Animals Are Our Equals

Photo Credit: Me (I had to stare at this coaster for a while when I saw it. Yes, animals need to be recognized more.)

Dogs walking or running with their owners on the coast,

seagulls letting the waves of the Bosphorus bob them

up and down, or flying along ferry routes, or walking

around pavements in residential areas, and cats

rummaging for food between rock crevices

on the seaside, their heads perked up

at the slightest noises they hear.

I think of the animals out there

who shield themselves from heavy rains,

who feel alone when they notice other animals

in groups and they are left out, who have to fight

off predators every day, or, at least, have the urge

to protect themselves from being attacked

or assaulted, who are stressed from hearing

and seeing so much activity (most of it unfamiliar

and, for the rest of their lives, little mysteries).

I have seen plenty of cats (I feel especially

close to them) figure out how to open doors

and coming to the realization that top

cabinets in kitchens are likely to contain

their food and meowing at their owners

to communicate an interest in going outside

for just a few minutes. (I love how those creatures

check out what humans bring home or watch

humans do the work they need to do.)

Animals have been made to adjust to a landscape

with fewer and fewer trees and highways and suburban

homes that block their paths.

Some animals stave off possible enemies by sending

bad scents their way, some produce ink,

some change color to look like their surroundings,

some can think of three solutions to a problem,

some can reach amazing heights, some swim

or run long distances, some feel and care more

than a lot of humans, a lot of animals are great builders,

plenty of them work harder than many humans,

a range of animals keep humans in good health,

just about every animals serves as an inspiration

for an art or writing piece or a type of architecture

or for fashion design; there’s a lot to learn from animals.

Animals may not be able to speak

but they have organs that work, hearts to feel,

and brains in their heads and they move at their own will

and need places to live, others to associate with,

or have preferences for working independently.

Please respect the abilities and intelligence

of animals. Allow them their own space as they

don’t usually intrude on ours.

They only function to do what they need

to do — nothing more. There’s no reason

to cage them, to dominate them, to torture

them, to store them in too-tight, cramped

spaces, to inflict unnecessary pain, to think

they are ‘inferior’ (again, they go through

so much and they are capable of doing

a lot and so many are physically stronger

than humans) — in fact, animals are superior

to humans in a myriad of ways. 
Please recognize that animals

are real, living beings. Please value animal

life. They may not speak but their numbers

don’t deserve to decline as severely as they do.

Please think that animals contribute

a lot in society rather than think that they don’t

do anything in this world.

Rather than see what they can’t do, see

what they can.

Get to know animals. Don’t just give them

a short simple glance and think you know

so much about them. Animals are our equals

because they exist and we exist.

How does anyone really know about animals

when most people probably don’t take their time

to even intimately know a couple?

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You can also email me; debbie.chow1987@gmail.com

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Thank you for reading. Peace.

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