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Harada Roshi


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What is the Buddhist view on euthanizing our animal pet friends? I recently put my 19 year old cat to sleep. She had a great life being in her nature.


Humans and animal, especially pets have become integrated like family members, that is how many people perceive it. Some people do stress, that animals are still animals. Seen from the moralistic view of society, having euthanized your cat after it lived with you and your family for 19 years, is it thankful for that? After 19 years, the cat becomes part of the family, we can have a pet for our own joy, yet we can never own the life energy of this pet. We may say: Poor animal, we do not want that it suffers – this kind of emotion an animal does not have. This emotion belongs to humans alone. Many species on this planet have vanished, only humans can actually decide to help each other, is that why we are still around? We can not posses anyone´s life, yet this question also rises among us humans. Nowadays people are starting to receive the lawful right to decide when they chose their death. This is because we cannot bear to see meaningless suffering, neither experience it ourselves. Yet, we were not born according to our own decision. Why should be decide over death according to our own decision? Of course, there are those who do give their life not to end their own suffering, but to give their life as an offering to help other. Christ on the cross, or the announcer on the speaker when the tsunami hit, telling everyone to quickly run away, knowing that if he didn´t run now, he would die. And it was his voice that saved many from the tsunami.


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