Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Animal Euthanasia (Part 2 of 2)

(Continued from Part 1)

Your question: We don't feel as though re-releasing them is an option because they would be subject to extreme weather conditions, predators such as coyotes and dogs, and illnesses such as feline leukemia and feline HIV. In short, they would more likely than not be subject to a short life of suffering. Additionally, no-kill shelters might also not be a good option because they would likely spend the rest of their lives in a cage, with sporadic human contact.

My comment: If you have no other choice, it is my personal opinion that this is your only option left.

Your question: I feel as though I would be responsible for their deaths if I were to take them to a shelter and responsible for their suffering if I re-release them or take them to a no-kill shelter. I guess my question is: given the choice between imposing a likelihood of suffering, either long term or short term, on these cats, and causing them to be euthanized, which would be least horrible under Buddhist principles?

My comment: You have done a very compassionate act which not many would do. You have done a lot of good already. You can in the meantime send them to a no-kill shelter, while searching for any good samaritan to adopt them later.

My parting comment: When the Buddha first attained enlightenment, he was reluctant to preach the truth to the world, because he knew that most people would never understand. He realized that this existence (this world) was by its very nature a very unsatisfactory place. Each and everyone of us has to grow old, get sick, and eventually die, irrespective of who you are, or what you believe. There is no escape! As Buddhists, we accept this condition, this universal truth. Once we realize this truth, we become less proud, less aggressive, less hateful. On the positive side, we are better ready to forgive, to care, to share, to do good, to be more compassionate, to live and let peace. There is always that much we can do. If you have done your best, that is more than enough. We cannot save the whole world.

I hope my comments are of some help. If you have further questions please call again.

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