“Human versus Humane”

I often wonder what the reason is we use the word “humane’ to describe respectful decent caring and kind treatment of animals and humans. After all, all too few humans demonstrate those kind and caring characteristics that describe or come under the heading of humane. In fact as a species we are known to perpetrate the most horrific crimes against each other and all other known species.

People and animals continually suffer from abuse and cruelty at the hands of humans. Even if ignorance explains such diabolical acts towards our fellow beings, or the ridiculous notion that animals have no feelings or souls, none-the-less, humans are doing unto others what would be considered inhumane, which means being other or less than human in my estimation.

The dictionary describes humane as compassionate, kindly towards other humans and animals: The word humane is derivative of the word human. In the dictionary one of the definitions is, and I quote “a warmly human understanding and sympathetic being.” also, “benevolent,” and many more positive characteristics.

As a species we are often far from benevolent, we are grossly exploitive, cruel indifferent and at times deliberately neglectful. Those people who take action to help animals are outnumbered by those who perpetrate cruelty and those who ignore it. The vast majority of humans cocoon themselves in their daily lives as if oblivious to the facts while they consume the products that come from the horrific actions of their fellow humans. Perhaps this is why, if there are aliens visiting our planet, they are careful not to expose themselves to or to directly engage us; by now they are acutely aware of our warring and often despicable behavior to those with whom we share our planet.

How is it possible to NOT be aware of what’s going on?

There are plenty of documentaries on TV, and books on the subject, and organizations reporting and doing their best to inform the public. Often on news channels and in newspapers there are reports of inhumane acts committed against animals and people. Do you sigh and express sadness about such reports, occasionally, then go about your business as though you didn’t hear of it?

If we turn a blind eye and stand idly by are we then less that human?

For even those humans who say they love animals, some of whom have pets and care for them well, keep their eyes averted while so many suffer at the hands of others and directly or indirectly support those kinds of actions. And what of those pet owners who leave their pets outside suffering cold and neglect, they must hear them barking their stress to all who can hear? I question the purpose of having a dog that lives tied up outdoors and not considered as needing love and attention, a warm and safe place to live. I think of this as a form of cruelty, too.

Do you eat meat knowing the torture animals endure in “food factories,” breeding farms and in slaughter houses? Do you stop and think how those innocent victims end up on your grocer’s and butcher’s shelves and on your dinner plates? And if you feel you must eat meat and other animal products, do you make sure they come from sources that treat animals with respect, allow them to live normal natural lives, not pumped full of hormones and fed food laden with pesticides and chemical fertilizers and cause their deaths in the most painless caring way… not just because it’s healthier for you and the planet, but because you are a decent human being?

Do you defend animals? Do you learn about the suffering of animals while they are tortured in laboratories in the name of science and do nothing about it? Is it human to accept vivisection in this way? One example is the experiments done on rats. Why people loathe them so much is beyond me. Rats are only a problem when we humans overtake their land and live in unclean habitats. They have given their limbs and lives in service to science for the sake of humans beings. Below is just one example of how innocent animals are tortured in the name of science. Sorry, but you need to know.

The rat pictured above suffers huge tumors from eating Monsanto’s roundup-ready genetically modified corn. Other rats also suffer horrible tumors and the same tragic fates from drinking water with supposedly “safe” amounts of the weed-killer Roundup in it. If it kills weeds, does it take a huge amount of intelligence to assume it could harm and even kill animals? Do you approve of this kind of thing?

Would you, a normal human being allow your own pet to be cruelly experimented on in the name of science, or for testing cosmetics drugs, and oh so many things? Do you wear animal skins, furs and hides without giving a thought? Would you eat your dog or cat and then wear its skin and fur? You probably would say, “No, domestic animals are different.” Well, they are not! Even plants respond to human behaviors, proven by eminent researcher Cleve Baxter. He proved that plants feel, react to different people in different ways and actually when they have been harmed by a person will, when monitored on biofeedback, show extreme stress when that person comes into the room. Yet they have no brains.

It also proves that we are all connected, and what happens to any one of us impacts us on some level as well. Animals do have brains and highly developed sensory systems and nervous systems just as we do. In fact they are even more sensitive than we humans, often demonstrating amazing abilities to detect oncoming storms, and tsunamis; and what about dogs and cats who warn their owners of seizure about to happen?

