Thursday, April 09, 2009

What goes, comes around: Making ethical choices

Friends, Canada’s annual slaughter of baby seals has begun – of babies less than 4 weeks old and according to sources “who haven’t had their first swim yet”. The baby seals are being clobbered to death every hour of the day for their FUR. Last year, more than 2,05,000 seals were killed for FUR on the Canadian soil.

I have been thinking.... on the one hand the whole world is reeling under threats of terrorism, violence of every kind imaginable, communalism, fascism, racism, wars, death, destruction, and the list goes on.... and on the other hand as a human race we are continuing to inflict pain and suffering on the millions of members of our animal kingdom, every second of each and every day. What do we expect after this – that our lives will be a cloudless saga and the little spaces we occupy on earth violence-free? But that is not possible, because what goes comes around too. This is the Universal Law, which we quote when convenient and ignore when we need to make choices that will upset the habits we have formed. In the words of Leo Tolstoy, "As long as there are slaughter houses, there will be battle fields." I cannot agree more. Today, I may aspire to adopt a cruelty-free lifestyle which is a choice I make in my individual life, but there are millions of my own kind who abet the harming and killing of animals.

As human beings we have the power to exercise creativity in the different fields of work we choose in life but without a sense of ethics our creativity may be a hotbed of bad karmas. To take an example in the context of this post of mine, are the fashion designers and the rich class (often without ethics) who create a demand for fur. And to “fulfill” this demand, millions of animals such as baby seals, rabbits, dogs, etc. are led to suffer horrific deaths. I am ashamed at what we collectively do to the unsuspecting animals that are simply trapped and killed. I have been following the protests of animal activists from all over the world including the stand of the cruelty-free cosmetic brand LUSH against the slaughter of seals in Canada. The least I can do is endorse online petitions to the Government of Canada and hope it will put a stop to the brutal killing of baby seals and also hope that the “demand” created for fur will cease to exist. You can also lend your voice by signing up on the petition by clicking here. Besides, if you want detailed updates on the protests and see how the protesters are creating public awareness, you can click here.

There is enormous power in intent. If many people collectively hope for something to happen, it is bound to happen. For example take the case of the apparel brand Urban Outfitters who have recently issued a notice to the effect that all their stores are now fur-free. This declaration came after they received 4000 online petitions from individuals seeking for fur to be pulled out from their stores. Kudos.

But, Armani refuses to stop using fur for his fashion brand which means he refuses to stop killing little bunnies from whom he gets fur. We can keep trying and hope that one day he will give a chance to his conscience to be heard and make a compassionate choice. We can send out our intent to Armani by clicking here.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated," is a thought that Mahatma Gandhi has left us with. We expend a massive amount of intellectual capital on why violence happens and the strategies to counter it.... I end with a simple thought: non-violence begins at home.


vardhini said...

I read your well written blog regularly. I am in USA and I did not hear about slaughtering of baby seals in Canada. I will send this article to all my Indian friends so that they sign up on the petition.
Vardhinibala Atlanta ,Georgia

ambrosia said...

Vardhinibala, welcome :-) I am so touched by your words, thank you. Such horrific practices are usually not written about in mainstream media as a result of which not many people come to know. This is unfortunate. But of course we can play our little roles and hope for a big difference to be made someday, one day, soon.

Twisted Faktory said...

Ambrosia, I some how feel that this will never stop until people stop buying. And people, who can afford luxury brands like 'Armani' will always get it some way or the other. Having said this I still feel that awareness can only solve such issues and as you said...universe will surely do it's balancing act. At this point of time, I'm getting reminded of the movie '101 Dalmations' and the cruel lady who loved dog skin.

Twisted Faktory said...

Ambrosia, I've tagged you for a nice meme. Visit my spot to participate. Cheers!!!

ambrosia said...

Twisted, you are right; many people buy fur or let’s say any other animal product without being aware of how the product is made available to them. I have come across studies which have shown that 6 out of 10 people convert after they become aware of the cruelty involved in the process. There are people like Armani who refuse to relent. I will only say that they are incurring bad karmas for themselves. I was reading something that Lord Krishna has said, I cannot find the exact quote now, however…. he said - that every person involved in the chain of exploiting animals are abettors to the crime - in this context - those who kill, those who design, as well as those who use the finished product.

Thanks for tagging me, I am honored. Will act upon it soon :-)

Twisted Faktory said...

I was speaking to my dad about this issue and he was asking me not to buy any P&G products because all of them are tested on animals.

Munchmany said...

Dear Ambrosia,
Like all your posts this post too is an eye-opener to all the crimes against the animal kingdom. I wonder why people at "Armani" lack the basic conscience humans are born with. What's more people buy fur at the name of fashion, which is even more deplorable.

I too will forward this article to as many people as i can. I sincerely hope this pathetic act of cruelty stops before it takes its toll.

ambrosia said...

@ Twisted, that's a great reminder from your father. I wholeheartedly agree that we must make sure the products we buy are not tested on animals. Our actions will add up and I am sure we will see the big change.

@ Munchmany, well said.... we know that their conscience is buried in layers of ignorance, greed, and ego. I just hope that the layers clear fast.