Animals and Human Children

I am volunteering at an Orphan Children’s Hostel in Varanasi, India. I hear the young girls begin to scream early in the morning before school is to begin. I go running up the stairs to see what all the ‘fuss’ is about. Several of the girls have long sticks and are poking under the lockers. One of the girls shares with me that their are kittens under the lockers. I look over at the next set of stairs to see the mother Cat looking and meowing for her kittens.

I ask the Girls to stop, bend down, and I pick up one of the kittens. They scream, “Didi (sister in Hindi) what are you doing?” I say, “You believe in God, yes?” “Yes, Didi.” “You believe all Animals are God, yes?” “Yes, Didi.” “Me too, and I love my God. I do not want to hit my God with sticks. These kittens are scared, just like you and see their Mother on the stairs who loves them. She is like your MotherJi who loves you.” Then, one of them asks to touch the kitten. “Oh, it is so soft! Oh, how sweet! How can we help?” and all the girls take turns, sharing they have never touched one before. The girls then bring me a box, we catch the others, and take them to room with the mother Cat following. Then, a lesson begins on the five basic things every Animal needs to live and thrive.

children with dogs

This experience awakened a dream I did not know I had. I knew I love Children, I knew I love Animals; however, I did not know I had laying dormant in me a dream to bring Orphan Children and Orphan Animals together to heal each other. Teaching Compassion with Animals I had been doing, it was part of the reason I was in India as an Animal Chaplain; however, to see Orphan Children on the streets competing for food scraps, witnessing Children being taught to be cruel to the Animals or to ignore their conditions, even witnessing the homeless Children themselves being ignored, solicited into gangs,  broke my heart open to a degree which I have never experienced before.

child on railroad track

I knew then where my Soul was or IS leading me.

India UN Childrens Rights

Many of us have heard, maybe have experienced, or we intuitively know that Animals have the ability to heal. However, let us dig into the “science.”

 

Here is a list of 20 reasons (in a simple, and fun list) for benefits with Animals, which includes better health, having a friend and playmate, a cuddling companion, building higher self-esteem, lowering blood pressure, better communication skills, just to name a few from this simple list. Take a look at the list of 20 reasons for yourself.

girl hugging Lamb

Now, in the New York Times back in 1990, there are several studies showing some “unexpected psychological benefits” for Children. The Animals were significant in reaching emotionally traumatized Children, ones that are hard-to-reach, stating how the qualities which make pets beneficial to children also help in psychotherapy with building a rapport, bolstering the self-esteem of traumatized children, helping with social skills, more socially competent, feeling better about themselves, and buffering loneliness.

child bunny teaching consideration

”It made the children more cooperative and sharing,” said Dr. Sue Doescher, a psychologist involved in the study. ”Having a pet improves children’s role-taking skills because they have to put themselves in the pet’s position and try to feel how the pet feels. And that transfers to how other kids feel.”

 

In the article it shares a study of done with Farm Animals where 100 Children were part of an innovative treatment program. These Children were severely neglected or had experienced extreme physical or emotional abuse. The daily contact and responsibilities with the Animals gave them a sense of worth.

Dr Ross stated, “For many children whose nurturing has been faulty, taking care of an animal can interrupt the cycle of abuse repeating itself over generations. They can learn to be care-givers, even if they haven’t been well cared for themselves.”

 

child bowing with cow

The article also shares the study done with the tending of injured Animals was shown to be extremely powerful in teaching resilience, showing the Children an even deeper compassion and the feeling that if the Animals can do it with one leg missing, I can do it too. Please see the full New York Times article here.

youth doctoring puppy

In the Huffington Post, Dr. Gail Gross shares, “My very dear friend is a horse whisperer, who has helped many children with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) heal. One day while having lunch together, I asked her to explain to me why animals, and horses in particular, help children with PTSD recover. She explained to me that children of abuse and domestic violence, as well as children who have physical and emotional challenges, respond to horses (and other animals) because they intuitively recognize that they can trust them.”

She goes on to share how Children can naturally feel how Animals do not judge or criticize them, they love them unconditionally. See full article here.

Homeless Indian children play with puppi

Here is another source from the BlueDog.org with a clear list of benefits.

And another from School is Easy here adding Autism, helping with reading, and exercise.

The Pet Health Network shares, “This extraordinary relationship has been scientifically evaluated and a 2008 study published in Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatryby Nancy Parish-Plass showed that abused or neglected children responded better to therapy if an animal was present. The therapists reported that nervous, withdrawn, or frightened children became more relaxed and engaged when a pet was present.”

The article goes on to share, “Families considering adopting a child should seriously consider adopting a pet. Dr. Deanna Linville conducted a study and followed 20 American families who adopted children from Russia or Romania. She found it interesting that all 20 families had pets, most of them rescues.”

child loving chicken buddha quote

What do all of these benefits have in common……Compassion. The Children learn to nurture their Compassion. The Animals bring it out because they give it naturally. We want a more compassionate world, then we need to live it, give it, share it, TEACH it, and most of all demonstrate it with our Children. That is what Animals do.

children see magic

Many children, just as I did, have a natural awe and love of Animals; however, are taught to fear them, for many reasons. We as Children we are taught to ‘use’ them, whether for food, protection, clothing, entertainment, or otherwise. Basically, that some Animals are good and some Animals are bad or that we are superior to them.

child with cow buddha quote

So, my favorite benefit……compassion. And compassion leads to Peace.

caterpillar quote with child

When a Child’s natural compassion is nurtured, we create more compassionate adults.

child feeding puppies

When we create more compassionate adults, we create a more compassionate world.

children want to love

 

To help Apithan Ministries to build the first orphan child hostel at the LIFE Farm Animal Sanctuary in Mapoli, Maharashtra, India please visit www.ahowan.org to give your life-altering donation.

