By Juliana Di Leonardo
How are the ones we love so disposable? Whether it be fighting for our country, children massacred at school, or male chicks ground up alive in the egg Industry. How did we get to a place where life itself has become not valuable unless it contributes to success in war, organizations that thrive in fear-mongering, or an industry founded on cruelty? Evil can easily be permitted when money is involved and too much focus is spent on greed or profit.
It seems appropriate to think back to Mahavira questioning and answering “Can you hold a red-hot iron rod in your hand merely because someone wants you to do so? Then, will it be right on your part to ask others to do the same thing just to satisfy your desires? If you cannot tolerate the infliction of pain on your body or mind by others’ words and actions, what right have you to do the same to others through your words and deeds? Do unto others as you would like to be done by. Injury or violence done by you to any life in any form, animal or human, is as harmful as it would be if caused to your own self.”
Our country along with many others will fight until no end using dedicated individuals as pawns to achieve their goals whether it be clear or not. Sacrificing beloved family members, friends, and significant others into a battle with the hope that they will return. Traumatizing them and expecting soldiers to return as the same person they were when they left. How can someone be the same after being ordered to kill innocent civilians or torturing a person to get information? Humans are not inherently bad but there is confusion that has woven itself into society.
Guns, outside of war, are a major problem today. U.S. citizens are starting to believe more and more that they need to protect themselves with weapons while children are literally being gunned down in schools, a place dedicated to learning, a supposed safe place for growth. How will they grow if they’re dead? What are we actually teaching future generations? Children shouldn’t be afraid to go to school; nor should they be learning firsthand that their life is in constant danger. It is too often, and completely bogus for children to ever meet a gun in a school or lose their lives there. Organizations like the NRA (National Rifle Association) claim that weapons are needed for safety but real safety comes from being proactive and not putting bandaids on broken limbs expecting proper healing to occur.
Disposability not only affects humans but also other non-human animals used in factory farming. Most people never question the practices used in producing animal products sold in supermarkets but the amount of lives taken per day is horrendous. Male chicks are ground up alive at only a day old and veal calves are torn from their mothers, dairy cows, to become veal.
For this week’s small vow, Anuvrat, I encourage you to value the life of all beings big or small. Starting from your plate to interacting with your community young and old. Show love and appreciation for their existence and perhaps even help guide them towards living more compassionately.
Juliana Di Leonardo is the Vice President of Humane Long Island. She is a yoga and ballroom dance instructor, model, and artist. Her advocacy for animals exploited by the fashion industry was credited in the 2021 documentary “The Face of Fashion is Fear” and recognized by PETA with a Hero for Coyotes award.
People Also Ask… ….
What makes Jainism unique?
The distinguishing features of Jain philosophy – its belief in the independent existence of soul and matter; the denial of a creative and omnipotent God, combined with a belief in an eternal universe; and a strong emphasis on non-violence, morality, and ethics.