Attitude towards nature and animals.
28. Attitude towards nature and animals.
At the end, we shall mention one more point. We have observed that Hinduism thinks of man, not of a privileged brotherhood. In point of fact, its sympathies are even larger. It teaches us to be compassionate towards all living beings. Its vision is cosmic. It extends beyond man to all living creatures. It teaches oneness of life, even oneness of all nature and elements. This vision also embodies sound ecologic sense, the sense which we must cultivate in order to preserve the biological base of life, as we increasingly realize.
Hinduism does not believe that man is created for domination over the fowls of the earth and the fishes of the sea, This view is nothing but man’s egocentricity. Other fellow creatures too have their rights. True, man has his share in the bounty of Nature and he could take out of it according to his need (not greed), after he has contributed to it according to his capacity. But nothing gives him the right to exploit others, or to treat them cruelly. Egoistic use of men and nature sets up a process of retribution. In the process of treating the animal and the mineral world as soulless, man loses his own soul. Cruelty to animals turns into cruelty to fellow-men. Wide-spread vegetarianism amongst the Hindus comes from their non-violent, non- egoistic, compassionate outlook. It has been a great contribution to world-culture. Hinduism teaches reverence for life.