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Why should I worry about animals when there are so many troubled people?

What I can tell you is why I do, and hope that perhaps, it will give you some understanding and connection.
Animals have always touched me, in the same way I suppose that children do. They are helpless, vulnerable and at our mercy. They in large part depend on us, either directly or indirectly for their well being. We are the movers and shakers of this planet. We as humans define what changes occur and what does not. It is our choice to plow through a forest, leaving its inhabitants homeless. It is our choice to create the progressive society we live in today. For me, animals are not any different than us. They feel all the same things that we feel, hunger, thirst, pain, attachment (love) and fear. The difference is we have become accustomed to denying that within our hearts so that the things we do seem not so bad. The animals occupied this planet before us, and have as much right to be here as we do, however we live as if we are the only creatures worthwhile. I just don't believe that is so. I can't imagine a world without them. By all means help the people also. I contribute as much to peoples lives daily in my career. I love life, all of it, and I am willing to stand up to protect it, all of it. My beliefs may not be popular, however they are mine. They have caused me ridicule yes, but I have learned to live with that. I feel an obligation to myself to do what I think is right even if it costs me the respect of others because they do not believe in the same things.

How do you know they feel? Animals are just animals.

There have been studies and observations that indicate animals feel. I have included here as well, an excerpt from a review of the book "When Elephants Weep". The authors J.M.Masson and S. McCarthy site many of these observations. Here is an excerpt:
Elephants do weep, apparently. Among the many affecting stories told by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan McCarthy in "When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals" is that of Sadie, a circus elephant who couldn't get the hang of a trick she was supposed to learn and whose trainers probably hit her with a stick as punishment. "To their astonishment," the authors write, "Sadie, who was lying down, began to utter racking sobs, and tears poured from her eyes. The dumbfounded trainers knelt by Sadie, caressing her." She was never punished again, and "she learned the act and became a 'good' circus elephant." The author of this article is Christopher Lehmann-Haupt. If you would like to read the entire review you can visit the site here but I suggest reading the book.
The thing I find most amazing is that the elephant has within its power the ability to destroy almost anyone or anything that would do it harm, physically or emotionally. I often ask myself why an animal does not. What goodness is innately in an animal that prevents them from this?
You need just live with an animal to know they have feelings, and of course we cannot deny that they are flesh and blood and they do feel physical pain.

What can I do to help?

We all say it, "what can one person such as myself do?" We feel lost on the big important issues, and sometimes feel we have no say in what goes on in the world. But we need to try, in whatever small way we can, to help all of God's creatures that have a fate that is less fortunate than our own.
The animals are life, just like us. They do deserve a place of dignity on this planet. But that is not so just because I say it is. Think about it. Animals share this world with us. They have the capacity to feel pain as we do. Many have family units just like we do. Why have we, as humans with such a great capacity for knowledge become such bullies? We who should have the knowledge and insight to nurture the planet and all of its inhabitants have become increasingly selfish with our own needs. The answer lies in each individual heart, and yes, there is something you can do. Open your heart, and helping will be the natural result.

Join a Club

You are busy, I know, running to work, taking the kids to school and all the activities associated with it. Join a club that you never have to leave your home to become involved in. PETA is one organization you can be a part of. The Animal Alliance is another. On this page there are many links to organizations that will help. They have already accomplished great feats.

Acquaint yourself with the issues.

There are many issues that you may be unfamiliar with. There are wild horses in Wyoming that are being slaughtered for no reason. There are wolves that live in shelters, never to know their natural habitat because they have been bought as pets and were not. There are rabbits in laboratories that are suffering for the cosmetics we like to wear. Having knowledge is the first step. It's easy to hide because the reality is ugly, but hiding has never helped anyone or anything. Having knowledge is having power.

Write to your Congressmen and Senators

Every day there are proposals in the government to protect and control the ill treatment of animals. Many animal rights organizations fight diligently to enable the passing of laws to end animal cruelty and promote animals awareness. They need your help and your voice. The governing officials need to know they will NOT receive your vote if they do not support these bills and causes.

These are suggestions and just a few. There are many avenues to walk along. Walk proudly, and know, that you have done something wonderful for God's helpless creatures, and for yourself as well.

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