WHAT WOULD HOMO AHIMSA DO? |  Judy McCoy Carman, M.A. 

What Would Homo Ahimsa* Do?

 Michael was mowing on a hillside in a forest one day. At the bottom of the hill among the trees was a rocky creek. Thinking he could ride the mower successfully down to the level area above the creek, he began descending the hill.  But the path was muddy, the large mower lost traction, and Michael suddenly found himself pinned upon the jagged rocks next to the creek with a five- hundred pound machine on top of him.  For a couple of hours, barely able to breathe and sensing that one leg was badly injured, he wondered if he was going to die. When he was finally found, the first thing he wanted was to be touched by another human being. “Please, just hold my hand,” he said.  It was that touch that sent physical waves of hope and healing through his body.  As men gathered to lift the machine and pull him to safety, he knew he would survive, and his gratitude for their compassion and kindness was overwhelming.


Such is humanity at its finest—reaching out, helping, touching, rescuing, bringing hope for an end to extreme suffering and fear of death. At the other end of the human behavior spectrum, we find humanity at its worst in the form of animal agriculture and the extreme abuse of animals in many industries. Instead of rescuing these innocent and defenseless cousins of ours who have never harmed us, instead of touching them with love and respecting their rights to live and be free, they are brutally killed by the billions at the hands of human beings. Those hands that could bring comfort and compassion, as they did for Michael, instead bring terror, torture, suffering and death without mercy.

What is going on here? How can the same species, indeed some of the same individuals, behave in such opposite ways?   Clearly, there is a desire in most human beings to be kind and loving. This yearning is, perhaps, best expressed in the Golden Rule–“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It is a nearly universally accepted moral value by almost all religions and ethical traditions. Although many of these traditions stop short and apply it only to certain (but not all) human beings, there is no logical, scientific or spiritual justification for limiting it so arbitrarily. But doing so has, for centuries, allowed animal agriculture, slavery, wars, genocide, religious persecution, etc. to proliferate and benefit those in power.

Nevertheless, the Golden Rule still shines like a star, beckoning us toward an ideal to which most, if not all of us, aspire. Certainly, we could not have this as an ideal if we did not believe we could achieve it. Somewhere, deep in our hearts, we long for a chance to express our true and ideal nature all the time toward all sacred life. I believe that time is here now if we will grab the opportunity.

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WHAT WOULD HOMO AHIMSA DO?

 The landmark new book titled, Animal Agriculture is Immoral, includes chapters by me, Pramoda Chitrabhanu, Lewis Regenstein, Brandon Burr, Dan Brook, Rabbi David Rosen, Karen Davis, Jason Glasson, Jeffrey Spitz Cohan, Richard Schwartz, Sailesh Rao, Rabbi Dr. Schmuly Yanklowitz, Steve Kaufman, Susan Hargreaves, Victoria Moran, Will Tuttle, Rabbi Yonatan Neril, Hope Bohanec, Duke McLeod, and S.O. Fasrus. It is a Climate Healers publication.

PRAYERS FOR ANIMALS

This page is dedicated to the animals.  I will post prayers here that you are free to use in ceremonies, meditations, or in any way that you find helpful.  If you use these publicly, I only ask that you credit the source which is either my book Peace to All Beings: Veggie Soup for the Chicken’s Soul or is indicated at the end of the prayer. So far I have posted 

1.  Prayers for each day of the week
2.  An adaptation of St. Francis prayer–“Make me an instrument of your peace.”
3.  A short prayer for the animals
4.  A mealtime prayer
5.  A prayer to say when you pass the “meat,” eggs, and dairy  in the grocery store, restaurant, etc. 

