It was heartening to see a video of the newly elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, engaging in the worship of the cow. Cow worship is not only a cultural act, but also an intelligent and compassionate one to reinforce the integration of mankind with all beings and the environment.
Divali was a joyous occasion for me but hell for my dogs. They had to secure themselves within my apartment during the ongoing explosion of fireworks. It was unimaginable that in this downturn of the economy that families in a poor neighborhood like mine can find the money to indulge in such sadistic fun!
In Trinidad and Tobago, a hype appears to be ingrained in the society. To be loud and extravagant without being bothered about the welfare of others, is the norm today. I always worry about the number of dogs I see wandering the roads. Only yesterday a dead dog was lying on a highway, and this has become a daily eyesore across the country. Do we like pets? I would say no because if we do, so many dogs would not be forced out of their homes by scratch bombs to wander the streets!
It is time that animal lovers stand up for the rights of animals, not only dogs but all animals. Nevertheless, Hindus are being made to look foolish for their reverence of the cow and not eating beef. Hindu vigilante groups in India that stand up for the rights of the cow are made to feel that they are cruel and disrespectful of the human rights of fellow citizens to eat beef.
In a recent violent protest in Leicester and Birmingham in the United Kingdom slurs were hurled at Hindus such as cow piss drinkers etc. In the minds of those anti Hindu protestors, it is not cool to drink the urine of the cow for medical reason, but it is perfectly right to slaughter the cow and eat its meat.
Extreme climatic swings are a reality. It is no longer only Africa and Asia that are under severe floods but the entire world including the USA and Europe. Only recently several European states were under severe floods resulting in billions of dollars in damages. The recent floods in Florida were the worst that the US has experienced in recent years.
I strongly recommend that aggressive campaigns must be launched to influence people to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle. If this is done, there would be greater compassion for animals and the environment which is damaged by commercial animal husbandry. Iskcon (Hare Rama Hare Krishna) Society has compiled adequate data to demonstrate the benefits of a vegetarian diet- better health being one of them.
Most diseases such as diabetes, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes, obesity etc. are linked to a meat diet. It means that the world would not only provide a healthier lifestyle by going vegetarian but also a more productive workforce. In fact, the increasing health care budget will be reduced when the number of vegetarians in the population increases.
The evils of colonialism and the philosophy of the ‘white man’s burden’ must be banished. These absolute ideologies that place one race and culture as being superior to others must be reviewed and revised if human being must survive on this planet.
Compassion must become central to our existence as a civilization. Where this is in vogue such cruelty against animals and vulnerable citizens would not be perpetuated. It is time to act in our best interest as citizens by awakening the compassion that is integral to our wellbeing.
Unless we learn to see the Atman in all beings, we shall continue to be cruel toward one another. Also, theologies that make man superior to the environment and grant him the right to dominate over other creatures must be debated and revised.