So are you feeling a little bummed that you missed out on the record-breaking $500 million Powerball jackpot? No need.
As PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk points out in an opinion piece just published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, you’ve already won the jackpot just by being in the right place at the right time—and of the right species:
When we feel sorry for ourselves, it helps to put things in perspective. It helps to remember that we live in the United States of America, where we have a great many luxuries unknown to most of the world. We don’t have to stifle our opinions or get a government-issued pass to travel to another state: We enjoy freedom of speech and freedom of movement. We are entitled to an education. We do not have to starve or freeze: Someone will provide us with food, shelter, and water. If we are down on our luck or out on the street, there are basic support services available from the government and from charities.
And even beyond all of that, we have won life’s lottery because we have been born human. Whether you believe we lucked out because of karma or divine intervention or by an accident of birth, just imagine for one moment what life would be like if you had been born a mouse in a laboratory, a dog kept outside on a chain all winter, a bear in a barren enclosure in a roadside zoo, or a bird confined to a cage.
This is an appeal to all of us who have won life’s lottery by being born into the luckiest 0.0001 percent of life-forms: Remember to care and to share, especially during this season of goodwill—Powerball or no Powerball.
Read the essay in its entirety here.