It’s almost funny (in a darkly humoristic way) that we who call ourselves “wise humans” (Homo Sapiens) can never see the one guaranteed way to put an end to our troubled and selfish behaviors—change our way of being.
We always seem to take for granted that humans will always act in negative, selfish ways that harms everyone and everything around them. There is no way to change that, or so it seems that we as a species believe that to be the case. We cannot, so the thinking goes, improve ourselves because the human being is a fixed and determined bundle of ignorant and shitty behaviors. Yet when we find ourselves too weak to be in peak health, we change our diet, exercise regularly, and build up our muscles and immune system. But our behaviors are not something we think we can easily change. It’s absurd, and it’s deadly to others.
Yes, the Buddha gave humanity a way to end our individual suffering. But he gave us something more: he gave us an example of what a human being can accomplish when they actually try. I’m not even talking about enlightenment. Sure go for it, but follow the Buddha’s example while you are at it and benefit all along the way.
The answer you seek is called “mahakaruna” and it is a change in your ‘operating system’ that occurs when you follow the path of Avalokitasvara, Manjusri, and all the Buddhas, all of whom changed themselves into beings of Mahakaruna. That word means “Great Responsiveness.” It is a way to be in the world which is the opposite of our normal selfish and destructive way of being. It is the result of meditation using the support used by the Bodhisattvas I mentioned above, and all the Buddhas. Read the Surangama Sutra and pay close attention to the detailed account of how Avalokitasvara describes his path to enlightenment. That is the ultimate goal, but along the way, you are progressively changed into a being that manifests Mahakaruna in all your dealings in the world. It’s not, as some take it, a practice of compassion, although that is virtuous practice as well. Rather, it is an automatic (as we would say today) consideration of all beings in each moment of your life, rather than the focus that we are taught that only considers yourself and what you want.
And then get everyone around you to do it too. That is how you will end the suffering of animals—and what you inflict on others—by changing how you, and we all, operate in the world.
There is even a prophecy in Tibetan Buddhism that recommends this practice as a way of helping all beings survive this next decade and all the troubles coming during it (remember global warming?).
I hope this may change your mind, Achmed, about creating a black hole to end all things.