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OUR ANIMALS, OURSELVES: U.S. must work harder to prevent animal cruelty

April 27, 2017
By ANNOEL KRIDER , Lake Placid News


Mahatma Gandhi said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

However, our present administration seems to be doing its best at stripping away those values, diminishing any sense of moral progress and greatness, when it comes to our animals.

The recent ending of a ban in Alaska on hunting bears and their cubs during hibernation and wolves in their dens raising pups is just one of those policy changes that most definitely falls into the realm of animal cruelty and should "shock the conscience of every animal lover in America."

Along the same vein of thinking, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke overturned a ban on hunting with lead ammunition in national parks and wildlife refuges. This ban was originally put in place because 20 million birds were dying of lead poisoning every year from eating the lead ridden carcasses.

And there is more.

According to the Humane Society of United States, our present agricultural advisors are "a veritable rogue gallery of anti-animal crusaders." One member, Forrest Lucas, is the money man behind Protect the Harvest which is a group advocating big agribusiness, trophy hunting and puppy mills, fighting animal welfare organizations at every turn and opposing efforts to establish felony penalties for malicious cruelty against dogs, cats and horses.

This year, the USDA removed animal welfare reports from its website basically "giving cover to people who neglect or harm animals." Covering up even the most egregious of puppy mills and abusers of zoo and lab animals.

Thankfully, there are people in this world who understand the connection we share with the animals as part of the whole and have the awareness that animals are intelligent, have feelings and a will to live. Needless to say, they also have a capacity to experience pain and suffering.

People who abuse animals have been shown to abuse people as well. What does this mean for a government that doesn't seem to mind that the animals offering up their lives for our sustenance are being tortured, that vulnerable bears, cubs and wolf pups are being killed in their safe havens, that people who abuse animals are now being protected?

I've always felt that we hold the sacred role of animal guardians, that in their helplessness they rely on those of us who do possess that passion and respect to protect them against the cruelty that exists in this world. However, now I'm not so sure about our role as guardian.

How does humanity maintain the tolerance of such cruelty yet preserve the guise of guardian?

I believe it's the animals who are our guardians, teaching us those lessons, through their actions and their suffering, about the essence of love, respect and compassion, elevating our lives through this awareness to another level of ascension. Some of us are there. Some of us have a long way to go.

Quebec passed a bill stating animals as sentient beings and includes jail time for cruelty. I know that the United States is capable of the same. It's not about this country being "great again" it's about us being empathetic and compassionate again which will generate a wave of sublime healing energy extending throughout all of life.

I know how Gandhi would view all of this. He'd shake his head in quiet disapproval.

He said, "You may never know what results come from your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results."

So if you feel as I do, take your anger and turn it into action. Write those letters. Make those phone calls. Support animal organizations nationally and locally. They all play their part in the welfare of our guardian animals.

And if you're not angry about anti-animal policies and people who abuse animals you best ask yourself why.

I reiterate one of my favorite phrases. "Put yourself in their paws."

Our humane treatment of animals will be a step in the right direction toward the ascension of humanity and yes, the greatness of our country.

As a footnote, since writing this article, I discovered that there does seem to be some effort by Congress to support animal protection. They have introduced more than a dozen animal welfare bills that include the following. I suggest you google each act for further details.

-Big Cat Safety Act

-Pet and Women Safety Act

-Prevent All Soring Tactics

-Dog and Cat Meat Prohibition Act

-Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act

-Humane Cosmetics Act

-Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (on federal highways, at federal facilities and businesses that sell pets across state lines)

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, said probably at least half of these stand a chance of passage in this session. It's a start.



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