The sanctuary here at Animal Acres is a true safe haven for a few very lucky non human animals. Each and everyone of these beautiful, individual residents living here were destined for the slaughterhouse. However, through caring, compassion and real understanding these now happy former farmed industry refugees have all been given a new life.
The animals here now have the opportunity to live in peace and form friendships. They also have the hope to live a life which everyone born into this world whether human or non human deserves to live. Each of us in our brief moment here on earth seek a life filled with respect, dignity, happiness and freedom. Our own experience of being sentient allows us to reflect on and recognize that other animals all wish for a life filled with the same positive circumstances, conditions and experiences that we wish for ourselves. So when our empathy becomes illuminated and we become conscious of this obvious truth it requires us to see others unblurred and more clear. We are then able to focus on others in the same manner we will at times glimpse ourselves.
The fact is when we awaken to this reality and we then make the decision to take action... it naturally manifests itself into a commitment to non violence against others. When this realization happens we can become a sanctuary to someone else by going vegan.
Living vegan positions this awareness and this action side by side together for animals who are usually left out of the empathy equation. It seems without fail that non human animals are almost always forgotten about when it comes to human animals being conscious of and in demonstrating the whole "do unto others....." philosophy thing. Unfortunately in the infamous concept of the "golden rule" animals are habitually ignored, their plight in life usually disregarded and as members of the moral community they are sadly most often overlooked.
However, the nonhuman citizens here at Animal Acres no longer are fated to be used and have their lives stolen from them like the mind boggling numbers of other countless unprotected food animals throughout this land who will. These unlucky other creatures condemned by the appalling status of existing merely as someone's property will live and die in despair. The other unfortunate aspect to this is that the animal residents living here represent a tiny, minuscule fraction of the 12 billion non humans who will be killed in the US for food production just this year alone. The heartbreaking volume represented in this mathematical statement is something that the human mind cannot fully ever comprehend in regard to the pain, death and numbers involved. And it is this grievous arrangement we humans have designed based on the irrational belief system of animals as property that lies at the center of non human animal abuse and slavery. This order of things is the principle reason that most of the animals now living here were injured, thrown in the trash or left to die on the floors of auction and slaughter facilities. It is within this system that animals are denied any rights. It is this notion that becomes the main cause of the suffering, misery, cruelty and death inflicted against them every second of every day.
Of course this information strikes us as depressing, dark and brutal. And it is. Yet, it is even worse because the truth embedded in this heritage of killing is something most of us want to reject and turn a blind eye towards. The brutality created from using non humans for food, clothing and entertainment is that terrible darkness that we do not wish to acknowledge. No one in their right mind wants to stare down such a dark tunnel with seemingly no light at the end. Yet the light can be seen. It appears when we reject not just the inconvenient truths or words but the whole scheme and resultant order of the way things are. Sometimes finding the light in the darkness is simply just about rejecting the negative or violence in our lives and in the world. Sometimes it's as effortless as simply opening our eyes.
Going vegan is really that simple. It's like opening our eyes or just opening our hearts.
By becoming vegan we are no longer complicit with the ideology that only finds value in animals as something to be used. When we open our hearts and allow the defenseless refuge into our own personal sanctuary we really can save many lives. When we make the move to veganism we detach ourselves, our bodies and our existence from this cruel and totally unnecessary vicious cycle.
When we begin to appreciate that we never need to eat, drink or wear anything derived from animals to live a happy and healthy life we then notice their suffering and their death as truly unnecessary. When we notice that the animals we label as food live lonely, fearful, horrendous lives for such trivial motives we absolutely perceive what a horrible aberration the farmed animal industry is.
When we can look at a pig and see a someone. When we can view a goat, a lobster or a hen and notice a being whose life is of value to herself we can actually begin to change the world we live in. Because the world completely opens up to us when we extend that same sentiment and feeling to everyone around us. The crow on our lawn, the elderly human struggling alone in the super market, the miserable elephant chained in a circus, the terrified rabbit about to be skinned for food or fur, a desperate human female in a far away country who cannot feed her own children and yes, even the slaughterhouse worker who is only doing this job because we demand his product.
When we make the decision to live vegan we immediately begin to grasp this viewpoint. We open ourselves up to a deep emotional understanding that may have been shut down for years. Our empathy and ethical intuitions towards others and especially non human animals has most likely been buried or even erased.
Growing up we were convinced by the adults and authorities around us that animals did not deserve to be considered when having compassion. Every place in our lives, except maybe deep within ourselves, told us over and over that animals don't count as much or don't care about themselves as much as we humans care about ourselves. Yet most of us probably know a cat or dog and realize that these beliefs are untrue and inaccurate.
It's in this awareness about the animals we know, who we love and who we share our lives with that we can begin to transfer these emotions, concerns and feelings for directly over to the nameless, voiceless and forgotten other animals who simply were born into different bodies than what our particular culture identifies as pets.
These other animals, gentle and kind and unremembered are the ones you can be a sanctuary to by living vegan. Animals who should have never been brought into existence in the first place. Without demand there would be no innocent animals heartlessly killed as supply.
When we mindfully oblige ourselves to no longer participate in the violence and death we actually can begin to save lives. Not much at all has to be changed either. We can all be personal walking, talking, even acting, producing, taking meetings and stuck in traffic Animal Acres by simply becoming vegan. We can save lives everyday without the vet bills, without ever having to shovel piles of animal waste, tend to a sick calf or spend hours upon hours raising funds.
When we live vegan we function on a personal level akin to a sanctuary like Animal Acres. In fact we become in our own way just as important in pursuing an end to animal exploitation, cruelty and killing as does rescuing individual animals in peril. By maintaining habits consistent with the position and consciousness that humans and non humans have the right not be treated as property, we in a sense evolve into a sanctuary of loving kindness and compassion. We can actually make such a huge difference in the lives of animals and it's quite simple and extremely easy when you come to THINK of it.
So if you haven't done so already become a sanctuary for the animals and go vegan.
Listen here SANCTUARY by Donna Delory