 

 

 

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International Peace Begins With All Animals

not just humans…….

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Apithan Ministries traveled approximately 250 miles to several Animal facilities near Asheville, NC facilitating six meditation blessing ceremonies for ‘Peace with all Animals.’

The Sentience of all Animals has been proven by science, theologians, and philosophers, as well as the 7 Universal Laws applying to all species. “Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.”  Albert Schweitzer

Apithan Ministries went to some of the places where Animals are exploited with cruel practices that, if these were human beings, there would be such an outcry for justice.

The first destination, a Milk Dairy Farm where Bulls are forced to give semen, Cows are continuously impregnated, milked by machines and Calves are taken away at birth.

Dairy Farm

Dairy Farm Calves

The second location, a Meat Farm where Animals are beyond where the public can see unless they pay an admission fee. They are then loaded onto trucks for a two hour drive to a slaughterhouse to be processed for their meat.

Meat Farm (2)

Meat Farm Cow on hill

See Blessing Ceremony at: https://www.facebook.com/ahowan.howlerlandau/videos/1582010468526389/

The third location, a Lamb slaughterhouse claiming to kill them in a ‘humane and sacred way;’ and though this may be true, the access to this slaughterhouse is an impossible rough driveway for any vehicle to access.

Lamb Slaughterhouse

See Slaughterhouse Blessing Ceremony at here:

The fourth and fifth locations, two zoos. One with 4 Grizzly Bears held in small concrete pits. The other zoo had numerous Animals in small enclosures. Both locations, they are on display for a fee and kept hungry so they interact with the public for profitable gain.

Grizzly Bear Zoo

Backside of Bear Zoo

Even the human workers are under immense stress and must become uncompassionate to do their ‘job.’ (more info coming soon @ compassion4alllivingbeings.org)

The Meditation Blessing Ceremonies’ intention was for the Humans, to awaken humanity’s Hearts and Minds to the unnecessary cruelty we cause by ‘using’ Animals like commodities.

Altar

Each Ceremony contained elements from several traditions, including Religious Science, Native American, Hindu, Buddhism, Christianity and Reiki.

The day ended with the sixth Ceremony facilitated through a Whatsapp Call with the LIFE Farm Animal Sanctuary in Mapoli, India. The President of LIFE gave a “Blessing of the Animals;” however, this was not done live or recorded due to technological difficulties.

Meditation for the Ceremony with Mapoli, India is available here.

Prep for Slaughterhouse Ceremony

Peace on Earth begins with Peace with all Animals. Peace with all Animals begins with Peace in OneSelf.

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“Veganism is a call for us to unite in seeing that as long as we oppress other living beings, we will inevitably create and live in a culture of oppression. Class struggle is a result of the herding culture’s mentality of domination and exclusion, and is just part of the misery that is inevitably connected with eating animal foods.” World Peace Diet

My Week With the Animals

I am grateful for the first true recording day….and the beautiful guidance in keeping it focused with the Animals and the transformations we made together as I took the Universal Principles and applied them honestly within my consciousness.


“Keep to the Core message, the Ants will take it from there.” I am grateful how I am guided to keep to the Core Message and the beauty of how this applies with all the Animals. One can barely see the Ants; however, they are trailing their parts back home.

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Monday, after the first recording for the “Reflections with Animals” video recording; I am feeling my Unique Message and reconnected with that Aggressive Pinpoint Focus and am synchronistically gifted a unique Shark Tooth! I am even more grateful for the joyous, uplifting Spirit from whom the gift was received.

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Tuesday; during the recordings, and this process of sharing the stories from my years of rescuing, building the K-9 B&B/Doggie Daycare; I am reminded;  “I am loyal like a Dog.” I reconnect with how this can be my downfall and it can also be my blessing……either way, it all done from an intention of Love. Something may irritate me; I recognize it is not the someone or soul, it is not the Love they are, or the mirror they demonstrate to me……it is how I perceive it, and how I choose to work with it. I love them, am loyal to them, and will give me best. I recall in my years of rescues how many have bitten me, and yet I understand and love them anyway.

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I feel the Trust Napoleon has to keep him safe during the midnight Thunder in our tent. Spirit has shared at the core of every Culture or original Tenants, we are here to learn and care for the Animals as we would choose to be cared for……I know I lean into my Trust, and truly enjoy being comforted.

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Wednesday, I am given notice of how this seeming tangled web of my past few years’ experiences has me catching a greater, proven message. I am wrapping it up in a package one strand at a time.

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Thursday, as I squat and place my hand on Mother Earth in gratitude for freeing myself, a Raccoon (2nd daytime appearance in one week, different locations) begins to walk upon me. I was hearing how to use my ‘different masks’ in making the MayaHara Meditation completely my own so I can make it available.

