Greetings Blessed Bee,
It is my understanding that humans and animals are the same essence operating through different forms. In a similar manner as electricity runs appliances designed for specific purposes, essence enables various forms to function in a specific manner. Therefore the one essence is the base which enables various forms to function and is the foundation of consciousness. Thus, underlying the function of each form is this essence, awareness, the source, light, The Absolute, The Supreme, God, love or other verbal labels for That which really has no name. A human form is wired to function as a human does, a cat a cat, a dog a dog, a cow a cow etc.., but it must be remembered there can be no appearance of form without the one Absolute, which is one not two. It is my opinion that a human being who feels superior to any life form is suffering in ignorance and needs to reflect deeply on the Absolute, the very heart of existence prior to the sense of separation.
I share my life with three cats and a dog who are loved and cherished as part of a family. We give them the utmost in love, comfort, care and dignity in sickness and health. Animals are sentient beings with feelings, and each has a distinct personality and character traits. Throughout life I have honestly loved and cared for many animals and have truly grieved when some were lost. Unfortunately, here in North America we live in a heavy meat eating culture and there are times when meat eating cannot be avoided. I admit there are times when I partake in the flesh of dead animals, usually so for social reasons and sometimes when I instinctively feel the body needs some. When doing so, gratitude and awareness is placed for the sacrifice. It is from a set of strict principles that I refuse to consume factory raised mass produced animals. These are ethical and moral reasons due to a belief that these institutions raise animals in inhospitable, inhumane, crowded, uncomfortable conditions, placing undue tension and fear into the animals psyche/cellular structure. Underlying the prevalent mental illness common in our modern society lies the improper use of meat which is raised in deplorable conditions. Essentially the suffering of the animals is transfered to the consumer in a more subtle manner creating roots for anger and other negative mental issues.
Also, the feed and drugs supplied for these mass produced animals is suspect not only for the health of the animals, but the mental/physical health of humans who mindlessly consume the meat from these animals. If I consume meat it is done so with mindfulness from wild sources or animals raised with humane care on small organic farms. It is my opinion that for a healthy rational human being interaction between themselves and animals is from the heart with love and respect. Therefore, love is the connection, and is the only acceptable interaction between humans and animals is love and respect. At least it is so in the spark of consciousness I experience a world. Love is our nature and animals are a spark of divinity and therefore love!
Presented from a state of enduring "Gentle Love".