Brief reflections on “The Dominion of Love”: Part II
“..There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or with a gun and destroy those who are weaker than he is”- Issac Bashevis Singer.
In reading through Phelps’ book, “The Dominion of Love”, the reader is quickly reminded of the fact that all forms of violence are inherently interconnected on a fundamental level. Violence committed in action has a counterpart, which is the violence created in the hearts or minds of the perpetrators. This is not always an easy or pleasant subject to deal with, but it’s absolutely critical that we understand this phenomena so as to minimize the suffering and pain not only within the lives of the non-human sentient beings, but within our own spirits as well. Dr. Will Tuttle has written extensively on this idea, speaking to the fact that as we desperately attempt to numb ourselves to the realities of how our food is produced, we slowly erode our internal compassion, mercy, and kindness in regards to not only other species, but our own as well. Conversely, this is why so many individuals who go vegan often find a sense of peace within themselves that they didn’t even know was missing.
Issac Singer experienced an incredible amount of suffering in his lifetime, losing both a brother and mother to the Nazi concentration camps, and narrowly escaping with his own life. It became very clear to Singer that so much of our violence towards both human and non-human animals stems from this singular principle: “the notion that some groups are inherently entitled to our compassion and kindness, while others are not. Once that basic principle is accepted, it is an easy thing to create new classes of victims simply by pushing them outside our perimeter of protection”.
There is certainly cause for hope in our world. Owing to the fact that millions upon millions of people in America alone care for and love their companion animals on a daily basis, and would do anything to provide food, safety, and love to them. Noting this fact, we can rest assured that the seeds of compassion have not been completely choked by weeds of cruelty. As advocates, we must compassionately make the case to those individuals, as well as all others, that if we are to truly have a world of peace and harmony with creation, we must end our violent acts that are wholly unnecessary. There is no moral difference between a cow and a dog, and yet we love the latter while causing suffering and cruelty to the former. There exists no justification for making this distinction, and when we cease to cause harm to any and all sentient beings, we find ourselves being free from the heavy weight of our actions, and we are able to move forward to create a more kind and compassionate world.