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On Friday, Hawk circles and screeches by numerous numbers and varieties; reminding me continuously, I am the Messenger, the Message, and the one receiving the Message…..and thus is so evidently so as I work with my director/producer. Sometimes, it is so helpful to hear your own message repeated back to you, how other perceive and hear it, and a different angle to bring out your best……I am also so grateful to look up

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and see that it is time to fly in and take my place in the ribs of a platform I have been praying for to help get the message of the Animals out into the world. I am gifted with an opportunity………I see it, thank you for the clarity Great Spirit, my action is next.

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Hummingbird graces me, takes quite an interest in buzzing around me and sharing, “tweet, tweet” as if in gratitude together, how I capture my Joy when I am confident, centered, focused, and taking action as ‘me’…..and how good it felt to claim my Rib spot, so I can share my Nectar…..and I can feel how a ‘right platform’ is building and gaining momentum.

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I am grateful for a day in the Forest of Tree Animals on Saturday, my 7th-day of rest and begin venturing…..the strength, the roots, the expansion, and most notably for me today….. I hear, “Find me a four-leaf Clover” however, there is no real purpose, just a whisper……At the end of the walk, this is noticed….Jack-in-the-Pulpit…..laying over what could be a large four leaf Clover…….This Jack has not quite risen out of his pulpit yet.

Nope…..I am not ready yet; so I am staying offline, continuing to reorganize, record, listen, write, and bring this mush to some substance.

 

 

Kindness to All Animals

BullPune

Traveling down the streets of India, one can see the numerous Animals. Even today there are many being used by the Human Animal to perform a variety of tasks; and quite frankly, this is true around the world. One of these tasks in India is using the Bulls, Horses, and even Donkeys to pull carts loaded with supplies. As an Animal Chaplain, ordained by the Emerson Theological Institute, I have had the honored privilege of traveling through India to facilitate Animal Blessing Ceremonies at numerous Animal Ashrams (Rescues/Sanctuaries).

During these travels, I have witnessed many Animal Activists/Advocates/Rescuers/Lovers  who get angry at, condemn, want arrested, or otherwise, the Human who is working some of these Animals. This is understandably so, as I admit, I have been one of them, we all have. We want, think and many times speak about….yelling at these humans, throwing stones, calling police, or any other variety of angry violence. Myself, I have noticed the angry thoughts, and I asked God, “There must be a solution that works for everyone, please show me. What is happening with all this anger and violence is just creating more anger, resistance and violence. I see how we perpetuate the destructive behaviors. We continue to create more by the very act of choosing to help the Animals.”

Then, one day, I am traveling with another Animal Organization’s Leader, Mr Lorenzo Standen of the LIFE Farm Animal Sanctuary, and we are at the Cattle feed shop. A thin Bull walks up pulling a cart with Its Owner. I point out the Bull and ask, “There needs to be a solution here. This Bull is so thin, And being made to work.” The Leader gets out, and I continue to contemplate prayerfully about a solution that provides dignity and purpose for everyone.

When Mr. Lorenzo returns, he states, “See the Bulls horns, he is an old Bull and that is part of his thinness. The man loves his Bull and is here at the feed store to feed his Bull, he is his livelihood. The Man must work for his family too.  I am grateful he is not out on the street as a beggar. He has pride to be a working man. Our organization just asked him if he is willing to surrender the Bull to us to come live in retirement at our Sanctuary and we will give him a younger, healthier Bull that is ready to work. If he is ever in need of feed, or medical care for the Bull, we will provide. However, if we go to check on Him and he is not in good condition, then we will take him back. The Man was grateful, and happy we understood him, and signed the papers. We will meet him here tomorrow for the exchange.”

My own understanding, compassion, and appreciation grew tremendously in that moment for the entire situation. The way it was resolved so peacefully, with dignity for all the Animals. As well as the way God answered this prayer. The Animals are providing a “need” for the Human, whatever that need might be. Violence and anger does not solve any problem, even if it is a violent situation. However, an understanding of what is taking place, and providing a solution for the problem that works for all the Animals (including the Human) is providing true kindness. If we look at the Human who is doing the job with the Animal as evil, then we are creating more “evil” with ourselves, and it does not matter what the Animal situation is.

Too often, we condemn a situation, and surmise before we take time to understand what is happening at all angles. I hear this many times in Animal situations. Take time to understand what the “situation” is, what the need is that has created the problem, and address it, for a solution that heals everyone. Kindness to Animals means being kind to ALL Animals, including the Human….as many times, this is where the problem began.

Rev Ahowan ICrow, RScP, OAC

World Religions and Animals

ANIMAL TREATMENT RELIGIOUS TENANTS

by Ahowan ICrow
Though all religions and cultures do not have specific tenants which uphold a purely Vegan diet; they do uphold ethical, compassionate treatment of our fellow sentient beings, with full recognition all creatures are part of and created by our One Divine Power. For those religions or cultures which do acknowledge partaking of our fellow creatures, they are specific in the treating them with utmost sacredness and with the least amount of pain and/or suffering. All statements and commentary are direct quotings from where they were referenced. The references for further information and reading is listed on the last page.

