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February 01, 2013: Cause and effect in how we treat other animals

Originally posted on this blog.

The belief that positive actions produce positive results and that negative actions produce negative results is a concept that spans religions and cultures. Examples of this can be found in the Jainist, Buddhist and Hinduist concept of karma (which, incidentally, is now a common word in English and many other languages), in the Christian concept of "you will reap what you sow", and in many other belief systems. Even religions that donít have a concrete word/description for this concept, still often believe that doing positive things (such as charity, helping other people, praising God, etc.) will lead to some kind of reward, whether it be in this life or the next, and that doing negative things will lead to some kind of punishment.

Effaists also believe in the concept of cause and effect, and that this concept is equally valid in relation to the way we treat other animals. We believe that the killing, hurting, or mistreating of other animals are all negative actions that will have negative consequences. We believe that eating animals should be avoided because the killing of another animal should be no more acceptable than the killing of another human. We believe that using the fur, skin, and other parts of animals should be avoided for the same reason. We believe that we should not abuse or exploit other animals any more than we should another human being. We believe that we should use the moral foundation that many of us already have relating to the treatment of other humans, and expand this to include as many other animals as possible. We believe that the only reason people donít do this is because they have been conditioned to think that they have the right to mistreat and kill other animals; conditioned to be blind to the fact that animals, just like us humans, have feelings, albeit maybe simpler ones, and should be respected. The belief that we, as humans, have some kind of "right" to abuse other animals is, for us, a big lie, one thatís keeping us on the wrong path, both as individuals and as a society. Having said all that, the opposite is also true: Every action that involves helping animals have a healthier, less stressful life, any action that saves an animal from death or suffering, will have positive consequences. This is why we stress the importance of helping so much.

Itís hard to break free from a way of thinking that our families and culture have told us is correct our whole lives. Itís much easier to just stick with the way things are instead of going through some major upheaval. Still, in order to progress as human beings, we have to question any kind of action that causes the suffering and death of innocent living beings. In the opinion of Effaists like myself, this realization is an important one, the implementation of which should lead to positive actions and, subsequently, to positive consequences.

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