I’ve always had this thing about animals, all of them, including birds, even insects, yeah, spiders too. I’m with Gandhi in his belief that the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. In honor of World Farm Animals Day, here’s one of my favorite essays on all animals. It’s by Henry Beston, writer and naturalist—1888-1968. (Some of my friends below from my visit to England in April).
“We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”