An Animal Lover's Woe

>    I will match my love of animals against anyone else’s…any time… anywhere. Mine is borderline irrational (to which my husband and daughter will attest). So it comes as a surprise, to no one more than me, that I would be making a suggestion that advises a nation to lower the status of a particular breed of animal, yet that’s what I am about to do none-the-less.
  It is estimated that somewhere between 60 to 115 million children are working as slaves India. That was million. This fact and the difficulty of how to deal with it was brought to light today when it was reported that Gap, the largest clothing manufacturer in the world (also owner of Old Navy and Lands End) had been guilty of using child slave labor in India to manufacturer some of it’s upcoming Christmas clothing.
    In all fairness to Gap, it’s President Marka Hansen said that the garments had been made by a subcontractor whose general contractor had violated Gap Compliance Rules by hiring the sub.  Ms. Hansen also went on to say that no clothing made in a sweat shop in New Delhi would be sold. In fact, the clothing in question has been destroyed, according to Ms. Hansen.
    This is not an article about the pros and cons of outsourcing or corporate responsibility. Not that these aren’t worthy avenues to pursue in this matter. This is my personal anguish over a nation…it’s government and parents alike, who would literally bow down and honor a Brahman bull while turning a blind eye to the selling of it’s children into slavery.
    I am not about to tell anyone else how to worship Creator or what the path to an enlightened consciousness should be. But I do feel the need to address a perverse system of prioritization that would value a cow more than a child. At the very least, let’s equate them.
  Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world and one of the oldest. Almost 900 million of its one billion adherents live in the Republic of India.Under Hinduism all animals, including livestock (cattle
and buffaloes), are sacred and must not be killed because this results in
ill health or bad luck for individuals and is an offense to the community.
    Since we are talking about a religion here, I think it would be wise to focus on what might be an offense to God.
  Children sold into salve labor might be a good start.
    The problem in India is many faceted, I am certain…the least of which is not the governments refusal to enforce the national and international laws that prohibit child labor. However, with most change, it will not come from organizations but rather from individuals.
    Parents and adults in whose care these children originate are responsible for changing the way things are in India. There is no justification for selling any human being…let alone a child…for any reason. Humans are not property. They are created in the image and likeness of God. To claim religion while violating the rights and demeaning the value of any individual is hypocrisy at its worst. One cannot invoke Creator and in the same breath devalue that which It has created.
    Many religious practices, of various religions, have long ago lost their way and been misused to control and breed, if not fear, compliance in the minds and behavior of believers.
    I feel comfortable in saying that a nation, be it of the East or the West, that can in the name of God honor it’s livestock and torture it’s children is a nation in peril.
    Those who do not actively participate in injustice, but who instead turn a blind eye and a deaf ear, are in peril as well. The children of India belong to humankind and are, therefore, our children as well. They are in our care as surely as they are in the care of their parents.
    All life is sacred regardless of species. May those in India who are closest to this tragedy remember that fact the next time they step aside for a bull on the way to sell a child.

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