The Theosophical Order of Service (T.O.S.) the service arm of the Theosophical Society places high on the list of charities it supports those which protect the rights of our animal brothers. To be a true Theosophist is to love all life – not just human life. In this world today the idea that life is primarily for humans has led to the exploitation of all other forms of life in the interests of human life. And not just human survival, but human entertainment, adornment and sensual pleasure.
No longer is it necessary to eat other animals in order to survive. Indeed, the evidence is to the contrary – that in most countries of the world a vegetarian diet increases health and well-being. There is, therefore, no longer any need for the gross cruelty of factory farming, and the T.O.S. supports any organisation that is working to educate humanity towards vegetarianism, or to devise ways of turning vegetable produce into palatable and attractive foods.
The T.O.S. particularly supports the organisation called Compassion in World Farming whose purpose is to effect changes in the laws of all countries in order to ameliorate the lot of many millions of animals who suffer throughout their brief lives from the greed and selfishness of humans, even to the very end, when transported abroad, packed close in container lorries frequently without food and water, to end their sad lives often crippled and eventually inhumanely slaughtered.
We also support organisations which work for the freedom from exploitation of laboratory animals. Indescribable tortures are inflicted upon defenceless creatures in the name of science and, it is claimed, of human health. But can any Theosophist claim his health at such cost? And is health best served by adding more and more symptom-suppressing drugs to the already over-loaded list?
So, the T.O.S. supports any organisation which seeks to persuade scientists that there are alternative methods of research, or less harmful ways of redressing human ills than by suppressing symptoms with toxic drugs.
Therefore, alternative methods of healing, such as Nature Cure, Homeopathy and others, are not only seen as methods of improving human health, but also of helping to free our animal brothers from appalling suffering.
Should Theosophists adorn themselves in the skins of other animals?
What was acceptable in primitive times when only animal skins were available to protect us from cold, cannot possibly be any excuse now for depriving a beautiful animal of its life in order to wear its coat, and especially is it so when wild animals are increasingly being subjected to the gross cruelty of being imprisoned in tiny cages on fur farms for the whole of their lives.
To be warm and beautiful can be achieved with simulated furs that rob no animal of its life.
Likewise with entertainment. The cruelty of taking a wild creature from its natural habitat and keeping it for twenty-two hours of every day imprisoned in a small cage, training to perform undignified tricks with whips and goads and robbing it of all its natural modes of existence, is indefensible. If we wish to be entertained, let it be by humans who have chosen this way of life.
Therefore, the Captive Animals Protection Society is one dear to our hearts. Such others as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, who also work to save from indiscriminate and often cruel slaughter the whales, seals and any other species that are threatened receive our support, together with innumerable smaller societies who protect cats, dogs, donkeys, horses and many other abused creatures, or provide sanctuaries for those abandoned, homeless or needing medical treatment, in our own and other parts of the world.
We do not support those organisations that use violence or damage property in order to express their rage and indignation, though we understand their feelings, but we are in great sympathy with those who are willing to endanger themselves, or who use gentler means to persuade others to use theirmbrains to develop their compassion. We applaud those who can love and understand even their oppressors, for we feel that they have a greater chance of winning support than those who vent their anger in disapproval or violence, and although it seems that man’s inhumanity to animals exceeds even that which he metes out to his fellow humans, the army of those opposed to such cruelties increases daily, and we are glad to swell their ranks and to rejoice with them as each small victory is won.