 

World Animal Religion

Christianity
Official Statements on Animals
Human “dominion” is a call to serve creation as Christ serves us
Although the Bible states that humans have “dominion” over animals and the earth, this statement is not intended as “a license to dominate and exploit,” according to the ELCA. Instead, dominion is correctly understood as an invitation to imitate Christ’s service to us through our service to creation. When we serve “all members of the community of life”—living “within the covenant God makes with every living thing”— then we have grasped what Genesis means when it says we are “created ‘in the image of God.’”
“Humans, in service to God, have special roles on behalf of the whole of creation. Made in the image of God, we are called to care for the earth as God cares for the earth. God’s command to have dominion and subdue the earth is not a license to dominate and exploit. Human dominion (Gen 1:28; Ps 8), a special responsibility, should reflect God’s way of ruling as a shepherd king who takes the form of a servant (Phil 2:7), wearing a crown of thorns.” —from ELCA: Social Statement: Environment: Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice, I:B Our Place in Creation.
“According to Gen 2:15, our role within creation is to serve and to keep God’s garden, the earth. ‘To serve,’ often translated ‘to till,’ invites us again to envision ourselves as servants, while ‘to keep’ invites us to take care of the earth as God keeps and cares for us (Num 6:24-26).” —from ELCA: Social Statement: Environment: I:B Our Place in Creation.
“…[T]he ELCA articulates an ethic of universal human obligation to serve the flourishing of the created order.” —from ELCA: Social Statement: Genetics: 4:1 The Imperative.
“We are to live within the covenant God makes with every living thing (Gen 9:12-17; Hos 2:18)….We are to love the earth as God loves us.” —from ELCA: Social Statement: Environment: I:B Our Place in Creation.
“All creation, not just humankind, is viewed as ‘very good’ in God’s eyes”
“When the interests of life forms conflict, Christians must discern….ways that respect all”
Our responsibility to care for all creatures forbids “frivolous or abusive” research on animals
The ELCA’s social statements support care and compassion for all God’s creatures. Although the position does not require a cessation of all use of animals in research projects, and even affirms that some forms of research are beneficial to the “community of life,” it does forbid “frivolous or abusive treatment”
of “experimental subjects.”

Islam
Thus while non-human animals are subjected to the needs of humans, the role of humans is not to be an exploiter but a steward. Indeed the Qu’ran states that animals are created for human benefit (“and he has created cattle for you…” Q: 16:5) but also makes clear that all things belong to Allah who has created the earth for all living beings.
“This she-camel of God is a sign to you; so leave her to graze in God’s earth, and let her come to no harm, or you shall be seized with grievous punishment.” (Q 7:73)
Muhammad
Much of this compassion towards animals is seen throughout the haidths reminding Muslims of Muhammad’s interest in non-human animals. The hadiths contain many stories surrounding the care and treatment of animals and the rewards for compassion. One story concerns a man drinking from a well who upon seeing a thirsty dog dips his shoe back into the well and holds it out for the dog to drink. Upon seeing this Muhammads disciples asked if there is a reward for taking care of beasts. To which Muhammad replied: “There are rewards for benefiting every animal having a moist liver”ii [i.e. to all living creatures].
Muhammad enjoined many of his followers to show kindness towards animals and only use them for necessary purposes. In one hadith he is seen reprimanding several of his followers for sitting idly on their camels in the market saying:
“Do not treat the backs of your animals as pulpits, for God Most high has made them subject to you only to convey you to a place which you could not otherwise have reached without much difficulty.”iii
Muhammad forbade hunting for sport and the branding or hitting of animals in the face. However, he did allow the killing of certain animals such as poisonous snakes, mice and scorpions.

