Date: Fri, 06 Oct 1995 14:55:06 +0100 From: "peter.harvey" [email protected] Subject: More on human and animal rights
In response to my posting on ‘Human and animal rights’, Ken O’Neill wrote:
Peter’s right. Buddhadharma does not contain vestiges of the Europeans’s Great Chain of Being, which puts humans just below angels, …nor does it put humans on top of everything else. The horizontal line of Buddhism "sarva sattva" – all sentient beings’.
Yes, Buddhism does aspire for the happiness of all beings, but they are not all equal. It is, for example, clearly seen as worse to kill a human than a dog, and worse to kill a dog than an ant.
To be reborn a human is a rare and precious opportunity: to that extent one could say that human are ‘superior’ to non-human animals. BUT this does not give humans a right to abuse non-human animals. If humans are superior they should SHOW this by NOT abusing other forms of life. Humans have more freedom of action: they should use this freedom in a morally responsible way, thus not abusing their precious human rebirth.