Saturday, February 28, 2009

Healing Outside the Box

Yesterday I was interviewed for a cable access TV show on NHTV in North Haven. I've been on numerous television programs over the years and one commonality I've noted is that TV people often get a little squeamish when I mention the animals. Talking about veggies is fine, but nobody wants to be reminded about ethics when it comes to the food they put on their plate.

So I was pleasantly surprised that the hosts of Healing Outside the Box, Rosemary LaChance and Traci Crampton, were not only open to discussing factory farming and animal welfare issues, but were curious to learn more. I was happy to oblige. We didn't get into any of the gruesome details (other than mentioning battery cages, debeaking and downed cows), though I do think that just talking about these issues can be enlightening to many people in the audience.

Earlier in the day I had seen Wayne Pacelle speak at Yale to a small group of professors, grad students and community members interested in discussing animal welfare. He mentioned something very powerful which stuck with me, and which I reiterated on camera. That is, we not only have the power, but also the responsibility, to show compassion, mercy and empathy toward animals. It's intrinsic to being human.
The farther we can extend our responsibility -- not just from caring about cute and cuddly dogs and cats, but to other animals -- the more we increase our capacity for compassion, mercy and empathy to all beings. So simple, really.

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