When I was young I remember going to the zoo. I would visit the great ape house and sit for a long time in front of a beautiful silver back gorilla. He was all alone in a concrete cell with a tire on a rope, a large ball, and a tiny window way up high. Every time I visited he seemed to be sitting in the same position, never looking around, as if he had been stuffed. But I could see his chest moving up and down as he breathed.
I wanted more than anything for him to look up so I could let him know he was not alone, that someone cared. He never did and to this day, so many years later, I still remember thinking what it must have felt like to be locked in a cell alone instead of being free to be the magnificent creature he was born to be. I felt his pain and wanted to take it away. Seeing myself in him and him in me is why I have a deep appreciation and respect for all that is alive.
We are life as all other animals are life. It is spiritually responsible to protect, nurture, respect, and treat all life with compassion and kindness.