Guest editorial | ParkRecord.com

Guest editorial

A Higher Intelligence

Lauren Lockey, Co Founder
Sage Mountain: An Advocate for Farmed Animals

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with someone about a particular experience he had while visiting a park near by his family's home. He witnessed a person picking up a young duckling and chucking him across the park like a football. I proceeded to ask if he did anything about it or tried to help in any way. He answered that he felt bad for the animal but continued to say, "do you know how small a duck's brain is? Not the smartest in the bunch!"

" So that makes it okay?" I asked.

This question comes up a lot for me. While I am always fascinated learning about the science behind the cognitive abilities of non-human animals ranging from chimpanzees to elephants to pigs to chickens, does it matter when it comes to the most important aspect all human and non-human animals share? That being the simple desire to live and be free from suffering. Are humans the only ones deserving of that and what gives us the right to take that away or do what we please with those whom we deem "less intelligent?" And if higher intelligence is what matters, are humans at the top? Because I am not sure confining, using, or slaughtering animals is intelligent when it comes to the negative impact it has on everything around us and our own health. The definition of intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. I would add to that, "within any given species."

OR is it that we honestly believe that all non-human animals are here FOR us and not WITH us? I think we can all agree that the young duckling was most likely minding his own business being a duck. I think we can also agree he had no interest, nor does anyone for that matter, in being thrown across the field to then be injured and scared for his life. So why then? Why do non-human animals, no matter their level of intelligence, continue to be caged, abused, eaten, experimented on, used, and worn by our species? Can we shift our perception just slightly and get out of the way so others can live their lives freely? Isn't that what we want for ourselves?

All over the world animals are suffering from human hands whether it's for flesh, product, entertainment, ivory and skins, fur, testing, feathers, religion and ceremony. These animals range in intelligence. They speak languages that we can't even understand. However, what is most important is that they share the ability to feel pain and suffer immensely.

So let's take a moment, step back and observe how we treat others, what we project to be intelligent and what we can learn from those around us. Listen and observe more, uncoil belief systems, and let others live in their own right, their own intelligence, and perhaps we can learn something. A way that brings more peace, more love, and ultimately a collective higher intelligence.

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Here's to the animals and all they teach us! Patience, forgiveness, simplicity, love, joy, and intelligence. Let's honor them more, help an individual in need, and make the world a little better for all.

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