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Awakening to Compassion

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. John Muir

It is morally wrong to experiment on any animal. All sentient beings have souls. All life is sacred. Albert Schweitzer passionately talks about a reverence for life that embraces all beings. A reverence for life carries with it the responsibility of awareness, and deep respect and care for our earth and all her inhabitants. Cultural historian and earth scholar, Thomas Berry, pronounced, “In reality there is a single integral community of the Earth. In this community, every being has its own role to fulfill, its own dignity, its inner spontaneity. Every being has its own voice.” Just because animals are different from us does not mean their life has no significance. The beauty of nature is in its diversity.

The suffering in this world is immense, and difficult to experience, human and animal alike. Many people unconsciously choose to close their eyes to the pain and torment that millions of animals endure on a daily basis. Albert Schweitzer suggests that we “think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.” So, what does it mean for us to unlock our hearts and be a witness to suffering? When we are able to acknowledge others’ pain, we must also be able to understand our own.

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