guest blog by Missy Painter...
The Unquestionable Right To Be
When exploring the issue of animal rights, the first major obstacle we often encounter is our own deeply ingrained conditioning. It's daunting to examine what we've always done and known - to challenge and question the ways in which we all, often blindly, justify our existence through thoughtless patterns and familiar behaviors and choices. But in order to move forward consciously when it comes to animal rights this is exactly what we need to do.
We have been using animals for food, entertainment and labor for millennia. It's not new. It's tradition, in fact. And, as with most traditions, it is widely accepted. But what if animals are on the planet for their own reasons? What if, like humans, animals have their own communities and deep connections with their own kind for their own purposes and reasons? What if animals are not here for us? This may seem rudimentary, but is in fact a fairly foreign idea to most people.
We are so accustomed to using animals in almost every facet of our lives that we have forgotten a simple truth: that we all exist for our own purposes.
But don't animals "need" us? Aren't they "bred for human use"? Yes and no. Humans and non-humans are essential to one another in that together we all create a balance of ecology, an essential web of life. But for
one species to manipulate
another into an unfair and unbalanced partnership at the expense of the other's
freedom? No … that is called slavery. We shudder now at the thought of the
torture and devastation caused to humans enslaved years ago and all agree this
was an atrocity beyond belief. But in our relationships with animals we
are still very much in owner/slave mentality. We mostly never question
the act of taking an animal from his natural environment and exploiting
him for our purposes.
|NYC - working in the snow|
What about the controversy concerning NYC’s carriage horses? I don't think the issue is that the horses are not loved or cared for -- well at least some of them, anyway -- but it's more that horses do not belong in a city environment working for The Man. These horses are not able to choose. They are herd animals and belong with other horses, not pulling carriages. It's arrogance that takes them from their proper and natural environment to be used for human greed. It's wrong. The very nature of putting blinders on a horse, depriving him of his ability to see well …. a sensory perception we all have and are all entitled to use -- or should be! ... then it's probably a very bad idea to do this.
|Salt Lake City|
Humanity is waking up. We are evolving in our capacity for compassion. And as this unfolds we need to face the fact that we have done a great disservice to other beings on earth. What was once the unchallenged and traditional use of animals is up for discussion and debate... and in many cases it's up for abolition.
But this is not a message about persecution or judgment. This is
The right to exist and live a life free of exploitation and slavery.
The unquestionable right to be.
|Enjoying the good life at Central New England Equine Rescue|