Could it be that we oppress and kill each other so readily because our abuse and slaughter of animals has desensitized us to the suffering and death of others?
To distance ourselves emotionally from the cruelty we inflict, we adopt mechanisms of detachment, rationalization, denial, and euphemism, and in the process become a harder, more ruthless lot.
In 1917 Sigmund Freud put the issue in perspective when he wrote: “In the course of his development towards culture man acquired a dominating position over his fellow-creatures in the animal kingdom. Not content with this supremacy, however, he began to place a gulf between his nature and theirs. He denied the possession of reason to them, and to himself he attributed an immortal soul, and made claims to a divine descent which permitted him to annihilate the bond of community between him and the animal kingdom.”
The domination, control, and manipulation that characterizes the way humans treat animals who come under their control has set the tone and served as a model for the way humans treat each other.
Dr. Helmut Kaplan rightly warns, “Our grandchildren will ask us one day: Where were you during the Holocaust of the animals? What did you do against these horrifying crimes? We won’t be able to offer the same excuse for the second time, that we didn’t know.”
Dr. Sahadeva dasa is a monk in vaisnava tradition. Coming from a prominent family of Rajasthan, India, he graduated in commerce from St.Xaviers College, Kolkata and then went on to complete his CA (Chartered Accountancy) and ICWA (Cost and works Accountancy) with national ranks. Later he received his doctorate. For close to last two decades, he is leading a monk’s life and he has made serving God and humanity as his life’s mission. He has been serving as the President of ISKCON Secunderabad centre since last twenty years. His areas of work include research in Vedic and contemporary thought, Corporate and educational training, social work and counselling, travelling in India and abroad, writing books and of course, practicing spiritual life and spreading awareness about the same. He is also an accomplished musician, composer, singer, instruments player and sound engineer. He has more than a dozen albums to his credit so far. (SoulMelodies.com) His varied interests include alternative holistic living, Vedic studies, social criticism, environment, linguistics, history, art & crafts, nature studies, web technologies etc. His earlier books, Oil – A Global Crisis and Its Solutions (oilCrisisSolutions.com), End of Modern Civilization and Alternative future (WorldCrisisSolutions.com) have been acclaimed internationally. He is actively involved in the animal rights movements.