September Love Saves the Day ~ PETA
This Fall at Laughing Lotus, we're going back to school and back to basics by celebrating and exploring the timeless teachings of the sage Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. The sutras (literally, "threads") are ancient aphorisms, small gems of wisdom that encourage us to embrace and practice the yogic path, transcending the divisions between our body, mind, and spirit on and individual level as well as inviting unity among all living things.
Basic and essential to the yogic path are the practices of the YAMAS, described in Book Two of the Yoga Sutras as: non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, self-discipline/continence, and non-greed. Patanjali calls these the maha vratam (great vows), which, according to Sutra 2.31, "are universal, not limited by class, place, time or circumstance." Such practices are considered elemental and ideally available to everyone.
In celebrating both the unity of all living things and the practice of ethical living as described by the Yoga Sutras, this September Love Saves the Day Benefits People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Founded in 1980 by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco, PETA works to eliminate animal suffering in four arenas: laboratories that engage in animal testing, the clothing industry, factory farms, and the entertainment industry. Since winning its first case in 1981 (the "Silver Spring monkeys case," that "resulted in the first arrest and criminal conviction of an animal experimenter in the U.S. on charges of cruelty to animals"), PETA has gone on to gain rights for our animal brothers and sisters in a variety of ways:
- As the result of an April 2008 campaign, KFCs in Canada resolved to ensure reduced suffering for chickens killed for consumption in KFC restaurants there. In addition, this campaign resulted in the introduction of vegan faux-chicken options in KFCs across Canada.
- In January 2011, following a PETA campaign in which thousands of supporters emailed and boycotted Brookstone, the company stopped the practice of selling live frogs in its stores (keeping them from being mailed as gifts or improperly cared for).
- In January 2010, PETA convinced the Nike company (including its brands like Cole Haan) to implement a policy banning exotic animal skins from use in its products.
- Thanks to PETA's Great Ape Humane Pledge, many advertising agencies have pledged not to use great apes in their future advertisements (to learn more about PETA's victories, click here).
As we spend the month exploring the paths to yogic wisdom that can help us lessen our own suffering, we might also reflect upon ways to reduce the suffering around us, particularly for our animal kin. If you'd like to know more about PETA and how you can help, please click here, and remember, LOVE SAVES THE DAY!
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