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Bonnie and me

Bonnie was a Wikipedia link Rhode Island Red with a gutsy personality and a distinctive-looking comb. She had somehow escaped from a slaughter truck and was found wondering in an alleyway. She became an important part of our lives and beloved member of our household for two years before leaving all too soon. But at least she died surrounded by love, not in terror in an abattoir, ending up in some gross person's stomach.

Every sentient being, regardless of external form or intellectual ability, is a personality, not a thing. I already knew that intellectually, even empathically, before I met Bonnie. But I was not prepared for the startling intensity of her gaze, the sharp awareness behind those gentle brown eyes, the quirks and personality so reminiscent in ways of a two-year-old human child's. Combined with a loving nature that seemed to me purer than that of any non-realised being adult human.

And if she was so loving, sensitive, and unique, so equally are the countless billions of her sisters, and the billions of other sentient beings who live brief unnatural lives to feed human gluttony, vanity, or so-called scientific experiments.

This is why I can really relate to Marc Bekoff's approach. When I first read an essay of his (in the Foreward to Integral Ecology) I was powerfully moved. Here was someone I knew was talking from the same level of sensistivity that I felt and now feel.

I firmly and passionately believe that no philosophy is complete or just or true, if it does not incorporate a sensitivity and feeling of equality (not of superiority or ownership) to all beings.

And this is certainly something that Bonnie showed me.

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 10 November 2009