Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Animal Magic

Good Morning Friends,

My question for today is, “Who speaks for the animals.” I started thinking about this last night when a neighbor’s dog, a little one, a Chihuahua, named “Mini,” came running over to me as I was talking to my neighbor in his yard.

Mini gave me such a wonderful greeting, pawed my leg for more attention and petting and then sat beside me for the duration of the human conversation.

I’ve owned dogs and loved them. This exchange with Mini was special. She knew I was happy to see her and in her bouncy excited way she returned the enthusiasm. You can’t tell me there was not a loving communication between us and at some level a sentient awareness of a shared spirit with All That Is.

I cannot understand animal cruelty in any form; let me make it more generic, species cruelty of any kind. What continued this kind of thinking was a comment left on yesterday's post. A poem by Mary Houston. Read it if you haven’t. It’s wonderful.

There are many benevolent organizations that care for all sorts of animals, reptiles, mammals, birds and fish and each in their own way speak for their species, but cruelty to any species is most always hidden in the individual actions of owners or caretakers and even with some people with only casual encounters with other species.

Cruelty can be in the actions of denial and control. A number of years ago I walked into a store and there was a guy who was telling his wife about an old man and a dog. The guy spoke openly and clearly. So I listened.

He said he had been at the vets to get some medicine for his dog and there on the receptionists counter was this forlorn little dog up for adoption. The dog was small in statue, sad in look and about nine years old. Apparently the dog was owned and loved by an 81-year-old man who was devastated that he couldn’t keep the dog anymore.

The old timer had to leave his apartment and move in with his son and his wife. He wanted to bring the dog, but they wouldn’t let him. The little dog and the old man were heartbroken.

Sometimes adult children can’t see beyond their own needs and honor the attachment that elderly parents have to things, to places, to people and to pets.

I don’t know the answer to these proverbial questions. Is it cruel to a fish to hook it and release it and call it sport? It is cruel to the lamb whose only life is to be a chop? Is it cruel to the young steer that ends up being veal piccatta? Is it cruel to the partridge or pheasant raised in captivity and released on a hunting range for sport?

I have to say to those whose sensitivity is not in that arena, I eat all of those species I question.

The only criteria of amelioration that I do, and I would offer to all who eat the fish, fowl and beef is to be appreciative for the life that was taken. Give specific thanks to the fish, to the lamb, to the animal and honor the gift of sustenance.

I’ll probably hear from the vegetable lobby in the near future. I may have to stop thinking about these things.

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