True enlightenment means understanding all the facades of our material, emotional and spiritual world. The enlightened person applies the same moral principles when approaching life and its challenges.
Specifically, the enlightened consumer is moral, ethical and humane. They support “green” and “natural” and they endeavour to work in co-operation with the world and earth. That same person applies logic when making purchases and challenges institutions that shamelessly and carelessly rely on marketing jargon to promote their wares, rather than presenting truth and facts.
Yet, when it comes to the treatment of our companion animals, the same enlightened person does not necessarily apply the same and equal principles of enlightenment.
For example, almost every person acknowledges the positive impact that a natural, wholesome and organic diet can have on health and longevity. Anyone in the know will tell you of the poor impact that heat, processing and preservatives have on nutrients and their minerals, vitamins and enzymes.
Yet when it comes to feeding our loving animals, we are happy to throw dried pellets at them, a product that is exposed to extreme temperatures of up to 200 degrees, laden with harsh preservatives and saturated with inferior fats and digestives.
The enlightened person understands the dangers of household products that contain chemicals and poisons and thus, we gravitate towards products that are natural. However, when it comes to bathing our pets and protecting them from fleas and ticks, we unconditionally apply the hardest and most dangerous shampoos and repellents.
The enlightened certainly do not support companies that engage in animal testing and experimentation. But almost every commercial pet food we know supports this disgraceful behaviour and Animal Rights Africa strongly encourages you to boycott these brands who have so far failed to sign up to the “No Animal Testing Pet Food Standard”.
“As guardians of our domesticated pets, we have a responsibility to protect them from harm and assure them of basic humane rights…”
According to Animal Rights Africa these companies “ruthlessly conduct experiments on animals to try to give their pet food a competitive marketing edge. Slick advertising campaigns that promote a caring image obscure a reality of suffering and exploitation.”
The enlightened person investigates the “truths about commercial pet food” and challenges the large multinationals and corporations whose main objective is to satisfy their shareholders.
He should demand complete transparency with regards to the cooking process used to prepare commercial pet food and that these companies declare openly their ingredients and recipes. She should challenge the veterinarians and their associations and the “cosy relationship” they have with pet food companies. Much has been publicised about these “perverse incentives”.
Our modern era has become materialistic, insensitive and careless. We have steered away from good business and moral ethics and we have distanced ourselves from natural living. In this hectic lifestyle convenience has become a priority with processed, preserved and chemical based products enjoying major support.
In protecting our animal rights it is the responsibility of the consumer to understand packaging labels, to research the safety of these ingredients and take a moral stance on correct feeding and care.
As guardians of our domesticated pets, we have a responsibility to protect them from harm and assure them of basic humane rights. That said, it should be our honour and privilege to harbour these companions in our home. Beings so loyal, committed, loving and affectionate, you will not find anywhere.
Animal rights organisations, world-wide, are fighting to change the rhetoric describing our animals as “pets” to “companions animals” or “members of the family”. Perhaps then, all our animals will be treated fairly, morally and with dignity. Then, we can truly call ourselves complete and enlightened.