Those that own animals as pets, such as dogs, cats, horses, hamsters and even fish, can tell you that animals have feelings. For some reason, there are so-called ‘specialists’ that continue to insist that it isn’t so, that animals are incapable of most, if not all, human emotions. And this range of emotions is one we can even learn from them.
The main one is compassion, which is the reason for most vegans to chose this lifestyle – whether it is compassion for the animals, the environment, or other suffering human beings who lack food. This community has a tendency of being very supportive and seeking ways to share information and encourage each other in our paths to educate the masses on the issues lying behind their food choices.
As a matter of fact, studies show that children who do not treat animals well – at times even being downright cruel to them – will grow up to become violent (physically, verbally or psychologically) towards other human beings. Studies done on people in prison shows that 75 per cent of the violent offenders have at least a short history of violence or cruelty towards animals as children. This could eventually lead to lack of empathy on the lower scale and murderers or psychopaths on the larger scale.
This only goes to show that compassion is an integral emotion, one that encompasses all life forms, be it plant, human or animal, and that is important to teach it early on – alongside sharing and honesty. The Humane Society of the United States has such a program, called “First Strike”, which teaches the connection between cruelty to animals and to humans. Learning this crucial tool as early as possible also helps these children become law-abiding citizens across the board.
“Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” The Golden Rule
“The greatness of a society and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals.” Mahatma Gandhi.
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