By LORRAINE BAILEY
People often refer to those who commit criminal acts as "animals." This is an insult to our four-legged friends.
An animal would never commit the grisly crimes that human beings have demonstrated, nor invent cruel devices meant to harm and kill other living beings.
Contradiction abounds when someone claims to care about animals, yet treats them shamefully, traps them, kills them for trophies, or profits from their once life-giving pelts.
It is known that many cultures have traditionally revered animals as supernatural beings with special kinds of wisdom. Think for a moment of guiding eyes for the blind, companion animals for paraplegics, rescue dogs in earthquakes and avalanches, and cats who can detect cancer in humans, and, in at least one nursing home, predict death and comfort the dying by not leaving their sides.
It would benefit us to pay more attention to animals and what they have to teach us. It just might make us more human in the best sense of the term. And please note that according to psychology, the way you perceive animals is the way you perceive yourself.
Blessed are the merciful. And blessed in turn are those who perceive animals as accepting, gentle, grateful, loving, loyal, noble, not deceitful, uncomplaining, wise, and worthy of respect.
So too, are you.
Lorraine Bailey is a Sheridan resident.