Ahimsa Paramo dharma
Ahimsa paramo dharma
Attributed to various religious teachers, including Mahavira—the 24th Tirthankara or enlightened spiritual master in Jainism—and popularized by Mahatma Gandhi, “ahimsa paramo dharma” is loosely translated to “nonviolence is the highest moral virtue.” Ahimsa—Sanskrit for non-violence or non-injury to life—requires doing the least harm one can to all living beings, not only by action but also by thought and word. An important tenet of many of the Eastern faiths, including Hinduism and Buddhism, Ahimsa is the fundamental tenet of Jainism. Paramo means topmost, ultimate, or supreme. Dharma has no direct translation into English; however, it can be conceptualized as duty, reality, or righteousness in thought, word, and action.
Unlike western conceptions of non-violence, ahimsa is not a passive force, but implies an active expression of compassion. In the same vein, Humane Long Island does not believe it’s enough to simply go vegan but rather believes we must become activists.
the future of Sanctuaries
Humane Long Island is not your typical animal sanctuary. Rescuing hundreds of wild and farmed animals every year, Humane Long Island could easily fill a traditional sanctuary in a matter of months. Instead, we operate as a transitional sanctuary—rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming hundreds of farmed animals every single year from abandonment, abuse, and neglect instead of keeping them permanently. Through this model, we rescue exponentially more animals than a traditional sanctuary while also telling their stories via traditional media urging the public to break the cycle of abuse by leaving animals off of their plates.
While we once rented property with an aviary, Humane Long Island is currently foster-based while we search for a more permanent location where we can not only continue our rescue operations but also launch an Activist Education Center where we can host workshops, trainings, fundraisers, and events to honor the South Asian traditions. If you would like to donate toward this effort, please consider visiting our donation or sponsorship pages. You may also contact John@humanelongisland.org for more information or to discuss donation of land or other property.
Warriors for peace
Taking inspiration from Mahavira, a name meaning “Great Warrior”, Humane Long Island is not your typical animal rights organization. We are strategic campaigners who have shut down petting zoos and illegal backyard butcher operations, stopped massacres of thousands of geese and deer, ended animal circuses and wild animal acts from New York City to Greenport, stopped a slaughterhouse from being built in Islip and a sordid aquarium chain from expanding into Oyster Bay, and done so much more, through the implementation of right thought and action.
We do not approach animal exploiters with pride or anger, but rather as humane educators with thoughts of consequentialism. We recognize that a person’s every action is the result of the disposition they were born with—whether one calls that a soul, a Jiva, or simply their genetic makeup—and how that disposition is influenced by environmental factors, experiences, or karmas. A wicked person is not someone to be feared or loathed, but rather a broken person who needs to be loved and healed.
Through this mindset, we regularly exchange vegan food for animals at New York City live slaughter markets, have worked with our friends at PETA and Arthur’s Acres Animal Sanctuary to rescue two pigs from an Iowa factory farm, and even worked amicably with Party Pets of New York owner Andre Ricaud to shut down his petting zoo and retire the animals to reputable sanctuaries.