We find it so easy to call others to action over what are really menial, inconsequential things. For instance, how many people take to Twitter to pour out their outcry over the cancellation of television programs on major cable networks? How many people will start an Internet petition to bring back a certain flavor or brand of soda? How many people out there frothed at the mouth and ‘literally could not even’ over the disbranding and discontinuation of Twinkies just a few years ago? Our passion as a people runs high, yes, but are we not focusing on entirely the wrong things?

Can we not find something that actually matters to be upset about, because, I assure you, there are almost no limits, sadly, to the awful things that actually matter, yet are widely ignored. Yes, we should be upset, but not about TV shows or cola.

How disconnected and divided as a world society do we need to be in order to focus on petty instances of our own differences and mundane, trivial matters like voting for a new flavor of potato chip? As disconnected and divided as it takes to ignore the facilitated violence against women, children, and animals everywhere one can look. This is not new information. We know that women and children are sold and trafficked. We know that children go hungry each night. We know that the elderly and mentally infirm are often abused and neglected. We know that animals are tortured for fun, literally, are beaten, are abandoned to the cold and elements. What does it say about us that we find time for frivolities such as those listed above (and more), but cannot seem to come together against abuse?
Partly, it says that we’ve lost some of our soul. We used to know what it was to stand up for the underdog and fight for those that could not fight for themselves, but part of that has fled away, anesthetized by the static and comforting sounds of our television screens and the voices of those who cleverly instruct us on how to think, feel, and act. Isn’t it time to empower others by empowering ourselves? Isn’t it about time that we refocus, reconnect, and once again become the people that give a damn? If we don’t, then who will? If we don’t, then what next, or, more likely who is next? When the world runs out of victims as it currently stands, who becomes the next victim? Is it you?

Hopefully, it will never come to that. Hopefully, we’ve now come far enough to reflect on what we have allowed ourselves to become and put our metaphorical foot down. Why should another young girl miss out on the happiness of youth just to be taken as a child bride far away from her home? Where is the outrage for that?

Some people excuse their apathy as defeatism, disguising their silence into learned passivity, because, according to them, it’s hopeless. According to some people, there’s nothing we can actually do to improve the station of those that suffer. If these international slavery rings exist, what can an individual do to stop them? If animals die every day at the hands of abusers and neglect, what can I do to ease their pain?

What individuals do, what they have always done, in times such as these, to respond to the call of action that each of us should inherently feel at the knowledge of suffering and injustice, is to collect. This is our time to come together, rather than split apart, or continue hiding behind our television screens and smart phones because it’s too hard to support causes that matter. We need to stop making excuses. The suffering of others is real, and, no matter which country the victim comes from, no matter what color their skin may be, no matter if they have hands or paws, their pain is significant. It matters.

The children sold by their own parents matter. The dog kept in a filthy kennel for its entire existence matters. What flavor of potato chip reins king in 2014 seems a little trite in the face of real suffering, does it not?

Animal Rights

Animals are sentient and conscious creatures that demonstrate striking similarities to humans. Although they may not express them identically to humans, any pet owner can easily tell that each animal is unique, precious in its own identity, and its life should be cherished and protected. Many people believe that certain animals cannot feel pain, or because humans express higher intelligence than certain animals they should not be concerned about animal welfare, but these notions are easily refuted when we consider the cognitive and paradigmatic biases from which they arise.
Speciesism is the discriminatory practice of giving certain rights and privileges to individuals based solely on the species group to which they belong. Like sexism, racism, or ageism, it is a flawed system of belief that does not take into account the basic rights to life that all animals deserve. Anthropocentrism is a similar term that denotes a set of beliefs that places humans above all other animals; again, it makes a moral distinction between humans and animals. Finally, sentiocentrism is the belief that if an animal cannot feel, sense, or experience the same things that a human can, then that animal should not be awarded the same status as a human. All of these belief systems are borne of a false sense of righteousness and entitlement. Once these cognitive biases are overcome, the reality that all animals do have rights becomes salient.
Another right of animals that must be respected is the right to thrive in a clean, safe, and sustainable environment. It has grown increasingly clear that human behaviour has wreaked unprecedented havoc on some of the most sensitive ecosystems in the world, turning what used to be lush rainforests into flat plains, and bustling coral reefs into ocean wastelands. By destroying the environment for human gain, we are also destroying some of the only places our animal relatives can call home. Thus, the environmental or ‘green’ movement is also closely linked with the animal rights movement. Because the two are inextricably connected, it is clear that in order to protect and ensure animal rights, we also have to become stewards of the earth and fight for environmental sustainability.
The use of animals for products is perhaps one of the most disconcerting displays of human greed that has grown in popularity. When there is an economic incentive, many people disregard morality altogether. For example, poachers, shark finners, and black market participants often view animals solely as commodities. Quite disturbingly, the basic rights of a life are discarded and replaced with a dollar sign. Given that animals have the right to live free of suffering at the hands of humans, it is crucial that we consider the many viable alternatives to animal products. By voting with our dollars, so to speak, we can make an impact on the global animal trade. We must also hold those who manufacture animal products or conduct animal testing publicly accountable.
Ultimately, animal rights activists have a strong sense of core beliefs guided by an unwavering morality. Some of the primary things that animal rights advocates believe are:
  • non-human animals are conscious beings, not machines or objects
  • non-human animals have interests of their own
  • human beings should respect the interests of non-human animals
  • human beings should not exploit non-human animals
  • human beings should not treat non-human animals as objects
  • human beings should not kill non-human animals
Although the topic of animal rights is one that could span volumes, it is my sincere wish that this article has sparked some interest and will generate discussion about the basis of the animal rights movement and why it is important. I firmly believe that it is up to each of us to be courageous enough to stand up for animal rights, as it is a progressive movement that will ultimately result in a more compassionate and equitable world.

