Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Different but the Same

A mallard squats down last night to conserve heat on a zero wind chill night.
Only a dozen ducks and two geese showed up last night at Harlem Mere to greet and partake of treat.

The temperature was 14 degrees with wind chills making it feel like zero.

Feeling the bitter cold, all the birds squatted down in seeming effort to conserve heat. I tossed cracked corn directly in front of them as they stretched their necks to eat.

But, I did not stay long.

Like the ducks and geese, hands briefly out of pockets quickly froze.

Today, I came across a fascinating article questioning whether animals feel as humans do?

Can there really be any question?

Human babies don't have power of language.  Should we then assume they do not feel?  Many adult humans have limited vocabulary skills.  Should we then assume they cannot think?

Animals do not share our particular language.  But, that doesn't mean they do not communicate.  Whether a bark, honk, quack, meow or moo, all animal communications are representative of language and "thought" to themselves and each other.

Additionally, like humans, animals communicate and express emotion through body language.

Those who deny these realities are looking at the world through closed or blinded eyes.

Or, in the brilliant words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:

"All I'm saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we're caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Perhaps it is difficult for us to acknowledge certain truths as to do so would compel us to revise our moral and ethical consciousness to include and consider the so-called, "lesser" among us.

Animals are not "lesser" than us, they are simply different. 

But, all of us, regardless of sex, color, age or species are part of the same web of life and as such, what affects and is felt by one, eventually impacts and is experienced by all either directly or indirectly.

As the ducks and geese huddled tightly together and tucked legs beneath them to conserve heat, I stuffed freezing hands in pockets and quickly rushed away.

I am different, but the same.  -- PCA


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