Baha’i
The Bahá’í Faith teaches that animals should be treated with kindness, and that this is a matter of great importance. Bahá’u’lláh listed kindness to animals as one of the qualities which must be acquired by anyone searching for God. In other words spiritual development requires that we love and respect all of our fellow creatures human or otherwise.
All of creation is inter-related, and the realisation of the oneness of all life is fundamental to the Bahá’í view. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the son of Bahá’u’lláh, said:
“Unless ye must, Bruise not the serpent in the dust, How much less wound a man, And if ye can, No ant should ye alarm,
Much less a brother harm.”
The need for mankind to change its attitudes towards animals could hardly be put more strongly than it is in the Bahá’í writings:
“To blessed animals the utmost kindness must be shown, the more the better. Tenderness and lovingkindness are basic principles of God’s heavenly Kingdom. Ye should most carefully bear this matter in mind.”
Measure against this standard the way live animals are transported in inhumane conditions on their way to be killed, or in crates from tropical countries to our pet shops; caught or hunted for pleasure; used in laboratories to test drugs or cosmetics; or bred to be used for status symbol items of clothing.
While animals do not have man’s potential for spiritual development or for conscious destruction, like man they do have senses – sometimes more acute than those of man, as for instance a dog’s sense of hearing or a bird of prey’s sight; they have emotions, such as love, fear, and often highly developed strong social bonds:
“In what concerns the outer senses, such as hearing, sight, taste, smell, touch and even in some interior powers like memory, the animal is more richly endowed than man.”
“It is not only their fellow human beings that the beloved of God must treat with mercy and compassion, rather must they show forth the utmost loving-kindness to every living creature. For in all physical respects, and where the animal spirit is concerned, the selfsame feelings are shared by animal and man … The feelings are one and the same, whether ye inflict pain on man or on beast. There is no difference here whatever. And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities … Therefore it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. Train your children from their earliest days to be infinitely tender and loving to animals. If an animal be sick, let them try to heal it, if it be hungry, let them feed it, if thirsty, let them quench its thirst, if weary, let them see that it rests.”
If our children are brought up in this way, there will be an end to cruelty to animals.
Native American
The environmental wisdom and spirituality of North American Indians is legendary.
Animals were respected as equal in rights to humans. Of course they were hunted, but only for food, and the hunter first asked permission of the animal’s spirit. Among the hunter-gatherers the land was owned in common: there was no concept of private property in land, and the idea that it could be bought and sold was repugnant. Many Indians had an appreciation of nature’s beauty as intense as any Romantic poet.
Wisdom derives from way of life, and is as fragile as nature. Many Indians shared their animism, their respect for nature and their attitude to the land with other hunter-gatherers.
Perhaps the most famous of all Indian speeches about the environment is the beautiful speech of Chief Seattle of the Squamish tribe of the Pacific Northwest USA. But alas, Seattle’s “environmental” speech was
written by scriptwriter Ted Perry, in the winter of 1971/72, for a Canadian film on ecology, and attributed to Seattle for aesthetic effect. It is still a brilliant piece of work which distills the essence of many scattered Indian speeches. Those who wish to read Perry’s piece can follow the above link. Also read in full Seattle’s original speech, a moving lament on the passing of the Indian, but with only a fraction of the ecological awareness.
Buddhism
Buddhism has the Five Precepts, which are Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not lie, Do not commit sexual misconduct (usually interpreted to mean acts that break a vow, such as a marriage vow, or acts that are coercive, such as rape or sex with a minor) and Do not use alcohol or other drugs that cause heedlessness (except for legitimate medical reasons).
The traditional understanding of the First Precept, Do not kill, is not restricted to its literal meaning. Peter Harvey, a Buddhist scholar and ethicist at the University of Sunderland in the UK, points out that, “Each precept has a positive counterpart.”1 And American Buddhist scholar at the University of Virginia, and former translator for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Robert Thurman, tell us that “Not merely not killing, but preserving lives is the first of Buddhism’s commandments.”2
This precept has always been understood by all denominations of Buddhism to apply to all sentient beings. Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Zen teacher who is, along with the Dalai Lama, one of the two Buddhist teachers best-known and most-revered in the West, tells us that, “In every country in the world, killing human beings is condemned. The Buddhist precept of non-killing extends even further, to include all living beings.”3 And Nhat Hanh goes on to say, “I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world . . .”
The key teachings of Buddhism about animals are these: 1) Animals and humans share the same essential nature. We are not a separate class of beings to whom a separate class of ethical rules applies. 2) The highest Buddhist virtue is compassion, which we are to show to all sentient beings at all times. 3) We should do all in our power to avoid causing suffering or death for any sentient being.
As the Buddha said in the Dhammapada, perhaps the most widely known and best loved of all Buddhist scriptures: All beings tremble before danger. All fear death. When you consider this, you will not kill or cause someone else to kill. All beings fear before danger. Life is dear to all. When you consider this, you will not kill or cause someone else to kill.
Tao
The Five Precepts in Taoism (Chinese: 五戒; pinyin: Wǔ Jiè; Cantonese: Ng Gye), constitute the basic code of ethics undertaken mainly by Taoist lay-cultivators. For Taoist monks and nuns, there are more advanced and stricter precepts. These precepts are the same as the Buddhist Five Precepts, however have minor differences to fit in with the Ancient Chinese society.
According to The Ultra Supreme Elder Lord’s Scripture of Precepts, the five basic precepts are:
The first precept: No Murdering;
The second precept: No Stealing;
The third precept: No Sexual Misconduct;
The fourth precept: No False Speech;
The fifth precept: No Taking of Intoxicants.
Their definitions can be found in an excerpt of The Ultra Supreme Elder Lord’s Scripture of Precepts:
“The Elder Lord said: The precept against killing is: All living beings, including all kinds of animals, and those as small as insects, worms, and so forth, are containers of the uncreated energy, thus one should not kill any of them.”
Sikh
Many Sikhs believe that humans and the rest of the world of nature have a great deal in common. God created everything. Therefore, animals are important and valuable. Sikhs do not believe that animals should be worshipped but they should be respected as a part of God’s creation.
The world, like all creation, is a manifestation of God. Every creature in this world, every plant, every form is a manifestation of the Creator. Each is part of God and God is within each element of creation. God is the cause of all and He is the primary connection between all existence.
Sikh Faith Statement 2003
There is a divine spark, a part of God, in every person’s and animal’s soul. Bodies are just ‘clothes’ for the soul. This means that a person’s soul may be reincarnated many times as a human or an animal. Eventually, these souls will be released from the cycle of death and reincarnation and will join God.
Humans are guardians of the world
Human beings are considered the most intelligent form of life on the planet but they are also the ones who are damaging the planet. Many Sikhs believe that this human superiority is being misused. The environment and life in the world are being damaged because humans have dominated nature and have not acted responsibly.
For this reason, Sikhs treat animals with care, respect and compassion. It is the duty of human beings to take care of them and to avoid harming them.

