Animal Liberation is Human Liberation

Welcome to Peace to All Beings. Until we liberate animals from human exploitation and violence, we cannot expect to have true freedom and peace for ourselves. We human beings can awaken to our higher consciousness and embrace a new paradigm of living in harmony, rather than in fear and domination. We can become "Homo Ahimsa," my term for a new nonviolent and kind human, but we must make that choice together. There is hope for our species--hope that we will not continue this war against animals and the earth. Together let us co-create a new culture and heal the wounds humanity has caused to the earth, to each other, and to the animals who share this world with us.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Compassionate response to turkey's death

Recently a fraternity holiday party at Kansas University turned disastrous for one turkey who was “rented” for the event. Tragically, during the party the combination of too much liquor, underage drinking, no adult supervision, and bravado turned deadly for this turkey who was on display in a cage. The boys kicked in the cage causing the turkey to run terrified into the mob, members of which then decided to torture her or him. Her limbs were broken as the sadism continued.

The band stopped playing and several members attempted to rescue the turkey, but the mob killed the turkey before they could intervene. So they called the police.

The bad news is that this happened at all; that human beings do such things.

The good news is that the University, the Interfraternity Council, the District Attorney, and the main office of the fraternity itself have publicly declared this to be unacceptable behavior. This is punishable as a felony in the state of Kansas, and the display of the turkey is illegal in Lawrence, KS. The police have promised to investigate. Karen Davis of United Poultry Concerns  and Animal Outreach of Kansas both sent out mass emails, and the letters, emails, and calls are flooding into the authorities. Also, the local newspaper, Lawrence Journal World  printed my letter to the editor.

Here is the text of the letter:

"On Dec. 14, the Kansas University Beta Theta Pi fraternity gained unwanted national attention as a result of alleged abuse and killing of a turkey who had been “rented” for a party. According to band members and witnesses, the bird was chased and choked and thrown like a football.

"According to witnesses cited in news reports, when the turkey’s wing snapped, and then her leg, the animal began screaming. After this abuse, the innocent, defenseless bird was killed. KU officials, the Interfraternity Council, and the Beta Theta Pi office have expressed their dismay at this cruel, violent crime.

"If we find this conduct disturbing and cruel, I believe it is because this is one turkey with whom we can identify and for whom we can feel empathy. We might imagine what it would be like to be in the hands of a mob that finds it amusing to torture us.

"And yet, the anonymous turkeys whom we eat are just as innocent and defenseless. If we are capable of feeling compassion for this one, then our hearts are telling us to have the same concern for all turkeys. We can save them from the torture and death they endure every single day on farms and in slaughterhouses by refusing to eat them."

A decade or so ago, such behavior might never have been made public, much less have the possibility of prosecution. Compassion for animals is increasing. In honor of this one turkey, let us give thanks for all the people who are being proactive in seeking justice for her violent death. In honor of the millions of turkeys who are tortured, killed, and eaten every single day, let us give thanks for all those people with caring hearts who refuse to eat them and strive to protect them. May our prayers and our actions never cease as we visualize and work toward a world in which all beings are safe from cruel human hands, and all humanity finally comes to understand, love, and live in harmony with all living beings.

May all beings be happy. May all beings be free.

This post can also be found in the Prayer Circle archives at
Please visit the website  often to see updates and special prayers, and also to join in our “A prayer a day for animals” which features a prayer for a different group of animals each day of the week.