THE INALIENABLE RIGHT TO LIFE (Director’s Speech, Animal Rights National Conference)
Animal rights is the greatest justice issue of our time.
The energy of violence toward nonhuman animals in our society is a spiritual crime and violation of the innocent at its core, perpetuated by a egocentric society in a state of ‘disconnect.’
19th century British philosopher and jurist, Jeremy Bentham, said it best: “The only arbiter of how we treat animals is not ‘can they reason?’ nor ‘can they talk?’ but ‘can they suffer?’
The fur trade is criminal, inflicting horrific torture upon their innocent victims. Fur farmers care only about profit, preserving the quality of the fur by using slaughter methods that keep the pelt intact, causing extreme suffering for the animals. They are strangled, gassed, suffocated, electrocuted, their necks broken and even skinned alive.
There are no governing laws to protect animals, resulting in unbearable torment and agonizing death of defenseless animals who watch in terror as their cage mates are brutally murdered in front of their innocent eyes, knowing they will be next.
Every year, more than 100 MILLION fur-bearing animals, including man’s best friend and feline companion, are murdered without mercy in the name of greed, vanity and ignorance. This count does not include rabbits, which the United Nations reports to be at least 1 BILLION killed each year strictly for their fur.
The dog and cat fur trade is a largely unknown animal protection issue. Unbeknownst to most, the majority of fur-trimmed clothing and accessories (even trinkets and pet toys) labeled as “faux fur” is likely real fur, mostly from domestic cats and dogs. It is estimated that over 10 MILLION cats and dogs (most stolen pets and homeless strays) are brutally murdered each year for their fur, which is exported under false labeling to North America and Europe.
China is the world’s largest exporter of animal skins. More than 95 percent of China’s finished fur garments are exported for sale overseas, and more than half are sold in the United States.
Canada’s annual seal hunt is the world’s largest commercial slaughter of marine mammals – baby seals are clubbed and brutally slain for their fur, most skinned alive – so young, they have not learned to swim to save themselves from human predators.
There are hundreds of fur farms in the United States: Wisconsin has the most farms, followed by Utah, Oregon, Minnesota, and Idaho. Animals on fur farms live in a constant state of fear and are kept in tiny, filthy cages deprived of everything natural to them, suffer from untreated wounds and cannibalized by their cage mates as a result.
Trapping is still legal in the US and Canada. Each year, millions of fur-bearing animals are trapped and killed under the guise of “nuisance wildlife control” and millions more murdered in the name of fashion. Both targeted and non-targeted animals (including companion animals and endangered species) fall victim to these barbaric traps.
Veterinary reports conclude that the fur trade inflicts “unacceptable suffering” with many animals skinned alive while still conscious and able to feel pain, their cries for mercy unheard.
The way our animals are treated reflects the moral and spiritual compass of our humanity. To address the iniquitous and inhumane treatment of animals in our society is to address the complexity of the human condition and its collective consciousness, which perceives animals as commodities, rather than sentient beings who feel and suffer the same.
Our society has become dehumanized and desensitized to the life of other beings on our planet, viewing themselves as superior to all other life forms.
An egocentric society is perpetuating the holocaust of animals with no moral conscience or ethical boundaries. The more we feed into ego consciousness and its false sense of power, the larger it will become. Ego feeds itself, causing diabolical destruction in its wake, attempting to fill a void that cannot be filled without the revelation of truth and what is really sought after.
We cannot cure the disease of inhumanity unless we heal the source. Any lesser remedy is akin to applying a bandage to a severed limb.
Interpreted from the soul perspective, my documentary film series bridges the link with a spiritual point of view to help heal the “condition of disconnect” in our society. My films do not rely on images of bloodshed, but do reveal the reality, speaking the voice of truth for the innocents who cannot speak the human language.
If we cannot witness inhumanity, we cannot empower humanity, and we fail as a “human” species. If we are not willing to hear their cries or experience their terror, then we are not willing to bear witness to the truth, which is the only path to transformation.
The perpetrators and the people who support the atrocity disconnect from the cruelty and perpetuate the condition.
It is clear that until the consciousness of society is awakened, the fight for the welfare of animals will continue with no end in sight. The evolution of moral, ethical and spiritual principles in the treatment of animals in our society is the only paradigm that will transform social consciousness.
Their unconditional love is the cure to the spiritual crisis of our planet.
Animals are sentient beings – they are not inanimate objects. Their connection to life is on a soul level. I believe the animals are our teachers, our connection with our own souls. The animal kingdom is the conduit to the light of our own evolution – that is the sacrifice they are making on planet earth.
Sanctioned killing is a violation of their inalienable right to life.
As we relish in our freedom and right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, our animal beings do not enjoy the same freedom: enslaved, tortured and murdered for human greed and the insatiable ego. Unfortunately, our society has not recognized that animals have the same inherent right to life, possessed by the very nature of their existence… this self-evident truth is not mandated by government. The constitution is extrinsic, not intrinsic.
It is time for the soul of humanity to awaken. If not now, when? The time has come that atrocities committed against nonhuman animals be deemed morally, spiritually and ethically indefensible. The power of respect will change our world.
© Kathleen Lowson, Director CRY OF THE INNOCENT: The Voices That Can’t Speak (Director’s Speech at the Animal Rights National Conference 2014, Los Angeles, California)
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Humans and animals suffer the same. There is no separation except in society’s state of consciousness in a perpetual state of ‘disconnect.’
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