The Sikh Faith Statement, Assisi, 1986 states:
Humans should conduct themselves through life with love, compassion, and justice. Becoming one and being in harmony with God implies that humans endeavour to live in harmony with all of God’s creation.
Sikh Faith Statement Assisi 1986
Jain
Jains believe that the only way to save one’s own soul is to protect every other soul, and so the most central
Jain teaching, and the heart of Jain ethics, is that of ahimsa (non-violence).
In practical terms the biggest part that ahimsa plays in the lives of lay Jains today is in the regulation of their diet.
Mahavira taught that:
there is no quality of soul more subtle than non-violence and no virtue of spirit greater than reverence for life
Mahavira
Literally translated, Ahimsa means to be without harm; to be utterly harmless, not only to oneself and others, but to all forms of life, from the largest mammals to the smallest bacteria.
Jains believe that life (which equals soul) is sacred regardless of faith, caste, race, or even species.
Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture or kill any creature or living being.
Jain scripture
In following this discipline Jain monks may be observed treading and sweeping in their temples with the utmost of care so as to avoid accidentally crushing crawling insects, or wearing muslin cloths over their mouths in case they should accidentally swallow a fly.

Judaism
• Jewish law prohibits causing unnecessary suffering to animals • Animals can be used to satisfy legitimate needs, like food and clothing • Pets are permitted, but cannot be physically altered, and may cause complications • Jewish law is compatible with a vegetarian diet, but involves some use of leather
Tza’ar ba’alei chayim (literally means: “the suffering of living creatures”) is the Jewish principle which bans inflicting unnecessary pain on animals. This concept is not clearly enunciated in the written Torah, but was accepted by the Talmud (Bava Metzia 32b) as being a Biblical mandate. It is linked in the Talmud from the Biblical law requiring people to assist in unloading burdens from animals (Exodus 23:5).
Resting on the Sabbath also meant providing rest for the working animals, and people are instructed to feed their animals before they sit down to eat.
At harvest time, the working animals must not be muzzled, so that they can eat of the harvest as they work.
Sports like bullfighting are forbidden by most authorities. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has characterized bullfighting as “a culture of sinful and cruel people” which is opposed by Torah values.  Most authorities oppose recreational hunting on similar grounds.
All animals must be kept in adequate conditions.
According to the Shulkhan Aruch, “anything that is necessary for medical purposes, or for anything else, is exempt from the prohibition of causing suffering to animals” (Even ha-Ezer 5:14).
Most Jewish authorities allow medical research if it will help people in need, and if the animals do not undergo any unnecessary suffering. Reform Judaism’s Central Conference of American Rabbis, for example, affirms that animal research is permissible if it will save human lives, so long as animals are subjected to little pain and not used in “frivolous” experiments such as cosmetic testing.
Confucians
It must first be acknowledged that Confucius, the reluctant founder-figure who was forever after regarded as the Sage among Sages, left us very little that is useful in this regard. For him, animals seemed not even to be on the map; they did not register on his moral compass. “One cannot herd with birds and beasts. If I am not to be a man among other men, then what am I to be?” (Analects 18:6, trans. Arthur Waley). However, his influential follower Mencius said that kindness or love (ai) should be extended to all things (Mencius 7A:45). This was based on his principle that the “inability to bear the suffering of others” (including animals) is in fact the distinguishing characteristic of the human species. It was also consistent with the greater awareness of and appreciation for the natural world that we see in Mencius.
The Neo-Confucians of the Sung dynasty developed Mencius’ views in terms of the metaphysics of li (principle or order) and ch’i (the psycho-physical substrate of all existing things), claiming that humans constitute “one body” with all things. Nevertheless, this was rarely expressed as specific recommendations for moral action. Wang Yang-ming, in the Ming dynasty, did take it further in saying that the only true knowledge of our non-dualistic relationship with the natural world would be the active love of all things; true knowledge is action. And the Japanese Confucian scholar Kaibara Ekken, in the Tokugawa period, translated this into explicit recommendations against mistreatment of animals and plants, which he construed as “serving Heaven” (from Mencius 7A:1), thus placing humane treatment of animals in a clearly religious context.
Okada Takehiko, the eminent contemporary Japanese Confucian scholar, who readily sees the applicability of the “one body” doctrine to human relationships with animals and the natural world, but is somewhat surprised by the question. This illustrates a feature of the Confucian tradition that we can identify throughout its history: that even though the environmental-friendly principles are clearly present in the texts, they have always been far overshadowed by the traditional focus on the human sphere, even to this day.
Yet, despite this evident and undeniable anthropocentrism, the task of identifying and selecting for special emphasis those ideas and values in the Confucian tradition that can make a positive contribution to environmental ethics and animal rights is not at all difficult. This is because Confucianism is entirely unencumbered by a dualistic metaphysics. On the one hand, ch’i, the substrate of all that exists, comprehends the Western categories of matter, energy, mind and spirit. On the other hand, the natural order (t’ien-li) is also a moral order (tao-li): li in general, or principle/order, is precisely the sum of these two meanings. Thus in Confucian thought there are fewer philosophical problems connected with the first principle of the Earth Charter draft, which acknowledges the inherent value of non-human animals.
Hindu
Hinduism’s leading sampradayas (traditions) regard the ethical treatment of animals as fundamental to the core Hindu belief that the Divine exists in all living beings, both human and non-human, and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the whole world is one family. Animals and plants are not regarded as mere objects for wanton human use and consumption in the Hindu tradition. Rather, they are equally embodied with the existence of the Divine and are fully deserving of respect and human compassion. Therefore, the concept of ahimsa, or nonviolence, which was popularized by Mahatma Gandhi’s passive resistance movement in India, is central to Hindu thought and applies not only to how humans interact with each other, but also to how they interact with all living beings.
In the Hindu epic Mahabharat, Lord Krishna, who chastises his cousin for carelessly chopping down a tree to release pent up anger, states, “Humans should take from this planet only that which is necessary for our survival.” He continues to explain that when societies begin to violate this principle, all of humanity will be forced to face the repercussions because all life, despite differences in intelligence and ability, is interconnected and serves its unique purpose in the world.
Fundamental to Krishna’s explanation is Hinduism’s law of karma, the basic principle of cause and effect that states that an individual’s every action and thought produces an appropriate outcome for her which may be experienced immediately or extended beyond the individual’s current lifespan and into future births.
“He who does not seek to kill, cause pain or tie up living creatures and desires the good of all attains everlasting joy.” (Manu Smriti 5.46 – Vishnu Dharma Sutra 51.69)
Zoroastrian
Classical Zoroastrianism (i.e., from the Sasanian period, 224-751 CE), therefore, divides nonhuman animals into “good” and “evil” species. Good species must be protected at all costs by humans, who are subject to extremely harsh penalties if they abuse them. On the other hand, it is the sacred duty of believers to kill “evil” species (collectively called khrafstar) at every opportunity, since by doing so they are reducing the foot soldiers available to Ahriman in his campaign for advancing evil in the world.5 This dualistic attitude toward the ensemble of animal species renders problematic recent arguments that Zoroastrianism is the “original environmentalist religion” (Foltz & Saadi-nejad, 2007).
The Gathas are only a small part of the Avesta (most of which has been lost in its original form), the remainder being in a slightly different dialect and often devoted to a range of deities other than Ahura Mazda (Ohrmazd), who is the focus of Zoroaster’s hymns. Moreover, the section known as the Vidēvdād (“Laws Keeping away the Demons,” often transcribed as Vendidād ), which contains much material pertaining to the treatment of nonhuman animals
Traditionally it was held that every Zoroastrian household should give food to a dog at least once a day, before feeding humans. The same was true for rituals that included food. This portion, called chom-e shwa (“meal for the dog”) in Zoroastrian Persian and kutrā-no būk (“share for the dog”) in Gujarati, is seen as be
ing destined for departed souls. In other words, the dog is an intermediary between this world and the next (Boyce, 1977, pp. 144-5).
The Laws Keeping away the Demons text mentioned above spells out the kind of severe punishment that was to be inflicted upon those who mistreated beneficent animals.

