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  • Writer's pictureAlmighty Animal Sanctuary Team

Almighty and Ahimsa

Welcome to the Almighty and Ahimsa Blog, where we share thoughts on fundamental principles of Ahimsa, an age-old Indian philosophy, and stories of the resilient residents of the Sanctuary, which will make us think, rationalize and act.


Why coexistence matters- we are all in this world together.

We humans often believe that we are entirely independent and perfectly capable of functioning by ourselves since we are an intelligent species. We have brought in this world music, arts, culture, religion, technology, and incredible architecture that we still don’t fail to marvel at.

Okay, let’s hit pause for a second. Would we dare to believe that we are at the mercy of tiny microbes such as archaea, bacteria, fungi, and viruses? Well, we absolutely are! In fact, we would not be able to eat any form of food if it weren’t for our microbiome- who reside within our body and coexist (mostly happily in healthy individuals). We don’t need to reinforce that we are at the mercy of microbes. A teeny tiny virus (total weight of less than 1 gram) descended upon us all last year, and we are still unable to overcome its effects. We will not talk about how 3 out of 4 pandemics have zoonotic origins or about the emergence of antibiotic resistance, the most dangerous health threat looming over us today. Instead, we will focus on why we need to practice Ubuntu if we want to live happy, fulfilling lives.

Moving on, we are the only species that have the most negligible ecological extinction impact. On the other hand, bees are one of the species that have one of the most ecological extinction impacts. We, along with all other life forms, cannot live without their pollination.

Now let’s go back to the question- why do we need to care about farm animals? To answer that, let us think of the differences between human animals and farm animals. We all feel a range of emotions- hunger, pain, love, anger, etc. As human beings, our voices are heard, and we can express ourselves without any difficulty. For farm animals, though they have a voice, they remain unheard. They are forcibly bred into existence and tagged like an object. Once they are of no more ‘use’ to the humans, they are slaughtered before their friends. Coming back to the difference, we humans can choose for ourselves; we can choose what to wear, what to eat, and what to do with our life. Farm animals cannot choose for themselves. They are bereft of freedom to live in peace and killed before their actual lifespan. They do not give any consent when we steal their babies, their milk, their skin, wool, their eggs, and in the end, snatch their life away from them. We ‘punish’ them lifelong and do not even ‘give’ a peaceful death for absolutely no fault of theirs. They are vulnerable and innocent beings who are treated with so much violence that most of us would not willingly take our children to the slaughterhouse. We know that it would upset them. If the sight of bloodshed would upset them and make them cry, how can it be good for their bodies and mind? Bearing this in mind, we must resolve to act with compassion to those innocent and vulnerable and condone any form of violence. Our animal friends have voices. It is just that ours are louder. It is our duty to utilize our privilege to make our world a better place to live in.

When we consume the fear and anxiety that the animals possess in their last moments, we are drawing a whole lot of unnecessary suffering ‘energy’ into us. We cannot escape that. To put it quite simply, consuming the flesh of an animal or their secretion in this modern-day and age is completely unnecessary, unethical, and immoral. It warrants harm to ourselves and our families over extended periods of time. There is no denial in the fact that farm animals are abused in at least one way, and that distress will creep into us if we choose to consume them or their products. Every time we buy a product, we are casting a vote, and it is up to us to cast a vote in the right direction by saying an absolute noto anything made from or derived from animals, especially in the form of food (meat, eggs, and dairy) and fashion (wool, leather, and silk). Now you must be thinking, well, if I cannot eat animal products, what can I eat? The answer is simple for those of us who grew up with a predominantly Indian diet. It is centered around grains, pulses, legumes, vegetables, and fruits. Even ancient Siddha texts mention the utilization of plant milk, emphasizing Ahimsa.

When we choose to follow Ahimsa, it is not even about loving or being kind to animals.

It's about simply acknowledging their basic birthright; freedom to live, freedom to breathe, freedom to nurse, freedom to occupy space on planet earth. It is much as theirs as much as ours. Live and let live. We do not have to cuddle, stroke, or feed them. They deserve the very basic at least, and freedom from torture and unnecessary inflicted pain. Animals are not capable of intentional harm. So we should never treat them with violence, if not kindness.

Now let us talk about why it is crucial that each of us try to follow Ahimsa principles and live by them. We may be wondering, all this is happening and going to happen anyway, whether or not I am a part of it, so how will I help?

To answer that, let us talk about demand and supply with a relatable case study. Many years ago, during the summer months, we had an abundance of ‘nungu,’ a native Tamil Nadu produce. Over time the demand shifted to western summer fruits like watermelon and muskmelons. ‘We,’ the community members, were directly affecting the livelihood of the nungu sellers and at the same time progressively shifting the demand. Now we cannot see that much nungu sales during the summer as compared to their western counterparts. Basically, the demand and supply switched according to the choices people made. The nungu reference is an unfortunate example that should not have occurred since we should have supported our local farmers and vendors. Now that we understand how demand and supply work, we know that it is possible to reduce if not eliminate the demand for animal products.

Thinking forward, we need to initiate changes if we want our children to live in harmony and peace. Cities like Brooklyn in New York, USA, have eliminated processed meat, a level-1 carcinogen, from school cafeterias and have introduced plant-based meals at hospitals and schools. We need to create a connection with Mother Earth before it is too late to repent. Each of us matters, and the choices we each make have profound impacts on our surroundings. Choose Ahimsa for them and for us.

All beings tremble before violence. All love life. All fear death. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?” - Buddha

“When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul.” ― Anthony Douglas Williams

Let us know your thoughts and future article topics in the comment section below. Kind note- all comments must be thoughtful of language and content.

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