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The killing of Cecil the lion is despicable in every way. While killing an animal for sport is tantamount to murder, it doesn't justify the expression of hate and threats of violence that have followed. Doing so only reveals equal depravity on the part of the responders.
Difficult as it may be for those who love and care for the creatures with whom we share this small planet, there is really only one way to respond. We need to be able to see past the act and understand that there is a real human being behind it - one who needs help finding his basic connection to life on earth. Evil can't be overcome with more evil. Usually, it just entrenches even deeper.
How many of us who now feel connected to other living things were once guilty of seeing animals as commodities, existing solely for our exploitation? By grace, our eyes have opened.
While mourning the loss Cecil, let us honor his noble life by extending compassion and empathy to those who have not yet attained that level of consciousness. It's the only way to enable the kind of growth that brings change on a deep and lasting level.
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