New Thought (Unitarian Universalist)
We are related to every living creature. Humans and animals are family
Unitarian Universalism’s seventh Principle affirms that all life is interconnected. This religious insight is confirmed by science, says the UUA, which reveals that we are composed of the same organic elements as all life forms and thus are “related to every living creature, both plant and animal.” It is time that we stop seeing ourselves as separate from and dominant over nature, according to the UUA, and start recognizing that we must “preserve and sustain” our family members.
Many religious traditions insist that any affirmation of human-animal kinship would give humanity moral permission to wallow in our basest, most violent instincts. Unitarian Universalism, however, views this fear as unfounded. Embracing our kinship with animals, says the UUA, can help us see that our most noble traits are “deeply rooted…in our nature.” For instance, although some species of great apes (our closest animal cousins) exhibit violent tendencies, others display “kindness and sympathy and altruism.” Both traits run deep within us and it is “our job…to choose wisely which impulses to draw on.” In addition, wild animals can help us recognize what it means to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature. This recognition, in turn, can help us become better stewards of our planetary home. Embracing human-animal kinship, in other words, can help us be more authentically, and compassionately, human.
“At the heart of the impulse we call religious is the desire to lessen suffering and to extend justice and compassion. Increasingly, religious faiths and denominations are considering what this means in relation to nonhuman animals… Unitarian Universalists…are striving to articulate and practice interspecies ethics…[in order to] better honor the interdependent web of life of which we are all a part.”

Reference Material
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tza’ar_ba’alei_chayim
http://m.humanesociety.org/about/departments/faith/facts/statements/.
http://wwwljewfaq.org/m/animals.htm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/jainism/living/ahimsa_1.shtml
http://www2.kenyon.edu/Depts/Religion/Fac/Adler/Writings/Animals.htm
https://bahai-library.com/warwick_kindness_animals
https://en.mwikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Precept_(Taoism)
https://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/zppykqt/revision/5
http://www.pantheism.net/paul/history/native-americans.htm

Animal Hypocrisy

I have been sitting with, or some would call meditating, contemplating, or looking at, the ‘outrage’ of some recent events around our fellow citizens of this Earth. These fellow Creatures we call Animals. Please note, for the record, I am not saying what anyone believes or does is right or wrong, only you can answer that question for yourself. What I am saying is that when we get angry, outraged, hurtful, or ‘hateful’….. it is about what is going on….but not out there……..it is always a mirror of what is taking inside ourselves.

