Since I attended the animal communication workshop recently, I have been wondering what more I can do to help the animals. I already make regular contributions to a few animal charities and sign any animal rights petitions which cross my path. I have been thinking about what other ways I may be able to help to relieve the suffering of animals in the world.
The answer came to me when I was pondering the lesson from my French class. We had been learning how to talk about ‘causes’ and ‘consequences’. I remembered the words of Patarina, the fairy:
I wanted to ask that all humans please consider the consequences of your actions. I know sometimes you are ignorant of the consequences, but many times humans do things without ever even thinking what might happen. What might happen when you use harsh chemicals that end up in our oceans. What might happen when your plastic bags blow into the sea. What might happen when you chop down that tree, when you use up all the world’s resources. When you do everything you do, consider the effect on the other animals, the other humans, the other beings, who inhabit this beautiful Earth. Consider the effect on this beautiful Earth.
I realised that this is the greatest gift that we can all give the animals, and it is generally free. We can consider the consequences of our actions.
I have been guilty of failing to consider the consequences of my actions in the past, and it has had disastrous effects on many animals.
A few years ago, my husband and I arranged for some palm trees to be cut down, in order to rid ourselves of the mess their fruit (little orange balls) caused. We knew that we would be removing the food of the bats which liked to come and eat this fruit, and we accepted this as a consequence of our actions. However, we had no idea that a possum, which had made its home in one of the trees, would be crushed when the tree was felled. With hindsight, we realised that we should have had a lot more consideration for the consequences of that action.
There are consequences for every action we take. Sometimes we never know the consequences, but what we can do is to pray that the consequences of all of our actions will be positive for all of those concerned.
Although we can’t always be aware of the consequences of our actions, there are many actions which we take every day which can affect the lives of animals and our planet. At every meal, we are faced with an opportunity to decide what sort of consequences we wish to have on animals and on the planet.
For years, even though I knew the suffering involved in the animal food industries, I told myself that one person couldn’t make a difference, that being a committed vegan was too hard, and I turned a blind eye. I continued to eat dairy products even though I had been told that the babies suffered. I continued to eat seafood, even though I knew that the oceans were overfished. I continued to eat eggs, even though I knew that every chicken, whether free range or battery, would, after a very short life, end up on one of those chook trucks, crammed in like sardines, and dragged off to slaughter. I even ate meat on occasion, because it was easier than standing up for the animals.
There came a time when I couldn’t turn a blind eye any longer. I finally had the courage to really look at what the consequences of my actions had been. I didn’t like what I saw.
I saw baby dairy calves dragged from their mothers at just a couple of days old. I heard their heart-broken mothers cry and bellow for days afterwards, until they would be forcibly impregnated once again, in order to start the vicious cycle over again. Was my cheese and icecream really worth such pain?
I saw other animals, such as sea birds, caught on long-line fishing lines and caught in discarded nets. I saw the devastation of the sea floor as trawlers scraped across it.
I saw that chickens, who produced eggs marked as free-range, weren’t really all that free, and I saw the way that all the animals died when they went to slaughter.
I made a commitment that I would not be party to this destruction any longer. I made a commitment to make a difference with every meal.
If we cannot be the ones to slaughter the animals ourselves, do we really have a right to ask others to do it on our behalf? If you could not look an animal in the eye and take its life, is it right to burden others with that responsibility?
If we cannot watch a video showing the consequences we cause, isn’t it time to cease to be the cause of those consequences?
Even one meal, free of animal products, has a beneficial effect for animals and the planet.
If you decide to become vegan, you will be surprised how many vegan products are becoming available every day. Making the choice to have a positive effect on animals is getting easier every day.
And if you need help, there are many available who can help you.