This is the first of my green articles for Young readers. If you enjoy it, please share it with your children, students, nieces and nephew - spread the green color and conscious living.
When I was a little girl, my parents and I went on a vacation to the beautiful valley of Kashmir in the Himalayan mountains. I was fascinated by the street shops selling colorful Kashmiri handicrafts, but one item in particular that kept pulling my attention was a white purse . It looked so cute, like a little rabbit. It felt so soft and beautiful. That was the only thing I wanted. Its closing flap was even shaped like a face of a little bunny. I was a well-behaved girl and it would have been rude to ask for anything that I didn’t really need. Day after day in Kashmir I was drawn to the shops that sold those white purses; I would quietly stand and admire them. I think my Mom and Dad saw this and quietly bought one for me. I was so excited and thrilled. My exhilaration quickly turned to heartbreak when a wise man in the train explained to me what it really was and how it had become a purse.
He told me how animals are skinned for fur. The smaller the animal, the more precious the fur. I was literally carrying a cute baby bunny who had been taken away from her mommy and daddy, most likely destroyed in an inhumane way only to be sold for a few rupees.I did not want to part with my purse, yet I did not want to be a part of the cruelty business. What was I to do ? What was my redemption going to be?
Teary eyed and heavy hearted, I asked the wise man for advice. He told me that my redemption was to never again buy fur and to educate others about the cruelty to animals associated with the fur business.My return trip home from that vacation was ruined.
However in looking back, I am so thankful for the experience and for what I learned. Someone once said, “Experience is not the best teacher – it’s the only teacher”. I promised that wise man and myself that I would become an advocate for the Earth, its animals and their lives.I have since learned that today, fur continues to be the fancy for girls and women across the world. The multi-billion dollar fur industry is a consummate advocate of animal cruelty. Animal right activists have shown that many animals are destroyed by inhumane ways, listing France, China and Canada as examples.
So the next time you are tempted to purchase a furry looking coat or purse or shoes, remind yourself what goes into it, and ask yourself if you really want to be a part of and contributor to the animal cruelty business. At a very minimum, you should say no to fur. If you want to do more, here is what I recommend:
- Write to your favorite designers who continue to sell fur. Tell him or her that you will not buy their brand until they go fur-free. There is great power in an individual voice when it comes from the heart.
- Educate your family and friends about the cruelty of the fur business.
- Join an Anti-Fur cause on Facebook or Twitter and make your voice heard with thousands of others.
Guru Nanak says:
Hans haeth lobh kop chaarae nadheeaa ag, Pavehi dhajhehi naanakaa thareeai karamee lag.
Cruelty, material attachment, greed and anger are the four rivers of fire. O Nanak! Falling into them, one is burned but saved by holding tight to good deeds. SGGS P. 147
Incidentally, I gave my purse a respectful burial and made a promise to be kept for as long as I am alive.
Interested in more green thoughts by Gurmeet Aunty ?
please visit: http://www.sikhfoundation.org/read/