The benefits of the reversal of our conventional relationship with the rest of animal-kind include the moral good, the environmental good and the good of public health, as well as other positives. Here we will be focusing upon our spiritual redemption: from a spiritual standpoint, when we cease harming the sensitive life that we share the earth with we will be far happier and content as human beings.
The positive benefits of animal emancipation will be two-fold. Not only will trillions of animal beings not be abused, exploited and harmed, but this will produce a compassionate shift within our own species’ society. If, as a society, we prioritise the values of care, compassion and respect, the ripples of this mindset shift will help remedy the social injustices of human society. We will look after our own most vulnerable members with the compassion and respect that they deserve and we will be more open to reassess our social, economic and political systems through a more rational, ethical perspective.
Human beings are generally kind, empathetic and compassionate animals. As social beings, these characteristics have evolved to help aid social cohesion and communal living. The extent of our ability to empathise across species boundaries and to mirror moods and feelings is a very special trait of our particular species. When someone we care about is harmed or in danger, our brain reacts with such an emotional and physiological response that it is as though it is happening to us.
Our collective conscience will be healed if we choose to redefine our position within nature, ifwe choose to venture forth into a compassionate new world where animal suffering is something universally condemned, rather than the current inconsistent attitudes.
Whilst much of the positive impact will go relatively unnoticed by ourselves, the rest of the animal kingdom will be far better off. Most apparent to us will be our increased health and well-being, as well as a greater appreciation of nature and our place within it.
We cannot help but be somewhat self-absorbed. This is inherent to nature to some degree – survival and proliferation of a species requires the success of the self. This self-drive is what makes life so resilient. However, we cannot let the propulsion of our species get out of control to such an extent that there is a massive die-off of species (far greater than the amount that has already been affected).
To all who currently still consume animal products, ask yourselves if you had the option to live a more compassionate, kind, noble life, would you not like nothing more than reducing the negative impact of your existence? Would you rather your actions caused less harm or more? Herein lies the undeniable ethical argument – we are all morally bound to cause less harm than more. Many of us fall short in this area and do live our lives creating as much good as possible. Granted, it is very difficult to constantly apply compassion across all areas every single day, especially when there are so many factors working against us. Nonetheless, in terms of the easiest action we can all take to get the largest possible ethical return, going vegan and committing to a life of compassion towards animals is arguably one of the greatest good deeds we can do.
Here lies the spiritual redemption – our innate desire for justice and good spurs us on to do the morally commendable deed. The benefit to our society of widespread veganism and respect towards fellow animals would be inconceivably positive. The simple act of what we choose to eat has the potential to transform our society. A more rational, compassionate stance on animal ethics would have such a far-reaching, overwhelming positive impact – this is the option available to us. A new age of enlightenment is there for the taking if we can just harness our natural desire for justice and apply it to the animal question. This double emancipation would comprise a large step towards the compassionate shift – the ethical shift within society that is desperately needed now more than ever. The sooner we act the sooner we may all benefit; the sooner the excessive unnecessary suffering of trillions of sentient beings year in year out may end.