Can you stop harming other creatures?
In the environmental film festival, there is one of the films called Earthlings. The premise of the Earthlings is that all unite because they are all earthlings. When unnecessary harm is caused, there is an overall negative effect because our thoughts and emotions emit waves just as a rock falling into water creates waves. Each of us at each moment has the right to choose whether our actions and words will uplift or crush other earthlings.
Plants, animals and humans; torturing people and animals, whether for fun or for gain; and mere indifference to suffering cause negative ripples? The non-stop Earthlings series chronicles the abuses that humans impose on other earthlings. The question asked and answered is - Why?
It is obvious that there is apathy and belief that no one other than the person's self has feelings. Some mortals don't understand that all sentient beings have wants and needs and feel pain, both physically and emotionally. Many people think that only humans have emotions. This assumption is purely species-centric because no human can know the feelings of any other living being. However, experience proves that sentient beings are emotional and seek solace in the face of pain. And as with humans, abused creatures can be cared for through pain and become healthy and thriving if released from abusive situations and provided with love and care.
Then there's the fun. In one way or another, some humans like to harm other creatures. This may be the result of conditioning from actual experience or due to genetic causes. A lack of empathy is often the basis for taking pleasure from other people's pain, but there is also a mediating factor in feelings of anti-empathy, where one knows one person is causing the pain, but does so regardless or even on purpose for the sake of please. When I was in school, my friends and I used to tease other students. We picked out the least popular ones, and in turn we were teased by the more popular students. We didn't stop and think about how the people we'd teased. Now I find it hard to believe that I was involved in this, but I can't deny that I did. And yes it did give me a sense of pleasure. This is the joy of premium feeling. Now, looking back with hindsight, I imagine that I might have actually enjoyed being friends with some of the people I was cruel to. I feel grateful that I have changed and would never intentionally hurt another being. I thought we all grew out of this childish behavior, but I found myself wrong.
I went to a gathering that was supposed to be a networking event for young entrepreneurs. While there, I spoke to a woman I had met at a previous event. This woman told me how she avoided a woman because she started dating her boyfriend. She said that life is still the same as when she was in school. It made me realize that many people do not escape the cruel practices that have been set forth in the years before that. Now I'm not implying that one person should never date another person. My view is that this woman gives me the feeling that she is taking pleasure from the pain she has caused the other woman. I often feel a sense of entitlement and the victim takes it on, so there is no responsibility for the perpetrator of the victim.
After finishing training on domestic violence victims, I learned that perpetrators of violence often feel that victims deserve harm and will even feel that they are helping that person by harming them. Relationship dynamics are complex in that there are many factors that go into why two people are together. There is love, of course, but then there is financial security, fear of being alone, psychological dependence, sexual addiction, and so on. I think if one looks at the relationship between a cat and a mouse, it can help demonstrate a co-dependent abusive relationship based on anything but love.
Usually when a cat catches a mouse, it will play with it before it kills it. Play is in the eyes of the player, because obviously not playing for the mouse. All the rat wanted was to escape. I've seen it many times where the cat would bat around and trap it under its claws just to let it "get out" and then pounce on it again. The cat will last the game for as long as it can and seems happy to give even the slightest stir to the nearly dead mouse. The cat may even leave the mouse alone for a while in the hope that the rat will find the energy to try to escape again. And then when the mouse died, the cat seemed to suffer a sense of loss. So is this love? Violence in the family is love? I think not. I think love can only be equal. I think we are all equal, but when there is a perception that the other is inferior there can be a lot of feelings towards the other person, but that is not love.
One thing that I find interesting from my domestic violence advocates training course is that as same-sex relationships become more open, the same dynamics of abuse are found in heterosexual relationships also becomes clear. It seems that abusing those closest to us is part of our nature. I believe there is a possibility of an evolution of consciousness where one can leave relationships based on inequality of power and then treat all other earthlings as equals and deserves respect and care. Even a cat can live peacefully with a mouse. But this requires the gentle, dedicated work of loving sentient beings a lot of our world is alienating and encouraging a lack of compassion. Every time I hear people complain about job loss in their communities when they buy items made by the labor of sweat shops, I wonder how they don't see that they are the cause leading to local job losses. It's not them, or a corporation, that caused this. It is their choice to buy cheap goods made by the store's sweat. If we were all aware of our actions and their consequences, we might have a different world.
ObservedTorture Abolition Day has been observed annually on February 4th.
Tuesday, February 4th, 2020
Thursday, February 4th, 2021
Friday, February 4th, 2022
Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Sunday, February 4th, 2024