Animals Endowed With Rights

Leonardo Boff asserts: “Whether one acknowledges the dignity of animals depends on that person’s paradigm (vision of the world and values).” Boff breaks down the two paradigms which we need to subvert in order to grow our ecological consciousness.

Threats to Mother Earth and how to confront them by Leonardo Boff

Threats to Mother Earth and how to confront them
     Leonardo Boff

      Earthcharter Commission


There are four threats that our Common Home faces, and which demand from us our special attention. 

The first is how in modern times the Earth is viewed as an object of ruthless exploitation, seeking only the greatest profits, without regard to life or purpose. This vision, that has brought undeniable benefits, has also created a dis-equilibrium in all the ecosystems, which has caused the present generalized ecological crisis. With that vision entire nations were destroyed, as in Latin America, where the Atlantic jungles, and, in part, the Amazon rain forests, have been devastated. 

In January 2015, 18 scientists published in the well known magazine Science, a study on   “The planetary limits: a guide for a human development on a planet in mutation”. They enumerated 9 fundamental aspects for the continuity of life. Among them were climate equilibrium, maintenance of bio-diversity, preservation of the ozone layer, and control of acidity of the oceans. All of these aspects are in a state of decline. But two, that they call the “fundamental limits”, are the most degraded: through climate change and the extinction of species.

Bill McKibben on The Real Zombie Apocalypse

Editor’s note: If you are going to any environmental event in the next few months, (e.g. a Tu B’shvat seder this coming weekend) please ask the attendees to read this very important article by Bill McKibben. Unfortunately, though McKibben recognizes the urgency and to some extent the futility of trying to stop the fossil fuel industry one struggle at a time, he eschews any national strategy. The rest of us need to do better–by insisting that any candidate we vote for any public office in 2016 (from Bernie or Hillary to…well, whoever,in any political party or independent) commit to supporting a mandatory ban on extracting more fossil fuel from the earth than we are already extracting now (which is way too much). This is also where we should be insisting on our elected officials taking steps to pass the ESRA–Environmental and Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution–because although a constitutional amendment may take years to pass, it is the only solution that could bypass the pro-business decisions of a Supreme Court that will declare unconstitutional any legislation that impedes the ability of corporations to maximize their profits. Please re-read it (  and start getting your state and federal legislators (and your city councils and county governments) to endorse it and start the process of amending the constitution, else we are stuck with the hapless task of thousands of battles, some of which will be won but many of which will not.