I’ve been thinking the last little while about loving my dogs… and how I love them just as much as any human I know. I had a hard time admitting that my dogs come first, until the girl who does my nails told me that she told her boyfriend, in no uncertain terms, that her dogs come first and always will, and if he can’t accept that then he can’t accept her. I respect her for that and it helped me to admit it to myself, too.
(oh and yup, this is Levi playing fetch.. lol, he does it for me, he’s such a sweet boy. Collies do play fetch!)
On another, related note, I’m vegetarian. I don’t feel like I can justify killing another living being in order to survive. There are so many options now that I can live quite happily and healthily without taking another creature’s life. If it came down to it and I was lost in the woods, and it was me or another animal, sure, I’d kill to survive. I would have not qualms about that. I can cut into a chicken and not worry about it, for my dogs, because it’s healthier for them. And I know the food chain is a natural part of life.
Anyway… being vegetarian for about 17 years has really helped me to see non-human animals as the same as human animals. Though I don’t think it’s necessary for humans to be vegetarian to realize this, it just helped me personally.
So I’ve been wondering if, and if so why, it’s socially unacceptable for humans to really love another species as much as we love other humans. I love my dogs as much as I would any human child. And I don’t understand why it may be considered a less valuable love than loving my own species.
Sure, back 100, 200 or 1500 years ago, humans loved other humans, and non-human animals were tools, food, or something else that was ‘other’ than human. But really, I want to be an animal. I believe in evolution. I believe that humans evolved alongside the other non-human animals and basically, fundamentally, we are all the same. As I lie in bed at night with my dogs around me, I want to be exactly the same as them… a living being who evolved on this planet with bone, blood, and breath. We are the same.
Humans are no better than other animals. We can just manipulate our environment more efficiently than other animals. And we understand the way we think, we don’t understand the other animals as well. But we are learning. And I’m so glad that, as time goes by, more and more humans are starting to understand that other life has value as well, and other animals not only feel physical pain, but an entire range of emotion, just as the human animal does.
Maybe it’s a religious thing, to be more human-centric. But since I have little history and almost no knowledge of religion, I really don’t know. I am not Christian, nor do I believe in a single god. I’m more pagan, and would like to learn more about paganism. But since I don’t know much about religion, I cannot form a good opinion of it. 🙂
Anyway, I love my dogs as much as any human animal. I am an animal, and I am very proud of it. I am a part of this earth, my bone is made of the same stuff as a tree’s trunk, and I am glad of it.