Ingrid Newkirk, the founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and one of the foremost animal welfare campaigners in the world, makes the most beautiful and compelling statement about the reasons for treating animals with love, respect and dignity that I have ever heard. The above link is a video of her address at the International Conference on Non-Violence in Bethlehem. I strongly recommend you to watch, listen and share in your classrooms or meeting rooms with friends and family.
The real crux of respect is that we do not see others as separate from us. We need to understand our mutuality and inter-dependence, and she argues, animals are a key part of that inter-dependence. Human wars are not disconnected from our daily war on animals. They are simply another symptom or our machoism and arrogance in the world, a far cry from our innate capacity for peace and compassion.
Ingrid has experienced so much violence in her life, so much bullying, yet she has struggled on and it is so surprising that her voice is filled with compassion in spite of her experiences. Her very life is an expression of inter-dependence and ahimsa. I hope after listening to this, you will find time to explore PETA's excellent website http://www.peta.org/ full of free and constructive information and resources and promote it to your friends and family. They also have offices in UK and India and work globally to promote the protection of animals - a charity worthy of support from all who believe in peace.
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