We must begin seeing other animals as equal. Existence makes us all equal.
You, are now in front of a computer reading this sentence. You, who clicked on an internet link which brought you to this blog is the same you who feels that you are one thing and the computer is another thing.
You, acknowledge the computer is only a physical object in front of you however, you also know that you are more than just merely a physical object.
You, have moods, feelings, thoughts, memories and expectations.
You, have wants, desires, awareness and personal characteristics that make you, who you are.
You, have a mental life, yet you are also more than just that specific dimension as well.
You, are that one, that place, where the world ignites around you or seems as if it illuminates from inside you and perhaps it feels as if you are noticing all of this from somewhere behind your own eyes.
These impressions, these feelings are merely the firsthand results of your own perceptions of what it is to feel like a self.
Even though none of these feelings, perceptions or experiences are you, (anymore than are your eyes, hands or mouth), the feeling of being a self exists.
And the boundless contents of who you are, are not just sensations, thoughts or experiences but are also made up of your assumptions of who you might be for example in a social context or of your ability to be kind, or of your level of confidence or lack there of.
All of these phenomenon add up to the complex notion that you are more than just a body or brain or even a mind.
You, are someone.
Although there are many mysteries in the universe that are unanswered and you may not actually know why you are a someone... you, do in fact know what it feels like to be someone.
It feels exactly what you are feeling right now.
Alive, aware and conscious in this exact present moment.
In simple terms, this is it.
In a more generous explanation it is the feeling that you are the emissary or the agent of that distinct and unique, internal dimension you might interpret as yourself.
But being someone is even more than just this.
The simple fact that your ideas, emotions and sensations all have a subjective quality is exactly what it means to be someone.
And without a doubt you can experience all of the above without ever even being aware of lets say, your liver, your lungs, your aging process or even your own thoughts.
Very often humans will make the claim that non human animals are unaware of their own lives or not conscious of who they are. But the very fact that we humans are not always self aware or conscious of what our body or brain are doing at any particular moment does not mean we're not a someone with feelings, needs or a life to be cherished and honored.
And all of this, makes you, being a someone, the most important substance in the world.
All of this ability to experience happiness or suffering, in this specific context, makes you the only legitimate sphere of concern as well.
Even when you care or have concern about others it all originates from you being a someone who has those interests with or for others.
Now with all this said we can pause here, reflect and realize we're
(you and I) not the only ones who must be someones.
There are others out there who also have similar qualities of subjectivity and similar components that make being a someone a very relative concept.
We notice that others are someones too on the basis that they declare they are alive and conscious beings through the outward signs they display.
For instance how do we even know that our human friends and family are someones like we are?
We can only infer that they are by relying on their reporting to us that they are.
Sometimes with our family and friends it can even be a bit too much reporting.
However, it's not just in words or language that matter in regard to this but rather a reportability based on external signals that are relayed to us which will make the case, that there is someone there.
This is true for not only humans but non human animals as well.
If you are possibly doubting this premise than you can sincerely take notice that there exists no sanctuaries or shelters for chairs or stones. None of us (in our right minds) have compassion for cars , ipods or sticks. And with this said it should be noticed here and focused on....that when it comes to ethical or moral concerns, being a someone is all that's important.
Being a someone is the only context in which happiness and suffering actually matters. Nothing else in the world has any value other than how it affects the actual or the potential experience of some-body who is a someone.
You are a someone and so is every other being that possesses the qualities of having a subjective component to themselves, even if they are not aware of that actual component.
This element might be what many call sentience or if we are generous to one another, consciousness.
Whatever differences we might have from another someone it is our fundamental similarities of being someone that make us all equal.
When we humans live vegan we become a sanctuary for other someones and our actions reflect exactly what it is that makes the world a better place.
When we choose to be kind and love all others and not just some, we make the world a happier, healthier and more preferable place for every-one.
When we become vegan we save the life of someone else and become a personal sanctuary for the many others who want to live and be loved just like, you.
Be a sanctuary for someone....