There is so much awareness going on toward diet and health, diet and environment that as we enter another year, mark a new beginning for our own lives and our collective lives as one together on this planet, the issue of compassion is fully present in my thoughts and actions.
There is a we, as we know ourselves to be, both individually and as a collective we, that we all participate in regardless of our individual beliefs or actions. There is no separation.
Many people who begin consumption an entirely plant-based diet, even if completely detached to the animal issues, relate a similar experience or a similar revelation after a period. They remember (a block is removed) the knowledge that animals are sentient, they are loving, they experience life in community and in family much as humans do. Their lives have value. They feel compassion for animals.
There are several layers to explain how or why compassion fully enabled, is blocked through consumption of animal products. The first layer is very simple. We (as the collective we) do not allow ourselves to feel compassion for the animals that we consume.
We know ourselves to be caring, kind and loving (and we are). When we look outside into the world and see behaviors that are not in alignment with whom we perceive ourselves to be and we are playing a role in that action, we close the window.
Even if you believe, as do many, that animals are part of another level or pool of energy, closer to the earth and exist to provide for us, it’s not the issue of their consumption that harms ourselves the most, it’s the denial of their full being-ness, their life experience as anything but food for our plate. That’s the harmful aspect, the lack of respect for life.
We live in a state of cognitive dissonance, as by definition, the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change. We do not allow compassion for the animals we consume, we deny them sentience, we deny their intelligence or respect for their conditions of life, to allow ourselves to exist.
If we deny animals we consume compassion, which we must do so to continue to consume them, we must somehow diminish them even further to save our own identity.
Human beings have been diminishing others to justify hateful actions (war, genocide) since the beginning of time. It is never true but it is always necessary to maintain identity.
This is the reason that the noble intentions of animal rights campaigns, when aligned with force and shame, directed at those who are not already so aligned on their path can have a detrimental effect on the animals. People will diminish animals even further to feel better about themselves.
So how do we reach people, how do we allow them to experience compassion fully, how do we fully help the animals?
The answer is to deliver kindness and respect to all regardless of their own individual beliefs or actions. It is through kindness and respect, the actions of compassion that forces are diminished and minds aligned. The kind way is always the right way.
If you mount a force, a force will be delivered against you. This is a universal law. If you create an energy of kindness, love and respect the universe will double your efforts with the same.