Promoting understanding
and compassion for animals

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Book excerpt 1

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I have always loved animals. It was not something I thought about or even really considered, I suppose I just took it for granted. That was until I met Josh and Dylan. At twenty seven years of age, my whole world was turned on its head, when two beautiful little Golden Retriever puppies entered my life and completely stole my heart.

The love I felt for them was so powerful, so overwhelming and so immediate that even I was completely astounded. Over the years this love deepened and they became two of my dearest, most trusted friends. Time and time again I marveled at this bond we shared, this totally indescribable bond and I wondered how many other people experienced the same thing. Individuals from totally different species, joining together in absolute trust, respect and love.

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Book excerpt 2

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Chapter 1: Animal Lovers

It always amazes me when people say that they can’t remember much about their childhood. Memories of my youth are still as fresh in my mind as the events of yesterday. My hopes and dreams are still the same and so is my greatest joy – animals!

My earliest recollections are of a love for all creatures. It did not matter that they were not there in physical form, they were in my heart. They came to me through my toys and they danced on the pages of my books. They were wonderful creatures – so full of compassion, so wise and so beautiful, that I knew in their company I would be blessed and eternally happy.

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Book excerpt 3

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I’m sure that this particular personality trait does have an inherited basis. The animal lover is not a new phenomenon. Throughout history there have always been individuals who have felt a strong affinity for animals – St Francis of Assisi, Anatole France, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Twain and more recently Paul McCartney, Doris Day and Brigitte Bardot. And just like today, for every one of these famous devotees there were probably hundreds of thousands of non-famous devotees.

I remember my own mother often comparing me to her brother who, at the height of the 1930’s depression, would still bring home stray cats and dogs despite the fact that the family had nothing to eat. It also seems that her own mother had a soft spot for animals at a time when pet ownership was not the norm that it is today.

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Book excerpt 4

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Passion and compassion


You answered my prayers
and fulfilled my dreams.
You were my teacher, my friend
My greatest love for so many years.
I still think of you now…..
But I wonder what stoke of fate befell you,
that you should be born a cow?
You never had a chance.

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Book excerpt 5

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You see life in our civilised society is not always so civilised and often the most vulnerable members of the community are the ones most victimised. The elderly, the poor, the intellectually disabled and the psychological troubled often find themselves destitute, alone, and defenseless against violence that is directed against them.
Animals are another group that often bears the brunt of society’s ignorance and hostility. Science, sport and agriculture are all responsible for pain and suffering in billions of beautiful creatures who have committed no crime and have no hope of salvation. They cannot even speak on their own behalf. Yet, so many people turn a blind eye and some never see their pain at all.

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Book excerpt 6

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This excerpt continues to explore  factors which I believe foster the development of compassion in people…

2. Media
I believe that exposure to violence, particularly in a child’s formative years has an enormous impact on the development of their compassion and compassion for animals.
Children are not equipped to deal with fictional violence as they have very little concept of the difference between fantasy and reality. Violence on television or films can have a number of different effects on children.

  • They can become desensitised to pain and suffering.
  • They may start to copy and act out the violence that they see

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Book excerpt 7

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4. Society

We like to think that we live in a culture of free thought and creative expression. We also like to think that our society encourages individuality and we abhor any type of propaganda or brainwashing.

But sadly, I believe we are all indoctrinated into a culture of “truths” or “half truths” on a range of issues, including animals and our attention is purposely diverted away from these important issues by a range of distracters including sport and celebrities.

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Humane Society International Australia

Humane Society International (HSI) envisions a world in which people change their interaction with other animals and their environments, evolving from exploitation and harm to respect and compassion.


Voiceless is an independent non-profit think tank dedicated to alleviating the suffering of animals in Australia.

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