I like to think she would have learned better as some of us have over time. She had a tender heart toward animals but then old ideas of species supremacy die hard as do those of gender and racial supremacy. May we come more and more to realize that we are One and none the better and nonetheless. The old joke is: “The animals are our friends and what do we do to our friends? We eat them.” That joke grows less funny each time I hear it. Some day when foods like the Impossible Whopper become less and less the exception, and we find better and better man-made products with which to dress, perhaps we will stop the business of breeding and raising animals for their meat and skins and learn to be much kinder to all of our friends not just the cute ones that we think of as pets, still demeaning them, thinking of ourselves as their “owners” and “masters.” Ideas like owning and and master race have been around awhile but not for much longer I hope. God bless the beasts and the children. And may the world they see each day become more the real world, a world of hope for all who inhabit it, a safe space and place for all to share equally.
Bless The Beasts And The Children
Your friend and fellow traveler,