Animals can be some of our best of friends. They can be loyal to us, love us, and serve us. Moreover, they can also defend and die for us.
Hence, they have been used as metaphors and examples to teach us positive values, behaviors and aspirations. And show us many positive ways to live and love our lives.
For example, dogs can better welcome us and be more excited about seeing us than many humans. They can show more love and affection than many of our friends.
When we go through a setback, our dogs will never laugh at and look down on us. They can share our pain and sorrow. They may do all kinds of funny tricks and even make a fool of themselves to console us, and make us laugh and become happy.
Animals don’t plan to hurt or destroy us. They don't invent and deploy weapons of mass destruction and go to war with us.
I cannot imagine a world without animals. They not only have every right to co-exist with us, they should also be treated with love, compassion, and care.
Without animals, we may slip into an abyss of loneliness and our very existence may even be threatened.
That's why our value system and standards of ethos and morality should also include how we live with and treat animals.
As Mahatma Gandhi would say, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
We can't have nobility and dignity if we do not extend it to the animal kingdom. Neither can we claim to have love in our heart if we have no love for animals. We can never be truly in in touch with our soul if we do not
realize that animals can suffer pain and sorrow like us.
Hence, we should be sensitive to how we treat animals and we should defend them when they are being badly treated. When they are abused, we should never stand by and do nothing about it.
Perhaps, the Golden Rule should also apply here. Don't do to others what you don't want others to do to you. A quote from Immanuel Kant comes to mind: 'We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.'
For all the virtues and strengths that we have, we make ourselves less than a human when we abuse animals. We lower ourselves to one of the lowest denominators when we do all kinds of barbaric and wicked acts on them.
In the words of William Penn: "I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
When we save an animal and learn to live with and love the animal, we are not just keeping another animal alive. We demonstrate an act of compassion, kindness and inspiration to our children and our children's children.
We can also leave behind a wonderful legacy of working towards a better world.