DISSOLVING THE SPECIES DIVIDE ONE INSIGHT AT A TIME

Posts tagged ‘animals’

Animal Rights is Laughable. Human Rights as well for that matter.

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?

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My inaugural post!

My inaugural post! Let’s tackle a big one right off the top 😉

We are a funny speciesist lot, us humans. We arbitrarily decide to value one species over another, even one individual over another. That saddens and fascinates me all at the same time. I am always curious to understand why people draw their lines of love where they do. I question and adjust my own lines all the time!

A perfect example of this lately is the public outcry at the tragic roundup and killing of dolphins in Japan. The dolphins are either killed to be eaten or captured and sold into slavery to entertain and/or swim with people. It has sparked an outrage in many many people.  Thankfully!!

I have been observing some attempts to highlight the speciesism at work at the public’s reaction. Things like pointing out that while we get so upset over the dolphins being treated this way virtually countless chickens, cows and pigs are massacred every single day. Many of whom are to be eaten by the very people outraged over the dolphins.

At first I am heartened by these attempts, my first thoughts being “Great! This needs to be pointed out! People need to make that connection!”

But quickly that hope is dashed and replaced with alarm and worry. It’s a backfire waiting to happen! At least in the attempts I have seen.

I see a HUGE gap in the message; a gap that actually causes the message to turn back on itself and discount it.  Yikes!

I want to help bridge that gap.

The Gap

The message taken away is “You have no right to get upset about the dolphins, while all manner of other atrocities are happening to countless other animals all over the globe. Especially if you contribute to any of it.”

By pointing out the speciesism in this way, someone can easily conclude that they are wrong to care about ANY species. They may just accept it because it is done to other species. So not only does that get them to back off of their compassion and concern for the dolphins, it does nothing to heal the species divide, for anyone. It could very well widen it.

The Bridge

“Yes, is outrageous what’s happening to the dolphins! It is good you are upset about it and want it to be stopped.  What can you do in your life to stop such awful things from happening? Have you considered that it is equally horrible what happens to other animals? Could you extend that same level of care and concern to other species who are being exploited all around the world? All other species have their special qualities and deserve to live a life free of human exploitation.”

Start the conversation. Ask questions that will help spark people to ask themselves “Hey yeah.  Why is it that I love the dolphins (or seals, or cats or dogs) so much but am willing to just accept so many other atrocities inflicted upon others?”

Let’s not make people wrong for loving a particular species. Instead, use that as a springboard to close the gap for others! When a person can illuminate the species divide within their own thinking and actions themselves, they can start the process of dissolving it and making a different choice.

What shift can you make today?

I invite people to share their insights – has there been any spark of illumination for you?  Or what questions are you asking yourself?

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