“Animal rights, gay rights, human rights” — it is all the same battle, fought on different fronts…
…we are all living beings. We possess a desire to live, love who we choose and deserve to live free of brutality and oppression.” Dr Holly Wilson.
I came to a rather obvious conclusion recently, that if equality underpinned universal law across all belief systems, we would be in a much happier place.
I think the word ‘equality’ all too often summons up notions of stereotypes and political correctness but actually, in it’s most basic form, it could unlock the answer to world peace. Ok, now bear with me a moment because I know that’s a rather huge claim to be making on an average Thursday afternoon. However, think about it just for a second.
I’m not talking about equality confined to a particular group of people, I’m taking this right down to a grass roots level…or rather to our rainforests, our oceans and our atmosphere.
There are common denominators across all social movements — social inequalities are interconnected, and with reference to speciesism, there are similarities between the forms of oppression experienced by both human groups and nonhuman groups, for example, abolition and the women’s liberation movement. Interestingly, our friend William Wilberforce also championed the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as it was first known.
According to historians, the human race didn’t always exist within this current ‘dominant culture’. Pre 5,000BC, all species co-existed in harmony in what we now term a ‘partnership culture’. Sadly, it came to an end when the ancient Greeks and Kurds decided that male dominance should rule. The planet of peace quickly turned into one of massacre as tribesman captured women and animals as status symbols of their prowess and strength. As time passed, their quest for power became the driving force behind our now capitalistic world…helped along the way by the Romans and even more so now by the frighteningly dominant governments of the West.
Our forefathers, having lived through enclosure, the Industrial Revolution and world wars, seemingly ignored the wise teachings of history. As the planet has evolved over the last two centuries, an army of capitalists, originally with the purest of intentions, has waged war on goodness, and the pursuit of power and wealth has bestowed upon us a society of unhappiness, poor morals and inequality.
I really do believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, though.
The digital revolution and a millennial generation have arrived, opening up global lines of communication and bringing with them an array of new opportunities and disruptive technologies — some of which seek to reverse the damage caused by us humans. We now have access to unlimited knowledge, accompanied by the chance to progress far beyond the realms of the Industrial Revolution whilst creating a better, more ethical and sustainable world. Leading the new revolution is an army of creative thinkers who don’t want to wait around to be saved — the millennial generation en masse brings hope to the world.
Perhaps my rose tinted glasses make my view of the world a little too optimistic but one thing I know for sure is that whenever I feel in tune with the natural world, I feel completely at peace with myself. So, perhaps if we all pause for a second in the midst of our busy lives, and think about ourselves as equals to all other sentient living creatures, regardless of species, we can offer a moment of consideration and compassion and maybe, just maybe, we can slowly begin to create a better world, a world of equality.
Originally published at medium.com