Hmm, I feel genuinely challenged in a good way from a comment left about yesterdays post.
It's not just a matter of being brought up to be good to animals but to have respect for every living thing. Sadly I've also seen and read horrible cases of kids abusing animals and I really believe it's got an awful lot to do with kids being "brainwashed" by computer games. By this I mean that they spend so much time playing computer games about killing and anhilating, that they litterly train their brain to believe that killing and anhilating doesn't have consequences. I mentioned this in a post from last year, where I also refer to a brillant article by brain scientist Dr. Joe Dispenza about this matter. It's truly scary.
Humans are born to feel a sense of empathy with other humans, nature and animals. If this basic human emotion is missing, I believe it's because it has been trained away. Just like a hunter learning to snuff the life out of an animal. He must surely have felt that he crossed a border when he did his first kill.
Anyway... to my most important point. In my journey of philosophical, religious and spiritual studies I've come across the understanding that humans are superior to both animals and plants because we have both a soul and a spirit. Animals and plants only have a soul. The spirit is what makes it possible for humans to think and connect outside the planet (i.e. to the universe, God or Gods and a greater Creator). As most people today have explored, either through religion or spirituality, God (or whatever you believe in) is meant to be the highest form of illumination or highest truth, and this is what we humans represent to animals in the shape of us having a spirit. It's our means by which to enhance their lives. It's the only means by which they can feel God.
And think about it this way... if there is a meeting with God of some kind at the end of this earthly exsistence, wouldn't it be unthinkable (horrific actually) if it turned out this God was cruel or anhilating at a whim? Through the human having a spirit, we become the "extention" of God to them. They can only feel God if we include them in our enhanced human lives. And needless to say, what must it be like for them if we exclude them, treat them cruelly, exploit them for our own means and just plainly don't give a damn?
This is the understanding my research has led me to and what I want to continue to explore through this blog.