In last week's update, Will proposed a Memorial Day for Animals since we are approaching our traditional Memorial Day. He stated "We cannot build a tower of love and harmony with bricks of cruelty and indifference." As he spoke of the 8.5 million gallons of blood spilled just from pigs, cows, chickens and turkeys alone, it reminded me of a story about Gandhi in Peace to All Beings
It was the year 1901. Gandhi wanted to visit the Temple of Kali in Calcutta. "On the way he noticed a long line of sheep being herded toward the Temple. When he arrived at the entrance he recoiled in horror. 'We were greeted by rivers of blood. I could not bear to stand there. I have never forgotten the sight.' "
Later Gandhi wrote, "To my mind the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being ... I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man."
Will's article also made me think of our own need to mourn. Memorial Day is typically a day to mourn the loss of loved ones. Research on the subject has shown that mourning is an essential part of surviving such losses. As we embrace Memorial Day, we will, of course, think of family members and friends who have gone on before us, but as animal liberationists, I believe we could also make this day, as Will suggested, a Memorial Day for Animals. In doing so, let us allow ourselves time to grieve the unfathomable suffering and loss of lives that goes on daily among our animal kin. It is so important that we take care of ourselves and honor our deep sadness, for our hearts burn with love for all creation.
So take time today to mourn but also and most importantly to recognize and celebrate
that you have a heart capable of such infinite compassion and love - and that is what will bring the world back to wholeness and beauty.
As part of your celebration, you might wish to view this video of the friendship between a dog and a dolphin. It is clearly choreographed, but the message is still very sweet and worthy of happy tears.
Dolphin and Dog