I memorized this passionate speech delivered by Emma Thompson at 1:15 by heart when I was a teenager. I love this movie.
Archive for March 28th, 2012
I often struggle whether writing about subject matters that I’m passionately and personally involved with is a good idea. Like animal rights. There is so much cruelty towards animals in this world that it breaks my heart over and over again. But so many of us pay no attention, even though our hedonism is responsible for much of the injustices inflicted on animals. I don’t want to sit on top of my soap box, or be preachy or pretend that I am better than anyone else, but something has to be done.
Early this evening I was conducting some research on an independent feature-length film by CanazWest Picture Inc. about Asian elephants. They are hoping for a theatrical and television distribution but have to raise sufficient funds. I was going through their Twitter photos when I caught a glimpse of an elephant whose trunk was cut off of his face. He was left alive, and in agony. How could someone do such a thing?
I want to help but how can I? We live in a world where the majority believe that animals exist only for our entertainment and then nourishment. People proudly post photos on their blogs of the steak from their dinner the night before with no acknowledgement that it was once alive and probably suffered a great deal to end up on their plate. It sickens me. It really does. I know I should reserve judgment, but I can’t understand how we’re capable of ignoring cruelty. Our attitude is what we don’t know won’t hurt us.
Elephants are exceptionally intelligent creatures but that shouldn’t be reason enough to save them from harm. We should want to protect them not because they are smart but because it is the right thing to do. I don’t know where humans ever got the idea that they were more worthy of life than any other animal. Especially since it is humans who behave the most horrific.
I do what I can. I haven’t touched meat in seven years. I try to educate myself about where I buy my clothes and I frequently make my own dinner and buy local fruits and vegetables. But it isn’t enough.
Collectively we need to think differently and respect the rights of every creature on this planet to live their life free of violence and neglect. Including dogs. Including elephants. Including sharks. The list goes on.
I pray that by the end of my life that the Canadian seal hunt will have been abolished and those responsible will be brought to justice. The idea that it’s legal to club a seal to death is a stain on humanity, and it will always remain.
But what I find worse than such callous disregard for life, is our apathy about it. The simple belief that what lands on our plate, or what is used to make fashion is not our problem. It might not be our problem, because we are the problem.
As autumn begins in the southern hemisphere I can’t quite believe that summer has passed without so much as a goodbye. Porteños are bundled up to the chin while walking home at night, quite the sight for a Canadian.
When I was younger my family and I used to cottage in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Natural beauty is easy to find and there is such an abundance of it around the world. My brothers and I used to lay on the dock and watch as the satellites floated in space. Life is simple when we’re young, or maybe it’s that we don’t ask too many questions, because the answer is so obvious: No one knows.
Uncertainty is remarkable. Even comforting.
On April 30th I turn 33. Ten days earlier, I will mark my tenth anniversary since my university graduation. A whole decade. God I was so young. And stupid.
What did I think about my future then? Not much. I remember living life like I do today, one day at a time. My greatest wish right now is to maintain my health and make it to 43. Middle age. It doesn’t seem so scary to be honest. In fact I look forward to what the future holds, good and bad.
Maybe I’ve had it too easy, but nothing has ever been bad enough to fear another day. I look back on my younger self and think, “I’ll never forget you,” but ultimately I prefer my older version.