This article is an opinion piece and reflects only the beliefs of the content writer.
Today is National Celebration of Life Day. And while this day was established specifically to honor the joy that children bring to the lives of their families, it got me thinking about life in a much broader sense. We live in an often, very scary world. In today’s technological age, it’s near impossible to make it through each day without hearing some horror story on the news; rape, murder, natural disasters wiping out entire cities, etc. The world is full of senseless violence and tragedy. Has it always been this bleak and through the power of social media and the internet, we just can’t escape it? Or is the world actually becoming a more and more grim existence, with each passing day?
I read an article recently about the animals that have perished in the Australian bushfires. Different outlets report different findings, but it is estimated that at least half a million animals have passed away as a result of the fires that continue to blaze across much of the continent; fires which have been burning since September of last year. I stumbled upon this article on Facebook, so naturally I browsed the comments below the link afterwards. Most were comments filled with compassion and people wanting to know where to donate to help with relief and animal rescue and welfare. However, there were also quite a few comments with harsh words for the people devastated over the loss of so much wildlife; people demanding that everyone should care more about human life than some random animals in a country far away. As if the two were mutually exclusive.
So I guess that’s the big question I’m asking myself today. Why is it one or the other? Why are some lives seen as more valuable than others, human or otherwise? Every single living being on this planet serves a purpose. We all have our place in the world and we are all intricately linked to benefit one another; a giant symbiotic relationship between all living things.
The truth is, whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not, human beings are the most destructive of all the species on this planet. At least 24 people have been arrested in Australia for potentially engaging in acts that could have contributed to the largest natural disaster this world has ever seen. Humanity is to blame for almost every terrible thing that happens in our world. And the ones who suffer? The countless living beings in the path of our own destruction.
Anyone who knows me personally has probably heard me say this often, but I firmly believe we will be the cause of our own extinction. The point I’m trying to drive home is that life is valuable in all its forms, domesticated or otherwise. Human life is just as valuable as the lives of wild animals, domesticated dogs and cats and everyone else in between. Especially when we’re often to blame for their suffering.
This rambling of mine isn’t meant to be tragic or sad in any way. After all, today is National Celebration of Life Day. If you have children and grandchildren, whom this day was founded to honor, then please relish in their existence. But we should all choose to honor life in general, today, and each and every day hereafter. Honor the lives of the countless human beings and animals in Australia whom are still at risk. Honor the lives of those already taken as a result. Honor the lives of your rescue animals at home. And those of the millions still waiting in shelters to find their forever homes. Honor life everywhere. And as always, please consider giving an animal in need his or her forever home.