Humans and animals. How are we different? Or perhaps a better question might be — How are we the same?
Some people believe that animals aren’t conscious and that they don’t have empathy or feel pain. Others believe that humans are above animals and that we can do with them whatever we wish.
But why do we think these things?
Watch the following three powerful and compelling videos and see if you’re thinking shifts.
Video 1: Do animals have emotions?
In this first, very short video, Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard questions why we regard human life as having infinite value but see the value of animals as being almost zero.
Video 2: Are you brave enough to make a difference for animals?
In the 2nd, short video, you’ll hear the profoundly compelling story of Damien Mander.
Over time, Mander’s thinking and his definition of bravery evolved. Instead of defining bravery based on a willingness to kill, he began to define it based on a willingness to give up everything in his life to try and stop the suffering of animals.
He ended up using his life savings to found and grow the International Anti-Poaching Foundation.
He makes the point that every worthwhile action requires a level of sacrifice. And he ends with a question:
“Next time you have an opportunity to make a difference for animals, will you be brave enough? Yes or no?”
Video 3: What are animals thinking and feeling?
In the third video, Carl Safina, author of the book Beyond Words: How Animals Think and Feel, argues that we can know what’s going on inside the brains of animals, which aren’t that different from our own. This is a beautiful and compelling talk worth watching until the end.
“We are kin under the skin.”
He weaves together stories of animals to show that animals are not so different from us. We all have brains and personalities. We all show love. We all play. And we all get frightened when we’re in danger.
Now that you’ve watched these three videos, we’d love to hear from you in the comments:
What are you taking away from these messages? What moved you?
Do you agree with Carl Safina that our narcissistic thinking creates pain and suffering in the world?
How do you feel about the human-animal bond?
Are there things you want to change in your own life or in our world?
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