May I Be the Duck

There is a lovely little documentary called, “How To Cook Your Life.” In it a monk, Edward Espe Brown, imparts zen philosophies for life in the context of cooking. I’ve watched it many times…especially in the kitchen! There is one point in the film when Espe Brown recites a poem written by his mother before her death. I have this poem posted in my home. It reminds me of my position in life. It reminds me of the great ocean of mystery and potential that always surrounds me. It reminds me to rest in the moment.

Here it is for you.

Ocean of the Long Tailed Duck by Doug Hiser

Ocean of the Long Tailed Duck by Doug Hiser

Now we are ready to look at something pretty special.

It’s a duck

Riding on the waves a hundred feet beyond the surf.

It can rest while the Atlantic heaves

Because it rests in the Atlantic.

Probably it doesn’t know how large the ocean is

And neither do you.

But what does it do, I ask you?

It sits down in it.

It rests in the immediate as though it were infinity.

You Versus a Cow

Humans — who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals — have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain. A sharp distinction between humans and ‘animals’ is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them — without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeelingly toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us.

– Carl Sagan

I’m looking forward to a new little movie that will be launching soon. It is called Speciesism: The Movie and it is intended to make us consider our relationship with animals and the privileged stance we unquestionably assume among the animal kingdom…especially in relation to food.  Here is the trailer:

I find speciesism to be a very fascinating and challenging philosophy. Why do we value humans above animals? What makes us superior, if anything? How far should “animal rights” go? What is a “sentient being?” These kinds of questions are complex and deserve an open mind. You can look at speciesism from all kinds of angles. And people have. My understanding is that the best author to read who argues for NONspecieism is Joan Dunayer.

The movie should be good food for thought! Vegan food of course. 😉