There was an experiment many years ago that proved that animals are as connected to their young as we humans are. It took place behind what was then called the ion curtain: Scientists took babies away from their mothers and into submarines deep into the ocean; they monitored the heart rate and respirations of the mothers while experimenters on the submarine, one by one killed the babies. Those with the mother didn’t know when the babies were randomly killed. The mothers had huge spikes in their biological responses when each baby was killed, expressing anxiety and stress.

Of course I abhorred the nature of the experiment, as any decent human being would. Too much pain and suffering has been caused in the name of science. And if you argue that humankind would not have all the drugs and other things now available to make our lives better if it weren’t for vivisection, you would be wrong. There is always another better way.

Experimenters have justified the use of 30 cats like Double Trouble (shown below) per year in this cruel project, not by saying that it would enhance human health but stating that they needed to “keep up productive publication records that insures our constant funding.” Double Trouble endures the kind of pain that no human being would submit to in the name of science, but he has no choice. Tiu have a choice, use your voice!

Whether in the name of enhancing human health or anything else, we just have to make it impossible and criminal as well as sinful for researchers to use animals in that way and they will come up with the right ways to advance science and medicine. Necessity is the mother of invention.

Would you feed your beloved pet hormones to fatten it up for eating purposes, feed it antibiotics and deliberately put pesticides and fertilizers in its foods? If the answer is no, then look closely at what you do eat, for unless it is strictly non GMO and organic, it has all those ingredients in it, and the stress hormones like cortisol and other chemicals that the terrified animals secrete into their systems while witnessing the slaughter of their kind while in line for the same horrific death.

We can’t all be activists, or afford to donate to good causes. However, we can all raise our voices and/or and stop contributing to the use and abuse of animals as if they have no feelings and no rights, because they cannot speak for themselves or make a choice. They are victims. We human beings have choices.

You don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to be a decent humane being. Although I’m wondering if that’s true all things considered. I’m vegetarian, and I can no longer prepare the flesh of an animal for family meals. I’m working towards being a vegan by educating myself, for there is more to it than not eating meat. I admire vegans for their commitment to honor and care for all living things. I have several in my family who are not vegan for health’s sake, but for refusal to make use of any animal or accept animal by products for food clothing shelter and pleasure.

Read among the many books available, for example, “A Diet for a New America” by John Robins, for starters. Just reading the forward, even if you are insensitive to animal suffering, you couldn’t help being upset as to the impact of your inhumane food choices on your own body, the environment and on animals. Educate yourself; you owe it to yourself, to your children and to your environment. You owe it to all living things, because you are one; and your choices make a difference in the whole scheme of things

If the convenience factor is stronger than your humane instincts, reconsider when you shop for food and clothing. Stop and think. Does it matter to you where it comes from and what suffering has been endured before you put your hands on it? If it does, you have so many alternatives that are better for you and for all other species as well as for the planet.

I’m a member of many animal welfare organizations that do great work to help bring about positive change for animals and the preservation of our natural resources: PETA for example, and The Wildlife Federation and The Humane Society among many others. I’m a supporter of The Nature Conservancy, not just because I love and appreciate nature and want to preserve it for everyone in the here and now and for generations to come, also because in doing so I assure that animal habitats are also preserved.

My heart aches when I see the pictures, hear and read stories about the suffering of animals. I’m repulsed and angry as much as I’m horrified. I cannot ignore it. I feel a responsibility and an obligation to at least do something.

May I suggest you go on the internet and search out organizations that do legitimate work to rescue domestic and wild animals from inhumane treatment and exploitation? Choose at least one to support somehow and contribute as much as you can to their actions on the behalf of all really caring humans and all those with which we share our planet.

My encounter with the elephants at the Toledo zoo brought home once again the urgent need to be truly humane, not just an indifferent human being. When you see with your own eyes in the flesh how animals communicate their distress in captivity, how they are abused and used as for entrainment, you cannot help but be moved to take action.

Please be humane, not just an indifferent human being. If you love nature, if you feel the joy and sense of privilege of seeing wildlife close up… if the beauty and wonderment of all living things moves you, then express that aspect of your humanness in the choices you make every day.

If I have written using my blog as a kind of soap box, well, that’s okay. A blog is to express thoughts and feelings, to share experience, knowledge and educate; to inspire and generate discussion. It isn’t to impose ideas, it’s to offer them as a means to stimulate thought and conversation, and ideally at times, to also incite positive humane action.

TTFN From Elaine