It was quite incomprehensible to me …why in my evening prayers I should pray for human beings only. So when my mother had prayed with me and had kissed me goodnight, I used to add silently a prayer that I had composed myself for all living creatures. It ran thus: "O Heavenly Father, protect and bless all things that have breath; guard them from all evil, and let them sleep in peace. "
The lower animals are our brethren. I include among them the lion and the tiger. We do not know how to live with these carnivorous beasts and poisonous reptiles because of our ignorance. When man learns better, he will learn to befriend even these. Today he does not even know how to befriend a man of a different religion or from a different country.
In nothing does man, with his grand notions of heaven and charity, show forth his innate, wild animalism more clearly than in his treatment of his brother beasts. From the shepherd with his lambs to the red-handed hunter, it is the same: no recognition of rights — only murder in one form or another.
The sense of smell in the animal is what intuition is to the human spirit. It tells you of the invisible, of what cannot be detected by any other means. It tells you the things that are not there, yet are coming. You see into the blind, opaque past and round the corner of time.
Many things that human words have upset are set at rest again by the silence of animals. Animals move through the world like a caravan of silence. A whole world, that of nature and that of animals, is filled with silence. Nature and animals seem like protuberances of silence. The silence of animals and the silence of nature would not be so great and noble if it were merely a failure of language to materialize. Silence has been entrusted to the animals and to nature as something created for its own sake.
To everyone's surprise, wildlife abounds in the deserted environs of the doomed [Chernobyl] nuclear plant. Elk, wild pigs, wolves, and rabbits all seem to be flourishing. These animals have somehow learned to cope with the high levels of radiation. Who knows, perhaps there are mutations: A pig that can climb. A rabbit with a prehensile tail. An elk with a unicorn's horn. Cells are quick-change artists. Life loves life. Humans may end, but the world won't.
An environmental setting developed over millions of years must be considered to have some merit. Anything so complicated as a planet, inhabited by more than a million and a half species of plants and animals, all of them living together in a more or less balanced equilibrium in which they continually use and reuse the same molecules of the soil and air, cannot be improved by aimless and uninformed tinkering.