Activism, Prayer & Personal Choices for the Animals
May the suffering of animals that occurs in the name of cultural tradition, nutrition, entertainment, fashion, sport, game and wildlife management and in the pursuit of status, profit, science or progress come to an end all over the earth.
May all beings be free from suffering
May all beings be at peace.
Animals feel the same physical and emotional pain that humans do when they are unloved, harassed, abandoned, abused, tortured, killed, or valued not for for their intrinsic worth but exploited for others’ needs. In talking with thousands of humans and animals who have experienced trauma, it is very clear that our pain is the same. Our suffering is the same. Feeling their suffering can be heartbreaking.
The animals of the earth need our voice, our prayers and our love. And there are infinite ways to offer these energies. I am blessed to be surrounded by people who not only love animals but who also spend significant life energy helping them--people who have founded, manage and work for shelters, rescue and animal advocacy groups; people who spend enormous time doing grass roots fostering, rescuing, and activism; people who regularly donate their energy healing work and who pray for animals; and people who, in the spirit of St. Francis, make everyday lifestyle choices that are in alignment with their values to do no harm to animals. I am in awe as I watch what so many people do for the animals.
Sometimes, however, becoming aware of the myriad and seemingly endless ways animals suffer at the hands of humans, it's easy to become overwhelmed with the horror of it all and to sift through all the information and requests for donations and help. It helps me to remember that even though as one person I cannot "save them all" or do it all, if I pay attention to how I can best direct my own available energy to three important areas of activism, prayer and my personal choices, I know can make a difference.
Some people feel that political activism is the best or only way to create change. Others feel that praying for or visualizing the change needed is a more powerful way to help, while others believe that making daily, compassion based choices is the most critical form of help. I believe they are all needed. Action in the outer world and sending love, healing energy and prayer from the inner world both create change. These are not mutually exclusive strategies, they merely employ different energies. Some of us are better suited to do hands on rescue, volunteer work or political activism. while others are more drawn to do regular prayer and healing work for animals. Some of us have more time than money to give, others have more money than time. But no matter who we are, regardless of our unique resources, all of us who love animals might find fifteen minutes a month to respond to a few email alerts, moments each day to pray and visualize good for a particular animal or species in peril, and can begin to examine how our lifestyle choices impact the animals.
I have always been moved by the Anatole France quote, “Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” Loving animals, feeling the wonder and magic of their love, is the first step to awakening a part of our souls. The next step, I believe, is giving back--giving something back to the animals in need for all the love, beauty, grace and healing they bring to the earth and our lives. Yet another place in our souls is awakened when we give back--the place of deep compassion, the part of us that finds the deep meaning, contentment and joy that comes from service and from consciously choosing to do no harm to our fellow creatures on the earth.
I hope the information, resources and links in this section may inspire you to give back in some way to help the animals of the earth. Read what one woman did to bring joy to a shelter full of cats. The animals need us. They deserve our help. In whatever way we can give it, let’s give them our help.