We are living in violent times and there is no disputing this fact. Wars are raging around the globe. There is war within the family, in the form of discontent, arguments, separation, and divorce; war in the community in the form of gang wars, crime, robberies, murders, and rape; there is internal war going on in almost half of the countries in the world. Then there are industrial and economic rivalries as well as international wars on terrorism. This era of war is entering a new phase, in which the great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of international conflict will be cultural.
Divisions between civilizations are deepening and increasing in importance. From Yugoslavia to the Middle East to Central Asia, the fault lines of civilizations are the battle lines of the future. Then there are weapons of mass destruction that can wipe out life in a matter of hours. If you believe in the principle of cause and effect, there must be a cause for this senseless violence. We are becoming victims of war because we are raging a war on non-human life forms. What goes around comes around. As you sow so shall you reap. We are being slaughtered by sophisticated weaponry as we slaughter animals in state of the art slaughterhouses.
Plutarch offers an insight into the evolution of wars, “At the beginning it was some wild and harmful animal that was eaten, then a bird or fish that had its flesh torn. And so when our murderous instincts had tasted blood and grew practised on wild animals, they advanced to the labouri`ng ox and the well-behaved sheep and the housewarding cock; thus, little by little giving a hard edge to our insatiable appetite, we have advanced to wars and the slaughter and murder of human beings.” According to author Cynthia Hodges, cruelty to animals and violence towards people have something in common: both types of victims are living beings, feel pain, experience distress, and may die from their injuries. Until recently, however, violence towards animals had been considered to be unrelated to violence towards children and the elderly, and other forms of violence. A correlation has now been established between animal abuse, family violence, and other forms of community violence. A growing body of research indicates that people who commit acts of cruelty towards animals rarely stop there. It’s time we realize this if we at all want a world which is safe for us and our families.