“All living beings have the Buddha nature and can become Buddhas.”
In 2012, after years of research, scientists finally concluded that animals possess the same conscious awareness that human beings do. This means that they can process emotions like fear, sadness, loneliness, boredom, anger, happiness, contentment and so on. This also means that they can feel pain and pleasure and they understand the difference between danger and safety. Animals look different from us and they communicate differently than we do but we are, in fact, pretty much the same. If you observe animals in nature, you will see that they have the ability to express loving tendencies toward their young and you will see them protect their young from danger, just like humans do. It is glaringly obvious that animals can feel Love, can give Love and can receive Love. It has also become painfully obvious that animals can sense when they are being threatened and they know when they are going to be slaughtered.
Animals are able to sense things that humans cannot. It has been found that animals can detect when there will be an earthquake or if there is imminent danger ahead. The Truth is that we really don’t know what goes on inside their minds. But within their consciousness, which is the same as ours, they possess the possibility of becoming a Buddha, just like us. Maybe not in this lifetime, but perhaps in their next one. This is why it is imperative to be kind to all living things and strive to harm nothing. Remember, the soul can take any form it chooses. You literally have no idea who is in that cow’s body or that chicken’s body or your dog’s body. In the Bhagavad Gita it says, “One is dearest to God who has no enemies among the living beings, who is nonviolent to all creatures.” The practice of nonviolence and peace towards all living things is emphasized for this very reason. Consciousness is the same in all beings, whether human, animal or otherwise. We must respect and honor life, in all its forms, because we never know who exactly we are dealing with in which body.