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   WZM Award for Compassion 




WZM Award # 5 presented on June 21, 2006 to Cindy Tapia from Jefferson High School, Los Angeles, CA

Her essay is as follows:

Essay by Cindy Tapia

Three days ago I saw a video of the cruelty that animals go through in the slaughterhouse, also as known as the meatpacking plant. This video made me feel a new compassion towards the animals that suffered so much fear and pain. It is unbelievable how animals get abused every day without ever considereing the animals' feelings. In the days since, I have been thinking more and more about the meaning of compassion and how essential it is to develop this quality.

Animals are not that different from we humans. They experience fear when they are in danger, they get happy in joyful moments and sad when they are in pain or depressed. They are such wonderful creatures, that when I see them in pain, my heart cries in sorrow. But people need to notice and show more kindness and compassion to animals, as they are creatures that God had made just like us to have freedom and enjoy life.

Ever since I saw the video I have changed my daily habits: I have become a vegetarian for the reason that I imagine the animals' faces in grief. I have also tried to convince people to feel more compassion towards animals because I bet if we see one of our loved ones getting slaughtered we would do anything possible to try to save them; I know I would. So why not try to save more animals? I'm sure the animals would feel the same pain when we get injured.

Animals do not only go through cruelty through our abuse, they also go through our killing and eating them. These animals die miserably, since their death is so slow and brutal. But we don't see the person who is killing the poor animal feel any compassion to a poor innocent animal, so why should we care when a human is about to be executed for murdering someone? Where does compassion start? So every time you eat meat you need to realize that poor animal was tortured so you could eat it and feel satisfied in your stomach.

What I'm really looking for in this world is for us to show more compassion to the animals. Think about it, in the words of one of my classmates, "Do we want to support kindness and mercy, or do we want to support cruelty and miser?" I believe all of us should do our best to show kindness and mercy to all creatures, from the smallest chicken to the biggest human. Seeing the suffering of those animals makes me realize how important it is to lead a compassionate life in which we always try not only to sympathizse with the pain of others, both animal and human, but also work our hardest to prevent it.


Ruth Ratna Handy, LCSW
(818) 834-5925


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