Animals need our active kindness

Posted on 2019-03-06 10:44:15


If you know anyone who keeps their animal on a chain, ask the SPCA to inspect. Keeping a dog on a chain is a serious cruelty. Dogs are loving, highly sociable creatures and need love, shelter, food, water, and medical care. You can remain anonymous when reporting abuse of animals. People often keep quiet because they ‘don’t want to get involved’. If we keep quiet, we are complicit. 

Gandhi said that the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals. It is up to parents and teachers to encourage children to be kind to animals. Schools are ideally placed to encourage children and young people to be kind. As someone who spent most of my professional career as a lecturer, I know how easy it is to find opportunities to talk about kindness and about how much more worthwhile life becomes when kindness is a fundamental trait.  

We need to think about another touchy area: the world’s meat-eating habits. It is not that everyone is expected to turn vegetarian, since we know this would be an unrealistic expectation. Instead, we need to lobby to ban unacceptable factory farming methods – like battery chicken factories and inhumane sow pens. We need to know about abattoir procedures, which is something we thrust out of mind. We also need to know that there are decent transport conditions for food animals.     

Although we seem to be surrounded by violence, the last twenty years have shown a steady improvement. Global statistics show that people are in fact growing more caring. Look up the statistics for yourself and be amazed. There are now hundreds of thousands of welfare organisations and voluntary helpful bodies across the world. Even fifty years ago, their number was relatively small.

Even the way humans look at other animals is improving all the time. We know now that animals have complex consciousness and feelings. We discern qualities in them like love, loyalty, devotion, trust and considerable intelligence.

We all have a responsibility to encourage kindness. Animal welfare organisations especially rely on people’s committed kindness, since dedicated volunteers are essential to them. Volunteers quietly do their loving work. The Durban & Coast SPCA is deeply grateful for its volunteers and could not do without their generosity of spirit. 

Animal Angle

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Shirley Bell, editor of Animal Angle, writes specially for us about animal issues

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