The Jain ecological philosophy is virtually synonymous with the principal of Ahimsa (non-violence) which runs through the tradition like a golden thread.
Ahimsa is a principle that Jains teach and practice not only towards human beings but towards all nature. It is an unequivocal teaching that is at once ancient and contemporary.
There is nothing so small and subtle as the atom nor any element so vast as space. Similarly, there is no human quality more subtle than non-violence and no virtue of spirit greater than reverence for life.
The teaching of Ahimsa refers not only to physical acts of violence but also to violence in the hearts and minds of human beings, their lack of concern and compassion for their fellow humans and for the natural world. Ancient Jain texts explain that violence (himsa) is not defined by actual harms, for this may be unintentional. It is the intention to harm, the absence of compassion, that makes an action violent. Without violent thought there could be no violent actions.
Jain cosmology recognizes the fundamental natural phenomenon of symbiosis or mutual dependence. All aspects of nature belong together and are bound in a physical as well as a metaphysical relationship. Life is viewed as a gift of togetherness, accommodation and assistance in a universe teeming with interdependent constituents.