cross the world, we face many environmental issues which have arisen due to the selfish actions of certain people. Animals are often exploited solely to meet the wants of humans. In this article, we will look at what Sikh Gurus say about these environmental issues and exploiting animals.
Compassion Towards Animals
The energy of One pervades all life, and we are connected through the reincarnation cycle. Compassion towards animals is the duty of every human, as we’ve been blessed with the greatest potential of all earthly beings. The seventh Guru, Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji, set up an animal shelter for injured and orphaned animals. Guru Sahib Ji was also a renowned expert in herbal medicine. Guru Sahib Ji even shed a tear when their robe broke a flower head. The Sikh Gurus discourage the exploitation and mistreatment of animals, which is why many Sikhs are vegetarian.
The Earth is Our Mother
The First Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, describes the Earth as the Great Mother and the one that has all the resources that we need. In western economic theory, the basic problem is unlimited wants and limited resources. Guru Sahib Ji’s solution is to limit our wants and share the resources that we have with others who are less fortunate. Sikhs are encouraged to live honest lives whilst avoiding greed, pride and attachment. If Humans focus inward, meditate and live simpler lives, then there is more than enough for all life to prosper on Earth. We also earn karma through our actions, thus we should limit environmental damage and not exploit animals.
Sikhi is not just about limiting our negative impact, it’s also about taking positive action to alleviate poverty and end exploitation. The free food in Gurdwaras and the Khalsa sword are some actions which display this.