Stepping out of a systemic paradigm is not something that one can just decide to do. It is simply not a mental process. You can direct reason and logic at me and tell me all the negative egregious consequences of our current animal-as-commodity world paradigm and I will most likely respond [as a non-vegan] with a shame induced sense of powerlessness and find a way to mentally justify my use of animals. We’ve heard all the excuses of denial a thousand times, I have no need to list them here.
Actual life, the playing court, is experiential. It is the state of your consciousness at any given moment. Who you are is highly subjective! How exciting is that? It means there is no right or wrong, there is only your experience. I know that’s a bold statement and here is what I mean by it. I’m not a vegan because torturing and killing animals is wrong (mental concept), but because my open and innocent heart experiences such excruciating pain and empathy.
It was my heart that opened my eyes, not my mind. It takes great courage to bear such pain. And great love. I am often amazed at how we as vegans (myself included) insist that the non-vegans in our lives rip open their hearts at our demand. That’s just not how hearts open. We are paradigm-shifters learning the ropes and I am not judging here. To the contrary, this exponential growth of the vegan movement is unprecedented and I am heartened by all of our efforts, from bumbling to exquisite.
Each and every one of us was born into this “othering” behavior. Capitalism certainly fans its flames with a strategic urgency. “We are all one” is a spiritual concept until it becomes one’s genuine experience. Once we are grounded in this knowing, we will no longer be invisible to each other’s hearts. I envision a planet where the well being of all earthlings is in everyone’s self interest, where advocacy and support of each other in the face of oppression or danger is as natural a response as the lifting of one’s face to the kiss of the sun.
Clover died early this morning. The heat wave was very hard on her poor body and she was found in her coop dead. We are having her body cremated and her ashes put in an urn. There will be a memorial service for her TBA.
Clover was a meat bird and as such she lived a charmed life. She lived 15 months, which is long for someone with her genetic disposition. She grew to 13 pounds, which was too much weight for her organs to take. She was extremely well taken care of and very loved. Clover was happy and curious. She played and explored her world and communicated with body language and a infinite array of facial expressions. She ate organic feed and always had clean, fresh water. She slept safely every night on her straw bed, protected from predators in her coop. She laid many eggs and we still have one of the biggest. She was a friend to Sunflower, the laying hen at Dekum Street Doorway. I know Sunflower must be missing her buddy right about now.
I will miss Clover’s grounded and relaxed confidence, as well as her feisty and beautiful way of holding her own ground. Here was a chicken allowed to be herself in the world. And she shone brightly. You are forever in my heart, dearest Clover.
Categories: Clover, vegan
Tags: animal rights, chicken, classroom experiment, Clover, compassion, Dekum Street Doorway, meat bird, memorial, sanctuary, vegan, vegan diet, veganism
Please click this link to view the release of these beautiful senior cows. They are literally jumping for joy.
Dr. Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet and Madeleine Tuttle conducted a prayer vigil on Thanksgiving for the 47 million turkeys killed for this one day in the U.S.
They had the opportunity on Saturday to feed the turkeys at AnimalPlace Sanctuary in Grass Valley, CA, and Will had the opportunity to sit quietly with Jude, a turkey who had suffered terribly at the hands of humans, and had managed to hide on the day all the turkeys were removed from the turkey farm to be trucked to slaughter. A neighbor found him and rescued him. Though his body was mutilated as is routine, his open and loving heart touched Will deeply.
Here is the farmer cooking us a delightful vegan meal of tofu, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, carrots and quinoa in a sesame tamari sauce. Such a tasty vacation at Netarts Bay, Oregon. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We are attending a traditional bird-consuming Thanksgiving at a relative’s house and I am preparing myself as a humble vegan ambassador. I am blessing the turkey silently and asking for forgiveness, not just for a gruesome slaughter, but for forcing her into a concentration camp, a life impossibly suited to healthy turkey family and community. Then a silent prayer for us human animals, asking that all of our hearts be restored to our natural state of joy, love, compassion and wisdom. May we open our eyes, open our hearts and re-connect with ALL of life, remembering there is only ONE awareness living in myriad physical forms.
Clover was hatched as a classroom experiment. She is a meat bird. Think Foster Farms. That means she was bred too large for her legs and must rest often. She was also bred with a four-year life span. I met Clover at Dekum Street Doorway and instantly fell in love with her. She was initially depressed but really came into herself. She is now curious, joyful and exploratory. She is a lucky bird to be able to live out the rest of her days in safety and contentment.