Home' Nova West : November 2010 Contents novamagazine.com.au
© NOVA NOVEMBER 2010 5
At a time when Western Australia is
undergoing great change with a
growing number of people suffering
even in the midst of our affluence, it's
important we acknowledge the efforts of
people who show they care. And one such
group is PAWS, People & Animal Welfare
Society, a not-for-profit, non-governmental
organisation based here in Perth.
Located in Beaufort St Perth, PAWS is a
society in which humans and animals can
coexist peacefully without the threat of
cruelty, exploitation or untimely death. The
concept of coexisting in a spirit of non-
violence is called "ahimsa" in Hindi and was
brought in to prominence by Mahatma Gandhi.
The organisation's vision is for increasing
numbers of ethically responsible people
living with a deep sense of purpose for the
betterment of society and the sustainability
of our environment. Its projects encourage
environmental sustainability, sensible agri-
culture, community welfare and education,
and also encourage harmonious and
productive relationships between humans
In its inner city location, PAWS also offers
a community resource centre and Ashram
for emergency accommodation -- a sanctuary
where everybody is welcome to come and
feel relaxed and comfortable.
Care for All
Its City Ashram and Protection Farm
demonstrates that it is possible to help one
living entity without exploiting another
in the process; to offer shelter and food
without cruelty and with human kindness.
The resource centre also includes WA's first
Cruelty Free Shop and Vegan Café.
Prominent ethicist Peter Singer once
wrote these words: "If it is in our power to
save someone's life with little cost to our own
lives, then we are morally obligated to do so,
and not to do so is morally reprehensible."
While saving someone's life is clearly
dramatic, protecting them from harm,
assuring their rights and providing necessary
resources are less dramatic but also less
clearly understood obligations.
A PAWS spokesperson said that, "As part
of our 'non violent' outreach program, we
have opened our doors to all walks of life to
exemplify how one can live simply, so that
others can simply live.
"PAWS addresses social isolation and
provides support and training to members of
our community who are struggling to find an
opportunity. We provide meals to countless
people without drawing attention to their
financial circumstances and encourage the
interaction and involvement from people of
all walks of life.
"We want to emphasise and encourage
interaction, as well as break down the cultural
barriers. So we work with all sectors of our
community, from the homeless to correct-
ional service workers, from those with
disabilities to volunteers.
"We are building our community through
respect for one another and demonstrating
that everyone can offer something to the
community. Whether it's washing dishes,
talking to visitors, answering the phone, doing
the gardening, maintaining the books, serving
the food, being a source of knowledge, at
the end of the day, everybody matters to a
For more information on PAWS and its
programs visit www.paws.org.au
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