I noticed a long time ago that there is a discrimination between what animals deserve your empathy. A dog is a cherished companion,but it’s okay to slaughter a cow.
I realized this when I was young while visiting my grandparents in Colombia, South America. My grandparents had what I believed was a pet pig. I spent all my vacation playing with this beautiful pig. Petting it, hugging it, I was in love. One of our last days in Colombia we had a big family gathering with music, dancing, drinks and painfully a roasted pig.
The pig I had bonded with was now the main dish in our festivities.
Now, as an adult, I understand that this is what was the custom in Colombia. They did not see anything wrong with eating animals at the time. They raised them to sustain.
But I was so horrified. I didn’t understand how they could spend so much time with this beautiful kind pig then kill it and eat it.
There is still this major disconnect in our world as to what animals deserve respect.Tweet
My husband and I decided to be sure we raised our children to be empathetic to ALL living creatures. This includes being careful not to step on living plants when you can. Let them grow and share their beauty with us. We always rescue bugs and take care not to squish them. One time we spent a whole afternoon rescuing caterpillars that were being blown out of a tree on a windy day.
Recently, my children were watching a Daddy Long Legs and laughing at the funny things it was doing. When someone we were with mindlessly walked towards it, my children tried to warn her not to squish their new friend. But it was too late.
What happened next is what saddened me most. When my children explained that she had just squished the Daddy Long Legs she simply shrugged her shoulders and said “Oh, well.” It was so dismissive, the spiders life didn’t matter. Maybe it wasn’t big enough, maybe she hated spiders, whatever the reason its’ life wasn’t important.
The reality is ALL animals lives matter and we need to understand that. Next time you see a row of ants walking why not try to step over them instead of on them?
We need to teach our children to care for everything. This is how you can raise a new generation without bias. A generation that’s connected, and full of kindness, love and understanding. I know that’s the kind of world I want my children to live in.