Many people don't think or feel much about ending the lives of insects, "food" animals, and trees everyday. More and more people are awakening to the inherent connection between all of nature and all life. People are widening their circle of compassion to encompass vaster and more diverse lifeforms.
Furthermore, most people at one point or another take "inanimate objects" for granted. Not only do we consume without gratitude or limit, especially precious resorces like water, but we treat our objects with a general lack of respect. We toss, throw, kick, drop, hit and abuse the objects we use on a daily basis. We drop our clothes mindlessly in a heap. We hit our computer, or pound on the wall. We toss a book onto the table.
Any concept of the inherent value of other living beings and the objects themselves not withstanding, what does living this way say about us? What are we, when we let feeling beings, including other humans and countless "food" animals suffer or be enslaved so that we can eat food that causes disease or so that we can get cheap shoes that we disrespect by tossing them around? Certainly not mindful. Certainly not humane, or compassionate. Ignorant, perhaps. But the moment one knows the effect of one's actions on others, the defense of ignorance fades and conscious ignoring begins if choices are not modified. We are responsible morally for all the dirty work we support with our spending- factory farmed food, sweat shop made clothing, shoes, and all manner of useful and frivolous objects. Wiping our asses with freshly-murdered trees, instead of using recycled paper.
If we are to seek wholeness, we must first understand where and what we are. We are connected to this body, which is like a crystalization or symbolic description of the intangible and subtle energy of the Spirit. If scientifically, at the finest level detected, ALL matter (that is to say all manifested form, all that is in the physical level of existence) is made of the same fundamental building blocks. So be it rock, plant, insect, human, sofa, fish, or paperclip, it still is just a variation of the same thing- energy.
So just because we don't understand what it is to be a tree, a boulder, a sneaker, or a squirrel, doesn't mean that these entities don't have some intrinsic value, perhaps a form of consciousness. What if we could expand our awareness to extend respect to everything we see and experience? What if we acted with a conscious intention to recognize the sacredness of existence?
Sufis, Hindus, Jews and Muslims believe that God is in everything, that Spirit or God is the fabric of all that is. Christians say that God is omniscient and omnipresent. That means God cannot be a physical form, like an old man, because to be omniscient and omnipresent one must dwell equally in everything, so God must not be in any one form, but in ALL forms. Where Muslims and Sufis won't allow represetational depiction of God, because it fosters a false association of God as one physical being, Buddhists don't give the concept of God any name. They simply point to the oneness of all that is, saying that the concept of individuality is empty, that all that is is one whole existence.
When we live gratefully and reverently, treating existence itself as if it has meaning, we transform our lives. You can go as deeply as you wish, but in the least using objects respectfully and recognizing the value of all lifeforms and interacting with them accordingly changes us. We become mindful and present, appreciating the miracle that is life. We live deliberately and kindly, love grows within us. We truly transform ourselves and the world around us into something holy, something sacred.