Why, you may ask? Because every individual of every species, human or other, possesses an inherent and intrinsic equal value. We all have equal right to exist, to live our lives freely.
Whether we acknowledge it or not does not negate that basic foundational fact. It is not our place to grant, assign, declare or judge another’s worth or value or basic rights. They already exist.
It’s no wonder that we have bought into the concept all of this time. We’ve been conditioned for centuries that someone else decides for us what our and other’s worthiness is. So we look outside for validation – are we smart enough, good looking enough, thin enough? Do we pass muster in someone else’s judgement? Do they approve? We are constantly striving, dancing, jumping through hoops and tying ourselves into pretzels to get that stamp of approval. Now am I good enough?
We do it with other species as well. We share stories of how intelligent, adorable, ingenious, and amazing they are. We try to elevate their value by including them in the dance we all do.
And we create movements and fights for rights of all sorts. But those rights are there, have been there all along. We just don’t all acknowledge them. Why? Because we have bought into the concept that it’s someone out there that gets to decide. And we’ve set up our society around it with our institutions and governing bodies.
But there is a way out of this vicious spiral. There is a solution that doesn’t involve lobbying governments, debating, or convincing. It actually can’t because that just perpetuates the cycle that created the issue in the first place.
It’s a simple solution, in fact.
It starts with me, it starts with you. The answer is for each of us to acknowledge our own full and equal intrinsic right.
When each of us does this with full heart and soul, we naturally stop looking to others for validation, for approval. We don’t need it anymore. We stop buying into the system. It loses its power over us.
AND when we acknowledge our own equal worth and value, we can see and accept others’ equal worth and value. Of every human, of every species. It’s not threatening anymore. It’s not a competition. It becomes and begets collaboration and community.
Can it truly be that simple? Yes! I believe that’s the only way lasting change can happen.
So when I say that I don’t stand for animal rights, I stand for animal equality, it means that I am acknowledging my equal value and see others’ intrinsic equal value, human and other-than-human species alike.
That’s the world I want to live in and help create. Will you join me?