There has been so many occasions over the past thirteen years I have sat with my pet moggie and had a one way conversation. Good times, bad times, tears of joy and sadness, she has been privy to it all! Never once has Maddie interrupted, or told me to shut up! Perhaps once or twice she has walked away in a cat like manner, with her nose and tail in the air, but more often than not her big blue eyes seem fixated on my every word.
She can't speak to me, however, Maddie can communicate and has found numerous ways of doing so. Since being a kitten, she has been my early morning wakeup call and although the 5.30 am starts have long been unnecessary in my world, in her world old habits die hard. A few gentle taps on my forehead with her paw is generally all it takes, but if that doesn't work, she has plenty of other tricks to ensure that falling back to sleep is not an option.
I have never understood why anyone would wish to underestimate an animal's level of intelligence, or worse, deny they have feelings. As I am sure most pet owners will agree, our pets become a cherished part of the family and even though they do not have a voice, we can usually tell by their behaviour if they are happy, sad, or in pain.
Family pets are not the only animals to have feelings though, every species is sentient, whether they live in the wild, a laboratory, factory farm, a cage, or marine park and sadly for so many, their feelings are disregarded. For years we have manipulated animals because of their inability to speak out, however, this does not mean they are not suffering in silence and as compassionate, caring people, we should not be letting it happen!
Respect, kindness and compassion are not just designated values for human beings and it would be extremely selfish to think so, but somehow in the midst of a consumer driven society, profit, greed and ignorance, we have allowed an increase in animal exploitation. We label animals as commodities, entertainment tools, pests, trophies and targets, yet they are living beings, who feel fear and stress just like we do.
As human beings we benefit from a higher intelligence, an understanding of the mind, an awareness of what is morally right and what is inconceivably wrong. In this, the 21st century, animals should not be allowed to suffer unnecessary cruelty, should not be made to live their lives in solitary confinement, should not be deprived of their freedom and should not be subjected to barbaric and painful deaths - so together let's help to turn this around!
Having been following the magnificent work by Dr Jane Goodall - English primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace, I have been truly enriched, educated and elevated by her remarkable words of wisdom. Renowned for her wonderful work with primates, at 81, she is still inspiring action on behalf of endangered species. At the same time though, Jane is sympathetic to the needs of local people, with the ultimate aim to create a win/win for all - a better world for them, animals and the environment we all share.
"Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference." ~ Jane Goodall
It's wonderful people like Jane that helped trigger my idea for the A Compassionate Voice campaign. A petition for all species - wild animals land or sea, farm animals, animals held in captivity, animals in laboratories, factory farms, fur farms, used as hunting targets, trophies, hunted for their ivory and horn, used abusively in sport, neglected and ill-treated pets - the misuse seems endless, yet I sincerely believe amidst the world population of over 7 billion people, most are animal lovers.
This campaign is not a finger pointing exercise as there isn't one country, or one person can point the finger at another, without three fingers pointing back. Whilst its main aim is to speak on behalf of all animals, hopefully at the same time it will bring together humanitarians from all corners of the planet, who wish to live in a better world.
United as one voice for the voiceless, we can demonstrate strength to world leaders and governments. We can join hands as carers asking that respect, compassion and kindness are made priorities for all sentient beings. Humanity should always take preference above all other motives, with universal laws to enforce this happens!
Please join the ACV Campaign and if you fancy taking part in 'Give Your Pet a Voice' please submit your pet(s) photo to the website's ACV gallery, not forgetting to sign the campaign and add your pet's voice caption in the 'post title' Some photos will also be added to A Compassionate Voice face book page too.