Bonobos and Forgiveness

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Bonobos and Forgiveness – 29 June 2006

Bonobos and humans share 98% of the same genes. Sadly, these intelligent great apes are killed for “bush meat” and are well on their way to extinction.

A distinguishing characteristic of bonobos is their ability to know and show forgiveness, which is central to their culture. Bonobo babies are loved and protected by both males and females of the group. When a baby commits any act that would be viewed as aggressive if committed by an adult, it is automatically forgiven. The result is a culture of harmony and a desire to maintain blissful surroundings. A bonobo who is not forgiven (by a human or another bonobo) suffers extreme stress.

Isn’t it ironic that while scientists find more and more similarities that humans share with other animals, and they know that nonhumans possess many unique abilities that have yet to be studied or even discovered, their status remains “property” with no legal rights?

The plight of a nonhuman animal should not depend on something as arbitrary as the kindness or cruelty of an “owner” or exploiter. As long as there is no respect for their natural boundaries (their God-given rights to live as God designed them to live), the unspeakable abuse of nonhumans will continue.

I believe that the day will come when people will look back with horror and disbelief at the injustice, selfishness, sadism – the spiritual stupidity – of this world, “…for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

Isaiah 11:6-9

6 And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the kid,
And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little boy will lead them.

7 Also the cow and the bear will graze;
Their young will lie down together;
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.

8 And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den.

9 They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea.

~ New American Standard Bible

For heartwarming stories, and stories (with photos) about animals of different species living together in peace, see:

http://www.all-creatures.org/animal.html 

http://www.all-creatures.org/stories.html 
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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