One of these pictures is an aerial view of Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust of WWII. One of these pictures is an aerial view of factory farms in the United States where meat comes from. One of these pictures is a side view of concentration camp prisoners during the Holocaust of WWII. One of these pictures is a side view of pigs kept in small cages on a factory farm in the United States where meat comes from.
PLEASE NOTE: When I first published these photos for this blog post, I wrote an observation contained below. When I thought about it and realized that I preferred the photos to do the talking and NOT me, I came back to edit this post. I would like very much if the reader would spend time on just looking at the photos and making the observations that the reader needs to make. If you have spent time letting these photos speak to you and you have made your own observations and YET you still might have some questions, I invite you to read my observation below. BUT if you have spent time letting these photos speak to you and you have made your own observations and you feel you have received all you need in this process, then I ask you to PLEASE not read my observation below.
Yes. That is how it shall be….
Where am I going with this? I can already hear the rebukes: “Are you seriously telling me that the suffering of Jewish people on Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust of WWII is comparable to the suffering of farm animals on factory farms in the United States where meat comes from?” I guess I am. Why? Because I’m “species” blind when it comes to suffering. I believe I have a right as a “species of God” to talk about the suffering I have come to know for most of my life. And because I know all about suffering, I know all about humans and animals who suffer. About humans who dominate other humans in the name of suffering. About humans who dominate animals in the name of suffering. You see, because I know all about suffering, I know all about what that feels like. You might not have suffered all that much, so I’m not sure what I can say or even if I’m qualified to say anything to you. But I know about suffering. I know about loss. I know about pain. I know about victimization. I know about…loss.
So, the whole, “they’re just animals” doesn’t gel with me anymore than the whole, “they’re just humans.” What they ARE is “just God’s Creatures” and what does God want for all of His Creatures? To love. To show up for love. To die for love. To grasp for love. To hope in love. And that kind of God Love is “species” blind. It’s “just humans” who need love and respect and compassion, and it’s “just animals” who need love and respect and compassion. There is no middle ground here (and I can’t believe I am saying that, because I am ALL the “middle,” the “both,” most if not ALL the time). But when it comes to love and respect and compassion, ALL humans and ALL animals are on level ground with God. Nobody gets over on somebody else. The humans don’t dominate the animals, and the animals don’t dominate the humans. “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.” – Isaiah 11:6.
Seriously, though. Can it be more clearer than that? Do the photos above do this justice? Have I tapped into something here or am I just a “little child leading no one anywhere?” If I’m talking about love and respect and compassion for ALL God’s Creatures, then I think I’m leading everybody somewhere, and that somewhere is love, compassion, tolerance, respect, empathy….and did I mention love?
“Just” love and blessings for ALL God’s Creatures,
Timothy J. Verret