Blavatsky Collected Writings Volume 12 Page 238


[Lucifer, Vol. VI, No. 34, June, 1890, p. 336]

Can any explanation be given, compatible with justice, as to why animals should suffer such terrible agonies as in a recent fire in the South of England, which destroyed some stables with sixteen horses? Such incidents are not uncommon. These poor creatures have none of the consolation arising from the powerful instinct possessing almost all human beings, with regard to the temporary nature of, and also the surviving torture and destruction, and therefore suffer the more acutely, their consciousness being centered in the present moment. I have read allusions to this subject, but in no case has any clear and intelligible explanation been given, compatible with that justice which is the corner-stone of Theosophy. Transmigration is rejected, and even if it were true, it would not furnish a valid reason why creatures deprived of higher principles should thus suffer, since responsibility ceases with such a severance. And on the other hand, if we once admit the possibility of useless or undeserved suffering, we open the door to what would undermine the philosophic views of Karma so gladly accepted by thinking persons who have been saddened by realizing the varied vicissitudes of life, and the tragic fate of countless human beings, year after year. Why should a harmless creature be burnt alive, or vivisected? Whatever light, in the plainest language, can be thrown on the mystery of pain in the animal world, would be thankfully accepted by many, as well as by


Page 239

Animals do not suffer so keenly as human beings, and do not remember suffering, unless reminded by the sight of the instruments of their pain, as for instance when a thrashed dog sees a whip. Animals again are almost immediately reincarnated in higher animal organisms. Suffering moreover, is the cause of knowledge, so that the incarnating entity gains experience, although the organism is tortured to death. Again physical suffering is on the lowest and most Mayavic plane, so that the animals although often suffering tortures physically, are free from the deeper miseries, with which sometimes man, even supposing him in perfect health and in the midst of luxury, is crucified unceasingly. Indeed, when reflecting on such problems and on the awful horrors of vivisection, we may sometimes be inclined to feel more sorrow for the vivisector than for his pain-racked victim, for the awful pangs of remorse that sooner or later will seize on the former, will outweigh a thousand times the comparatively momentary pain of the poor dumb sufferers.— [EDS.]