Are you running late for office since you took a badly hurt dog to a vet? Congratulations!! You just displayed a pro- animal behavior initiated by your mindfulness.
A heightened sense of awareness, which is the result of paying close attention to everything around you in a non-judgemental way, is called Mindfulness. What is the outcome of this? We become more aware and concerned for everything around us——- fellow human beings; animals; birds; insects and basically everything in this Universe. In short, we become better human beings but most importantly our lives become more meaningful.
How can you practice mindfulness?
- Meditation – The one panacea for all your problems? Maybe or Maybe not, but it certainly does help to cultivate mindfulness. Practicing meditation gives you a sense of calmness, reduces stress and makes you one with the universe. This, in turn, increases the power of observation and makes you more mindful
- Having pets– For starters, they keep you active and hooked to the present instead of your mobile. Taking your dog for a walk helps you to stay focussed, on the task at hand. This focus can actually make you aware of the fun and a sense of happiness you feel when your pet is around. In other words, you are mindful of the moment. Having pets also helps children to grow up into empathetic and caring individuals
- Make conscious effort– Clear up your schedule and dedicate time and space to cultivate mindfulness. Forget the past and stay focussed on the present. Refrain from overthinking and focus on the moment. Take time to relax, enjoy, value every moment spent with your loved ones and never shy away from taking those ‘do nothing’ breaks.
How is it connected to Pro-Animal behavior?
Pro-animal behavior basically concerns with all activities centred around the welfare of animals and mindfulness in an individual helps him to cherish, love and be truly concerned for all living/ non-living things around him. Thus initiates an animal friendly behavior in him.
Mindfulness is not only related to our thoughts; attitude or awareness levels, but is also behavior oriented. Pro animal behavior, one of the positive outcomes of mindfulness can make an animal friendly planet, a reality. For instance it would be easy and natural for a mindful person with concern for animals to choose a vegetarian diet, adopt homeless animals, raise voice against animal abuse and opt for cruelty free products.
In today’s world where technology has nearly killed the humane part of our mind, cruelty against animals has taken a back seat. Millions of cases of animals getting abused in the modern day farms and households never get reported. Nor do these cases get a space in our daily newspaper. Apparently they are not considered important in comparison to crimes against men and women. While at least a part of the population decides to protest against a human being getting abused or killed, we rarely come across a situation where people get together and protest against an animal suffering from abuse. In fact most of us only consider poaching as abuse and unlawful as against animal hoarding, negligence by pet owners, animal testing etc. We can no more disregard such inhumane acts nor let these kind of cruel acts go unpunished. Studies by PETA have shown that kids who abuse animals turn out to be anti-social personalities who indulge in crimes against people. Instilling a pro-animal behavior through mindfulness in children could be the key to creating a generation of kind hearted and morally responsible individuals.
While the connection between mindfulness and pro-animal behavior remains uncertain. Realizing that the world belongs to all creatures alike and that, its unjust to impose ourselves on any of them comes with being mindful. These larger truths of life help us appreciate the goodness around us, while constantly reminding us to care for the other fellow beings that inhabit this earth.