PRAYERS FOR EACH DAY OF THE WEEK

Monday: Today, let us send our prayers to all farmed animals.
May compassion and love reign over all the earth for all farmed animals—Dear ducks, geese, turkeys, chickens; cows, pigs, lambs, bison, elk, deer, and all of you who are suffering today in tiny cages or crowded into feedlots, being beaten, fed poisoned and unnatural food, and for those of you languishing without water or food on trucks or entering the slaughterhouses. We bear witness to your suffering, we take action to permanently end it, and we continually send out an energy field of love and compassion to comfort you and to transform the hearts and souls of those who support this violent oppression. We send our tears and our prayers on wings of love to you. Compassion encircles the earth for each of you and for all beings.
Tuesday: Today let us send our prayers to all the “companion animals” suffering homelessness, abuse, and/or lives in breeding mills. May compassion and love reign over all the earth for all “companion animals” who are suffering at the hands of human beings. Dear dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs, rabbits, snakes, mice, turtles, birds, ferrets, sugar gliders, frogs, and so many others. We pray for you that you may have peace and joy in this precious life of yours. Some of you want to live free of human interference, and some of you truly want to be part of your human family. We bear witness to your suffering; we do what we can to end your suffering and to encourage others to do the same; and we continually send out an energy field of love and compassion to comfort you and to transform the hearts and souls of those who support the cruelty and oppression of each of you. Our love is all around you. Compassion encircles the earth for each of you and for all beings.
Wednesday: Today let us send our prayers to all animals vivisected in laboratories and classrooms. May compassion and love reign over all the earth for all animals used in experiments. Dear primates, dogs, cats, mice; rats, pigs, lambs, rabbits, frogs, and all of you who are imprisoned in cages, tortured in useless experiments, separated from your loved ones, and suffering constant pain, fear, and loneliness, sometimes for many long years. Dear ones, we bear witness to your suffering, we take action to permanently end it, and we continually send out an energy field of love and compassion to comfort you and to transform the hearts and souls of those who support this violent oppression. We send our tears and our prayers on wings of love to you. Our love is all around you. Compassion encircles the earth for each of you and for all beings.
Thursday: Today let us send our prayers and love to all aquatic animals. May compassion and love reign over all the earth for all the water beings living in the seas, lakes, and rivers. Dear fish, whales, dolphins, crabs, lobsters, starfish, jellyfish, shrimp, coral, and all the other amazing beings who make the waters of earth their home. Your homes and your very lives are being devastated by huge fishing fleets, by trash, oil, sewage, runoff, and other poisons dumped into your waters, by cutting off your fins, and by capturing you and your loved ones for aquariums and the pet trade. Together, we bear witness to your suffering, take action to end it permanently, and send out an energy field of love and compassion to comfort you and to transform the hearts and souls of those who support this violent oppression. Our love is all around you. Compassion encircles the earth for each of you and for all beings.
Friday: Prayers for wild animals being trapped, hunted, caged and/or killed for fur, flesh, leather, trophies, the pet trade, etc., and for wild animals being forced into stress and extinction due to loss of habitat. May compassion and love reign over all the earth for all free-living animals. Dear bears, foxes, cougars, deer, alligators, wild horses, prairie dogs, primates, mink, bison, beavers, elephants, birds, fish, and all the other magnificent beings born in freedom and suffering now at the hands of human beings, living in fear of human beings, and mourning the loss of loved ones who have been tortured and either imprisoned or killed. Together, we bear witness to your suffering, take action to end it forever, and send out an energy field of love and compassion to comfort you and to transform the hearts and souls of those who support the violent oppression of all of you. We send our tears and prayers on wings of love to you. Our love is all around you. Compassion encircles the earth for each of you and for all beings.
Saturday: Prayers for animals enslaved in entertainment, such as, zoos, circuses, rodeos, aquariums, theme parks, canned hunts, etc. May compassion and love reign over all the earth for all the beings used in the human entertainment industry. Dear dolphins, whales, horses, bulls, elephants, bears, lambs, pigs, sea otters, fish, elks, deer, rhinos, hippos, alligators, snakes, polar bears, lions, tigers, gorillas, chimpanzees, and all of you who are incarcerated when you want your freedom so much; who remember your parents being killed so that you could be captured; who are forced often with whips, chains, and electric prods to perform unnatural tricks; who are treated without respecting the the dignity of your true nature. Together, we bear witness to your suffering, take action to bring it to a permanent end, and send out our energy field of love and compassion to comfort you and to transform the hearts and souls of those who support the violent oppression of all of you. Our love is all around you. Compassion encircles the earth for each of you and for all beings.
Sunday: Prayers for the nations of insects and other small creatures. May compassion and love reign over all the earth for all the tiny beings who live in the soil, the trees, the water, and the air, creating harmony and balance with your songs, your pollinating of flowers, your graceful flight, your mysterious transformations, and your miraculous ability to literally create soil in which new plants can take root. Dear dragonflies, bees, wasps, butterflies, mosquitoes, moths, beetles, cicadas, crickets, spiders, ants, and all of you who suffer immeasurably at the hands of people who do not understand the miracle of who you are, who poison you, stomp on you, and destroy your homes. You are so small, and many of us who do care about you find ourselves bringing you harm. We ask for your forgiveness and your help and together we bear witness to your suffering, take action to permanently end it, and send out our energy field of love and compassion to comfort you and to transform the hearts and souls of those who support the violent oppression of all of you. Our love is all around you. Compassion encircles the earth for each of you and for all beings.  Copyright 2013, Judy Carman and also posted at http://www.circleofcompassion.org.
“MAKE ME AN INSTRUMENT”

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