I Am the Voice of the Voiceless

In this world full of disintegration, disease, war, scam, betrayal and turmoil, Humanity should be our most prominent pursuit in life. If we don’t have one another, if we don’t share the bond of humanity and if we are not vaulted in this beautiful bond of humanity, we are nothing. Without humanity, this prolific bond and the prolific nature of the earth will be brought to a vicious end. Without humanity, so to speak, the Earth and the Mother Nature will be brought to their own demise. We need to procure and sustain the intricate and beguiling circle of life on this planet. That means protecting humans and animals both, and not only standing in the favor of one, because both of us come from the same place. We are all flesh and blood and we all need to give a supporting shoulder to the one standing by us to create the ongoing and incombustible circle of life. We need to pursue the notion of trust, happiness and sustenance.

Every day in this huge world, thousands of people are bombed, shot, terrorized and killed. The ordinary man becomes the casualty of a quarrel between two forces of tremendous proportions, as compared to the ordinary man himself. But the ordinary man is not so ordinary; every creature with a beating heart, flesh and blood is an active pillar in sustaining this earth, and the importance of even a single soul is too important to be neglected or to let it go to profligacy. So to procure this bond of humanity there is a lot we can do, all we need to do is plant the seed of positivity. 

One might think that as an individual, it is a task of humongous proportions to help the entire world but once one brings change to self, the rest happens. If we change the environment around us, we will be affecting the minds and hearts of many people we interact with, thus inspiring them to do the same and perpetuating this endless cycle of helping one another. There is no such thing as a single person being too little for a huge task. It takes lots of small figures to make a huge difference, and every figure plays its own part. As individuals, we can indulge in small acts of charity. We can put a smile on someone’s face and manifest our humanity in a small gesture of humanity and devotion.

Businesses and corporations can also play a vital part in this integral cause. First by bringing change within the corporation, by utilizing green ad nature-friendly means of working, by being friendly and just to each and every worker and by donating. Businesses can also start campaigns, urging people to do charitable work, help others, protect animals and take part in essential and effective activities that boost the ideas of positivity, love and humanity. To make a mass impact, everything has to be started by bringing positivity to each and every soul. That can be done by adapting these things yourself; urge the people around you to do the same and later those people will urge the ones around them.

A very famous quote of Henri Nouwen goes something like this: “Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy it will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.” This quote gives us an excellent perspective about how we need to look at life. We need to look up to every new day and make it better.

If we do not take a stand for another person or animal then we can’t expect to have someone stand up for us. Empowerment and bravery should be our pursuits, but we should not forget about acceptance. Everyone has a flaw and everyone is different from one another. Instead of making fun or letting these people become outcasts, it is our moral obligation to accept each other despite of the differences in race, color, looks or personality and perpetuate positivity for everyone to become a good member of the community. Negativity is rooted in the scarcity of acceptance.

If we ignore negativity, we are allowing it to spread. Instead of letting immoral and negative things dwell and transpire around us, we need to accept one another, be civil to others’ identities and realize our purpose on this planet other than just following our basic instincts.

Animals are also a big part of our world. In fact they play a more important role in sustaining the eco-system of this planet than humans do, in this era. Animals help keep certain things under control. Animals help spread forests and lend a very vital hand in further developing  nature. In this food chain, each and every animal holds its own importance and helps keep control over the eco-system. If one animal is less in number, then the prey will increase in number, causing things to become unbalanced. Many examples of such incidents are present in human history when the killing of one animal has led to superfluous numbers of the other, thus bringing about utter destruction.

The main point here is to pursue and perpetuate positivity, integrity and humanity, after that the possibilities are endless and ever profiting. There is nothing beyond the most basic bond of humanity we share. We are all made of the same things and placed in the same system.

We can only really bring about a change if we realize the importance of each and every living thing and make our voice heard by becoming the voice of the voiceless.