Shirley the Elephant – “Free at Last”

I don’t cry easily at things I watch, but I dare you to not cry while you watch this:

I want to say “thank you,” to Solomon James, wherever you are, for being the one and only saving grace that Shirley had for so many years. You are the kind of soul this world needs more of. Bless you.

Weekend To-Do (Good) List: Circus Edition!!!

As you probably know, Ringling Bros.’ parent company made the startling announcement this week that they will be ending all elephant performances by 2018. We all celebrate this victory after years of petitioning, protesting, and increasing public awareness.

Staples circus protest 2011

We can’t forget though that there is still plenty to do to help animals in entertainment.  Life As a Wave wants YOU to help keep the momentum going by taking these easy actions. Lend some of your weekend time to these efforts, post this blog to your social media pages, let people know what you’re up to and how they can help too.

Most of all, have fun doing good!!

With big, elephant love,

~~~S Wave~~~

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1. Help Magnus the Lion

This cub was removed from his mother shortly after birth and intentionally malnourished by a circus in Spain. They wanted to keep him small, but instead they made him permanently ill. When they wanted to euthanize him, a rescue group and a team of vets came together to save him. Read the story here.

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To find out more about Magnus’ rescue and surgery, visit Let’s Adopt! Global. If you want to contribute some money to his care and to finding a new sanctuary home for him like I did, click here. Most of all, share his story so that people remember that there are many more animals suffering in circuses around the world.

2. Keep the Seaworld Buzz Alive!

One can’t help but compare the elephants in Ringling Bros. shows and the orcas in SeaWorld shows. Two majestic, wild, roaming species confined and exploited to the point of psychological breakdown.

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Citizens from all walks — animal rights activists to the neighbors down the street — are growing weary of SeaWorld’s persistence to keep orcas and other marine mammals performing at their parks. This is especially true since the breakout documentary, Blackfish. In fact, this has been one of the most powerful animal rights campaigns I have personally witnessed. How can we keep it going?

First, watch Blackfish if you haven’t. Post about it. Share the trailer on social media.

Second, be another voice in the protest. Join over 50,000 others in signing this petition by Fins and Fluke or this petition by SeaWorldofHurt.

Third, follow social media sites like Stop SeaWorld and Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project that speak out against marine life abuse.

Fourth, don’t go to SeaWorld! I’ve said it once and I’ll keep saying it: it’s time to move past this kind of entertainment and captivity. It is time for preservation and sanctuary, for respect for animals’ natural behaviors, and for teaching our children to embrace the “wild” of wilderness.

Fifth, if you want to really get out there and get your hands dirty, join a protest! Protests are regularly held in San Diego, San Antonio, and Orlando.

3. Watch Dumbo With a Child

Here’s one that doesn’t make you a “crazy activist” and doesn’t cost you any money (except maybe for some almond milk and cookies). Children have a keen sense of compassion for animals, an instinct that they are too often conditioned to ignore.

Why not engage them in a conversation about why Dumbo was taken from his mother?

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Why not ask them what they think about the Ringling news?

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Why not tell them that they have power to make bad things good? Because they really do.

Youth Protester

Enjoy your weekend and DO GOOD!

Less amusing animals: How movements work

Reblogging this from David Meyer’s wordpress site. As I hope you have heard, Ringling Bros. have announced that they will be phasing out the use of elephants in their shows. This is a huge development! Historic! Our responsibility to honor our fellow non-human animals in this time of species collapse demands that out-dated exploitations like this end. Thank you, Ringling Bros.!

Politics Outdoors

As anyone who has stumbled across the internet and sampled a tiny sliver of the astounding variety of cat videos, animals can be entertaining.  For years animal rights advocates have been emphasizing the price those animals pay for our amusement.

When we learn that elephants are beaten in training, we may become a little less impressed by those amusing tricks.  Maybe, we go to the movies or  a concert instead of dragging the family to the circus.

After years of countering the rhetoric,  and offering reforms in training methods, even litigating against its critics (and winning!), Ringling Brothers has given up, announcing that it will phase out the use of elephants in its circus shows.  There are a lot of factors–as there always are: circus audiences are declining; taking care of elephants is expensive; and some cities have laws banning elephant performances.

Kenneth Feld, the president of Feld…

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Elephants and a Watchtower Moment

I have all these posts planned in my head and drafted here on wordpress, but sometimes you need to just click on that “New Post” button and let the words flow in the moment because something has just resonated in your heart and reminded you that you are on the right path–doing what you need to do and learning what you need to learn…

photo by ~~~S Wave~~~

To set the scene: I have been dealing with some life anxiety. Work, relationships, big decisions, little decisions, health…you know how sometimes it all culminates and seems as though you’ve got too much in your brain and not enough synapses to handle it all? Well that has definitely been happening. But this evening I was feeling better and had planned to attend a massive gathering at the Los Angeles Staples Center to protest the Ringling Brothers Circus which has just arrived. It is an annual event (hopefully an unnecessary one next year!) and even though I only had an hour to participate after work, being there reminded me sweetly of my first time going two years ago. It had been my FIRST protest. So each July since then when I attend, it is a time for me to reflect on the progress I have made toward being my most authentic self—-being a person who speaks up for what she believes in and is learning to face some pretty daunting fears.

I came home, spent some time in prayer, ate dinner, and continued reading Laszlo’s Science and the Akashic Field (which you may remember from my summer reading list!) This book is opening my mind up to new ways of understanding interconnectedness…beyond a sentimental ideal or a farfetched fable. More to come on this book in a future post. I’m chomping at the bit!! For now, I will say that this book is scientifically fortifying my belief that there IS something connecting us all with each other beyond time and space. I had just finished reading the section titled The Puzzles of Coherence in Consciousness where the author introduces concepts of transpersonal connection (think twins who feel each others’ pains), telesomatic effects (minds affecting bodies), spiritual healing and intercessory prayer.

As I closed the book for the night, little did I know that I would shortly receive what I will call a “watchtower” moment. These are those moments when you are reminded that you are entirely known right where you are, that the path under your feet is not so much of a mystery as you might sometimes think, and that there will always be something to guide you when that is what you need.  A fellow protestor posted an article on Facebook. It made sense that she would post a story about elephants, but what I hadn’t expected was the message of interconnectedness—-demonstrated in an almost otherwise inexplicable witnessed event—-between our two species. A man who was called The Elephant Whisperer, died in March. During his life, he rescued hundreds of elephants that had been deemed too aggressive for rehabilitation. By connecting with them through hours of talking to them and communing with them in a spirit of patience, compassion and humility, they came to trust him. When he died, his family recounts that dozens of these elephants began marching through his preserve toward his house. One person said it was like a funeral procession. How could they have known he had died?

Click here to read the article: Elephants Mourn

“If there ever were a time, when we can truly sense the wondrous ‘interconnectedness of all beings,’ it is when we reflect on the elephants of Thula Thula. A man’s heart’s stops, and hundreds of elephants’ hearts are grieving. This man’s oh-so-abundantly loving heart offered healing to these elephants, and now, they came to pay loving homage to their friend.”

For me, it was a moving and confounding example of true interconnection, yes. But it was also a fusion of the most wonderful and inspiring parts of my little, human day; it was a message of, “I know where you are in your life…even down to this very evening. Keep going. I am with you.” I hope it will mean something equally benevolent and sustaining to you as well.

In love,

~~~S Wave~~~