OBECA focuses on building empathy and compassion for all animals, whether companion, farmed or wild. Each individual animal is a sentient being with distinct and sophisticated ways of processing the world around him. Each animal displays a complex range of emotions, highly evolved communication skills, and intelligence. All animals, thus, regardless of their social and ecological roles, functions or values, deserve our respect, appreciation, and protection.
OBECA believes that building empathy and compassion for animals helps create a society where people can look beyond their own immediate interests, and where they respect and care for others. Indeed, human and animal well-being are inherently intertwined. That is why empathy and compassion towards animals play a critical role in bringing people together and in building and nurturing trust. These forces help people to overcome difficulties and achieve higher and more satisfying socio-ecological potential.
At its heart, OBECA embraces the vision of complex and dynamic social-ecological systems in which people no longer see themselves as external, independent entities in a surrounding ecosystem but integral components of their environment. The way we relate to and treat animals affects our health and well-being as well as our social and environmental realities. Recognizing the interdependence of all species allows for a transformation to be built around empathy and compassion. This is the surest way for achieving resilient social-ecological systems. Such transformation is crucial, and it is urgent. Only resilient social-ecological systems will help us successfully face environmental, economic, and social challenges, both those that are expected and those that are unknown.
The Organization for Building Compassion and Empathy for Animals (OBECA) is a federally registered non-profit organization based in Vancouver, British Columbia.