Don't Kill Things. Love Things.
by Marcus Antebi
Article at a Glance:
Each and every thinking human being must come to the idea of not killing and non-harm on their own. No one else can force another to live inside that zone.
Some people are raised and conditioned to believe that it’s a natural occurrence for human beings to kill. We came to this conclusion many years ago because our brothers, sisters, and other creatures engaged in killing, and killing seemed to be in accordance with nature.
Our modern ideas of human history are a bit confused. We tell stories about our ancestors as though they were savages and we are the fortunate ones to have evolved to much higher status. In modern times many people believe that the proof of all of mankind‘s progress is evidenced in our technological advancements.
We now have more evidence and more science. We can travel faster and farther, we can refrigerate food, and we can heal illnesses and physical trauma. Humanity’s systems of communication are very complex and very effective. We have incredible machines to serve many purposes and even the ability to travel through space. Or weaponry and our tools are more sophisticated than ever. Yet it’s incredibly disturbing to look at the current state of affairs on our planet, plagued with starvation, brutal warfare, and so many other horrific things.
We should look at humankind as a whole as we think about our anxieties and the proliferation of addiction and depression. If we look at the wholesale mass murder of magnificent creatures, and the fact that we have caused so many extinctions, it suggests that we should reevaluate the belief that we have progressed much farther than our distant relatives of the past. The evidence seems to show that we have excelled in some areas and actually regressed in other areas.
We should not arrogantly dismiss the ingenuity of our ancestors who lived on the land and in respectful accordance with its dictates. Our predecessors lived in such ways in order to cooperate with nature and be able to benefit from its resources without extinguishing them.
Throughout human history, before Homo Sapiens appeared and back to the time that Cro-Magnon man—a highly intelligent creature—appeared, there were always two types of humans.
The first type could not figure out how to control his or her land. Their environment was too hostile and too unforgiving. It was their own survival that created the necessity for them to eat the flesh of another creature with consciousness that wanted to live.
Take a moment as you read those words to think about how badly you want to live and how unacceptable it would be if another creature wanted to eat you. Think about people that would surely grieve your loss if you were captured and devoured.
The same thing applies to other creatures on the planet. They are mothers and sisters, they are fathers and brothers. They are grandfathers and grandmothers. They are cousins, and they are companions. Creatures with a consciousness want to live. You can observe this in their behavior. It’s not true if you were told that they don’t feel pain and that all of their behavior was instinctual.
Many of the creatures that we have consumed in the past and consume today are highly intelligent creatures that would otherwise make great pets in the same way that dogs and cats are. And if you’ve ever had a dog or cat in your home, you realize very quickly that they want warmth, safety, companionship, love, access to food, freedom of movement, and time. You wouldn’t take such things away from your pets.
So why then have we lost our sensitivity to what the fish, the goat, the lamb, the pig, the insect, the bird, the cow, the sheep, the dove, the owl, the pigeon, and the vast myriad of other creatures we share this planet with really feel and really want?
We have lost our sensitivity because of ritual and repetitive habits. It is because in some way or another humankind has become desensitized to brutality and violence. Whether it was the state of existence of our global society or the conditions that we grew up in, we became desensitized to pain and suffering because of our experiences.
I prefer not to view this situation as a moral or religious issue. And I don’t believe that the universe works on human terms. The way that the universe works is that one thing causes another thing to happen and so we now live in a world that is filled with suffering. That suffering was caused by events that were caused by suffering before those events, caused by suffering before those events, and so on in a very long continuation cycle.
If we are to return to a place where all creatures are outside of the cycle of suffering by the hand of another, then it is up to us to evolve spiritually and mentally.
If we have evolved and advanced the way that the intellectual community of modern times believes that we have, then there’s never been a better time for mankind to practice the principle of non-harm and non-killing.
This is the dawn of that age. It is coming—make no mistake.
Simple primordial creatures would feed off another. Never before has there been a creature as intelligent as the human being that could make the choice to not only not kill others but to help others.
We could free wild creatures that accidentally fell into a swamp. They might fight us and they might resist, but we could trick them into finding dry land. We could help other creatures to find food sources in the winter. We could feed pigeons.
We could feed each other. We could give hope to others. We could share love, we could share compassion, and we could teach good things without putting out our hands expecting rewards. We could build bridges, we could write books, we could make people laugh. We could protect and honor our children and the children of others. We could show them love.
We can look at all of our institutions and make it a priority to rehabilitate people who have fallen far, far away from what we consider to be peaceful and good.
We can stop warfare by making sure that people who engage in it are held accountable. We can vote for compassionate, honorable leaders. We can talk about corruption. We can promote freedom, care for ourselves, and keep our environment clean. We can be mindful of the resources that we use. We can stare at the sunset. We can play beautiful music with positive words. We can ask ourselves how we can fill our lives with love.
When people we meet are lonely, how do we help them to free themselves? What guidance can we give them? How can we support strangers from a distance? All of the answers to these questions and other questions that might rise in your head along these lines can be answered in your prayers and your meditations.
In due time you will arrive at your version of the answers which might give rise to the purpose of your life. If you pray with and about goodness and compassion, the mission of your life will become clear in due time.
A person who has found their purpose and discovered that their life has meaning surely is empowered and is likely to live without fear. No matter where you are in this moment, take it upon yourself to not kill things as a starting point. Make an effort to contemplate the word “compassion,” and then live it.