In his column on The NYTimes.com, Frank Bruni points out that we are in a new era where respect for animals is growing. The phrase "animal welfare" no longer does justice to what is going on. The new emphasis is upon "animal dignity." Here are some examples of this multidimensional movement:
- Bestselling books, Dog Sense and Cat Sense, explore animal cognition and the emotional lives of animals.
- A new website, The Dodo, covers animal news and features.
- Nearly 1 in 10 American dog and cat owners have provisions in their will for their pets.
- The documentary Blackfish has raised awareness about whales' need for social connections and their profound capacity for grief.
- With cameras everywhere, more and more examples of the mistreatment and abuse of animals are reaching the public.
We are elated by these developments and are convinced that the spiritual practice of reverence speaks to the need for a deeper respect for the emotions, rights, and unique gifts of animals as both companions and creatures in the wild. Watch this blog for more news about the quest for animal dignity.