This week began with the International Day of Happiness (March 20).
Initiated in 2012 by the United Nations, it acknowledges that happiness is a fundamental human goal and calls upon countries to help improve the well-being of all peoples. But imagine if it acknowledged that all beings desire happiness – which of course they do – and urged countries to improve the well-being of non-human beings also. Obviously one cannot bring happiness into the lives of individuals by imprisoning them and killing them, so farms and slaughterhouses would need to be phased out along with animal research facilities. All entertainment that uses and abuses animals would go too, including hunting and fishing.
“May all sentient beings be happy and free of suffering,” said Gautama Buddha.
We may not be able to prevent all suffering but we can certainly eliminate a lot of it by our actions. If we seek happiness for ourselves, isn’t it only fair that we allow others to be happy too?