This is the 16th year that the Season for Nonviolence has been recognized and celebrated from January 30 through April 4 to memorialize Gandhi and Martin Luther King and carry forth their message of nonviolence and their vision that universal peace is possible. The Association for Global New Thought (www.agnt.org) is a good resource for ideas and encouragement regarding peace among human beings.
Of course, as with so many peace movements that we've discussed, the unending violence done to animals is often overlooked and not mentioned except perhaps to allude to them in generic phrases such as "respect for all life." So that is where we come in--we act and pray and shed light on the relentless, unimaginable brutality being inflicted on our fellow beings. And just as importantly, we help people understand the unbreakable connection that binds violence toward all beings together. Until we end the human-caused war against animals, we will continue to be plagued by wars and violence against people.
One of the ideas suggested by Global New Thought is for individuals and groups to create online video messages during the Season. A possible script is: "Hello! My name is _______ and I am from [city, state] and I am participating in the Season for Nonviolence at [school or organization]. The way I am making this part of my life is by________________."
For any of you who have the time to do so, this video idea would be a great opportunity to add the ahimsa message to this grand energy field of peace prayers and dreams. It is up to us to help everyone finally understand-peace for just one species is not possible. We must give it to all species if we are ever to have it for ourselves.
Apologies for the length of my message today, but I thought you might find the following quotes useful as we go forward adding our all-beings-consciousness to this sacred and important Season for Nonviolence.
As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer
As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields. ~ Tolstoy
Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.
~ Albert Schweitzer
Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is--whether its victim is human or animal--we cannot expect things to be much better in this world... We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity. ~ Rachel Carson
We are the living graves of murdered beasts, slaughtered to satisfy our appetites. How can we hope in this world to attain the peace we say we are so anxious for? ~ George Bernard Shaw
For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love. ~ Pythagoras
"The human cycle of violence will not stop until we stop the underlying violence, the remorseless violence we commit against animals for food." ~ Will Tuttle
If you have men who will exclude any of god's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. ~ St. Francis of Assisi