10 Billion Reasons to Care
Speech given prior to a march for World Farm Animals Day through a shopping district in Kansas City, Missouri
Judy Carman, M.A.
As we all hold our candles and prepare for our vigil through the Plaza, let us all take a few moments to quiet our thoughts and go within and consider what we are about to do. We are here because of the love in our hearts. We are here because we care so much about the millions of animals who are suffering and dying right this moment while we stand here, and the billions of animals who have already suffered and died at the hands of human beings.
Let us take this moment to feel our profound and beautiful kinship with our animal brothers and sisters. We are reaching out to them with our hearts and souls. Let us take this moment to reflect on how sacred and precious all life is and how intimately interconnected we all are.
We know what our fellow beings are going through. As we walk through the Plaza tonight, we carry these little candles as symbols of our love for the animals and our commitment to them. With each step, we are telling the world—we will not stop until the terrorism and war on animals has ended. We will not forget them or turn away from these atrocities perpetrated upon them every minute of every day on this planet.. We will not stop until everyone has heard their cries and the killing stops and all people learn to live with compassion and reverence for all life.
There is no greater power on earth than the power of love. We are walking in this vigil because of love.
As we walk together, we create an energy field of compassion that will be felt, at least on some level, by everyone we pass. Because we are all interconnected, those who see us will feel, though they may not be consciously aware of it, they will feel the energy field of compassion that we are emanating from our hearts. They will sense, on some level, the vision we hold of a world where all people live in peace with the animals and the earth.
You have had the courage to look into the eyes of the suffering animals and bear witness to what is happening to them. You have had the courage to hear them crying out ‘won’t anybody help us?’ You have had the courage to say, ‘This is wrong, and I’m going to do what I can to stop it.’ The crowd is telling you not to do it, to come back and be a safe bystander. But you go forth anyway with courage to do what is right. I stand in awe to see your beautiful faces and I thank you for your courage. I thank you for your passion, and I thank you for carrying your light tonight for the animals we all love so much.
© Judy Carman, 2002
Judy Carman, M.A. is an activist for animal rights, peace and justice, and environmental protection. She is the author of Born to Be Blessed: Seven Keys to Joyful Living, and her new book Peace to All Beings won the Spirituality and Health award as one of the best spiritual books of 2003. She is co-founder of Animal Outreach of Kansas and of the Universal Prayer Circle for Animals.