Today I watched this video that shows a group of cows being let outside after having been in all winter and being rescued from a dairy farm just before they were about to get slaughtered. I have seen the video before. And what happens when I watch such videos or see such photos is that I experience a deep, desperate form of sadness. It feels like my heart is going to break to such an extent that I actually often refrain from even clicking on the links or view the photos. The specific context that I am talking about here is for example when good things happens to animals that has been abused, like dogs being adopted or a tiger and a monkey becoming friends. It might sound odd and I understand that for many people, seeing such photos or videos will trigger a positive experience such as ‘hope for humanity’ or ‘trust that the universe is good’. But for me it has the opposite effect, I feel immense sadness and heartbreak. Don’t get me wrong; I am thrilled for the animals, like the cows dancing on the green grass. You can watch the video here.
In the previous blog-post that I wrote about this point, I specifically focused on two other dimensions, namely how I reacted to people posting such images within judging these people as being delusional and ignorant and how I had defined myself as superior within my stance, like being sad somehow makes me a better person because it shows that I care. So what I will be investigating here is the origin point of my sadness.
Because what I have seen when I looked within myself and asked myself why I get so sad when I watch animals enjoying themselves, is that it comes back to not only my relationship with the physical and my own body, but also our relationship with the physical, with nature as humanity.
It makes me so sad to see animals enjoying themselves because it reminds me of the billions of animals that do not get this opportunity. The billions of pigs and cows and cats and dogs slaughtered every day and kept in captivity for their entire life. When the animal rights groups call it the biggest genocide of human history they are certainly not mistaken. But the thing is that when we’re simply walking about our day, buying our pork or eggs at the supermarket, these animals do not exist. And when we think about them, we do not see living beings existing here equally on this earth, but as lesser forms of life – or not as life at all. So when I watch such a video as the one I mentioned with the cows jumping around after being let outside, I am faced with the truth of what we as human beings are accepting and allowing ourselves to do to this world, to nature, to the animal kingdom and even to our own physical bodies. I am faced with the fact that these beings have the expression of life within them.
As one man tearfully said in the video, you see their lust for life, the enthusiasm and enjoyment of being alive. And this is what we as human beings have not only denied ourselves and obliterated from our own lives, but also what we are denying those millions of dairy cows, fighting dogs, show cats and pet turtles. This asphyxiation and suffocation of life is saturated into all parts of our reality – and it is done so by our very own hands. So why does it make me so sad? What I see is that the only way to answer that question is to bring it back to myself. Because I could have stood clear in an understanding of what we’re accepting and allowing in this world and accordingly have aligned myself to a position of being able to do something about it – but instead I have allowed myself to fall into a pit of desperation and sadness. And this shows me that the point is not yet clear within myself, it shows me that I am projecting a point onto the animals that I have not yet sorted out within myself – because otherwise I wouldn’t react. One of the things that distinguish animals from humans is that we have their lives in our hands. They have absolutely no power to release themselves from the bonds of enslavement and abuse that we as humans impose upon them. So if I bring all of this back to myself, I can see how I am as an individual human being a micro cosmos of what I see in the world. So we have the physical reality and the expression of live as seen in the animals, which within the microcosm of me as a reflection of the world is my physical body and the expression of myself as life. Within this we also have the dictatorship and abuse and also the ignorance, deception and acceptance of our current way of living. This is reflected within my relationship to the mind and how I’ve accepted and allowed myself to be governed and ruled by the mind – how I exist within greed and self-interest and deception, in relation to myself as life.
So this is in essence a fundamental and existential point within how it has to do with the relationship between life as expression and the mind as oppression and suppression. It is thus fascinating that seeing the expression of life makes me sad. Because if I stood clear within myself as the expression of life, this wouldn’t make me sad. There wouldn’t be any reason to become sad – because I would know and recognize this expression as/within myself – even in the context of a world where very little expression of life is being permitted. What holds expression of life captive are then also the qualities or disqualifications really of human beings as greed, separation and deception and ignorance. It is also beliefs, ideas – of superiority and inferiority in terms of us giving ourselves the prerogative to decide who qualifies to be defined as worth living and who does not. Those are the tools that we use to squash the expression of life, both directly and implicitly – meaning where we willingly sacrifice the expression of life just to make a little more money. An example of this can be seen within how scientists have shown how pigs are the animals that most resemble human beings, not only in their biological makeup but also in their intelligence. But when we industrialize pig farming we reduce these animals to ‘organic products’ where the highest standards becomes to keep them alive long enough to ensure cost efficiency and turnover.
So I will continue to open up this point for myself – not yet knowing exactly where I will take myself with it, because I am stepping into unfamiliar ground here. And I can clearly see how this point is ‘dangerous’ in many respects; to the mind’s dominion over the expression of life and therefore it is an important point to open up. In the next post I will therefore continue opening the point up and will continue with self-forgiveness.
HereHere document – A here document (also called a here-document, a heredoc, a hereis, a here-string or a here-script) is a way of specifying a string literal in command line shells in… →