We had to take our dog, Cassie, to the vet today. (She’s ok, just has a bit of a cough.) But this started me thinking about how important animals are to us on this planet.
Last week I wrote about the importance of trees, but have you ever stopped to think how important the animals are to this planet?
The importance of each species to an ecosystem was brought home to me by this video:
As well as providing physical advantages to the planet, such as those depicted in this film, they also provide an energetic one as well. As I have just been reading about in Mike Dooley’s book, The Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell You, thoughts create things, including circumstances. (You might know Mike Dooley from his Notes From the Universe.)
Most people think negative thoughts, at least some of the time, and these negative thoughts can create a blanket of negative energy which covers the Earth. The animals, on the other hand, generally think happy thoughts, thus creating an antidote to our negativity.
This positive effect is evident to anyone who has had the privilege of sharing his or her life with a pet. Studies have shown that pet guardianship has positive mental and physical health benefits, which we guardians often take for granted.
We, as guardians who receive so many positive benefits from our pets, often fail to provide our pets with the requirements, which their natural behaviour dictates. Dogs are social creatures, who require the love and companionship of a pack, whether that be a pack of dogs, or a pack of humans. If you want to be included as members of their pack, though, you have to spend some time with them.
All pets require some mental and physical stimulation. Behaviour problems in pets are often caused by our failing to provide enough such stimulation in the form of walks and play. People wonder why a dog, who is confined to the back yard, who rarely sees his human pack members, and who even more rarely gets to go out and explore the world, takes it upon himself to become an escape artist or develops some sort of unwanted behaviour.
We take many animals for granted. Certainly the ones we eat receive very little thought.
We rarely stop to consider what their lives are like in the factory farms where they exist, prior to their early slaughter. We rarely stop to consider their traumatic truck journey in sweltering heat or freezing cold. We rarely stop to consider the further trauma they face when they see, hear, and smell the fear of those who walk before them towards their death at slaughterhouses.
If you still eat meat, eggs, and dairy, can you watch the videos which show the situations the animals endure during their short lives on factory farms, or the videos of unwanted dairy calves as they are snatched from their mothers in the first week of their lives to be trucked to slaughter, or the videos showing the bulging eyes of cattle as their senses are assaulted on their arrival at the abattoir, or the rough way the chooks are thrown into layers on the trucks, or the machines where male chicks are ground alive?
Very few people can watch these videos. Because we are empathic. We know that the pain and suffering, which these animals endure, is felt deeply, just as it would be if we, or our children, endured it.
Yet, if we cannot bear to watch the videos, how can we bear to turn our backs on the suffering they show?
Please remember the animals this Christmas. Give your pets the gift of your loving attention, of walks and play. Give food animals the gift of a meat-free or vegan Christmas. They are worth it.