Now for me, the word Animals includes Humans (see ahowanicrow.wordpress.com); so I will forgo the full explanation at this time, and I will utilize the term Animals for the non-humans here. What is important here is the fact that I am asking us all to take a much deeper look at own personal integrity of what we believe when it comes to how we feel, what we do, and what we support around the Animals. The way we feel and treat the Animals is the way we feel and treat ourselves.

Just recently, there was a lot of anger, and even growing protest, around a particular video with regards to the German Shepherd, Hercules in “A Dogs Purpose” movie. It may be rightfully so, with the way it was portrayed. I, too, at first glance, was extremely upset; however, the ‘facts’ surrounding the situation had not been released. I know from past experience, that it is easy to feed into the raging emotions of anger, hatred and protest, before truly looking into “facts,” and taking a deeper understanding of what may really be happening. Just today, http://tinyurl.com/hs66ktd …..I recommend you take a look at it.

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There has also been the situation of two young men cutting the ears off of a Dog, which was tied up and restrained. Looking at the pictures, it is hard not to feel the pain of the Dog, get emotional, and want the young men punished.

Personally, my attention then goes to the young men, and I begin to wonder what immense suffering, pain, and disconnect these ‘boys’ must be going through inside their own minds and hearts, to inflict this much torture upon another living creature…….and I see this as a “cry for help.” I, myself, have been in much pain, immense suffering, and in complete disconnect crying out for help…..and in that state, I hurt some Creatures around me…..but stay with me here……

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Petition is at https://www.dailypetition.com/Punish-thugs-that-cut-dogs-ears-off-and-posed-for-photos-t-745 ….please do not get me wrong that punishment is not in order. What I do know is that Karma ALWAYS plays out…..It is a Law of Nature.

 

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The point here is, we all know these stories, the stories of these single Animals, or situations, which brings much compassion and bursts of angry rage…… like the shooting in the Zoo of Harambe, or Michael Vic with the Pit Bull ring, and many others. We even get extremely upset and angry when we hear about different countries and their Cultural Festivals around barbaric slaying of Animals by the thousands for appeasing their Gods.

Then, we sit down for a meal……or have a cup of milky Chai!!

So, how is this………

Any different than this……..

One is begin done by a private individual, or group; however, one is being done by ‘US.’

Is this ‘why’ many of us get so deeply angry? because deep down we know what is taking place; and we feel conflicted inside…..the only difference is ‘we’ have someone else doing it for us, and we pay for it.  That is pretty “in our face” isn’t it……however, it is the Truth. WE ASK FOR IT because we believe what “they” tell us about the ‘product;’ however, if you REALLY dig deep into the facts…..it is actually what is making ‘us’ all SICK, needing all the pharmaceuticals which ….. once again, are tested on Animals, hurting the environment, the major cause of global warming, and world starvation, all these childborne illness, outbreaks, ect……….now there is some great Karma for us.

We LOVE our Animals, no doubt about that. We do not want to see them hurt. However, many of us refuse to really look at, feel, and want to change THAT which we are eating or drinking …….. and we can come up with many, many excuses!! Trust me, I have done it myself.

When you realize that the reason these Animals are in these Big Business Factory Facilities, going through the pain and treatment, because of what humanity ‘thinks’ they need to eat to survive, because we have been taught that it is what we need, its culture, or tradition…..without really looking at the true facts of what Animal Products does to one’s health, our environment, global warming, our water supply………wow, it literally hits you in the stomach.

THIS is where integrity comes in…… if you get angry, want to throw those in jail, or punish in some other way, for brutally hurting the Animals……take a look at your own plate first. If you want to continue to get outraged at those who hurt Animals, by all means I completely understand and it is definitely your right; however, realize there is an entire “Industry” with millions and millions of Animals enslaved, with a Soul just like the German Shepherd, just like the Dog with its ears cut off and just like the Gorilla which got shot …… and remember none of the Big Business Animal Agriculture would be taking place, if WE chose to leave it all at the grocery store.

So, I ask, Animal Lovers……If you get outraged, hurtful, protesting about a single event; then it is time to channel that outrage, hurtfulness, and protesting towards Big Business Agriculture, and stop buying Animal products.

When we save the Animals, we save ourselves. When we free the Animals, we FREE ourselves…..

I urge you to do your own fact checking, and here are just a few links to get you started.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-freston/vegan-diet-cancer_b_2250052.html

http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/

http://adaptt.org/veganism.html#

 

 

Condoning Animal Suffering

Ahowan Speaks ICrow

“I love Animals”

“I rescue Animals”

“I do not want Animals to suffer”

Yep, we all have heard it…we all have said it……Animal Rescuers, Animal Lovers, Animal Activists….

However, HOW does one even begin to REALLY end the suffering, to really make a difference.

I have been “guilty” of just speaking these words myself…..even for all the 30 years I rescued and operated an Animal Rescue organization.


Yes, I WAS making a difference in the Animals I was rescuing first hand; and I know many of you are too! We have all heard the story of the Starfish and the little boy…..”I may not save them all, but it makes a difference to this one.”

Even with all that I was doing however, I could still FEEL and see the suffering taking place. I was even a vegetarian; however, I still blindlessly partook of cheese, eggs, and products made with…

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