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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A Chaser of Good News

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To counteract the distress many of us feel following the MFA investigation story and the Taiji Dolphin hunt updates, here is a bit of encouraging news. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust team and the Kenya Wildlife Service in the Tsavo National Park reported that they were able to save an African Bull elephant from poachers earlier this week in a pretty remarkable way.

Click HERE for the story. Here is the video:

Just when I feel hopeless with humanity, I am reminded that there are people who do things like this. Thank you to this medical and aerial team for respecting our historical, cultural and spiritual connection to animals.

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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~~~

Irvine, CA passes progressive humane law

 

 

“Irvine, California’s City Council passed an unprecedented bill this week banning rodeos and circuses with exotic animals, and the retail sale of dogs and cats. This huge victory for animals passed with a 4–1 vote after nearly 40 supporters, including IDA’s Elephant Campaign Director Catherine Doyle, spoke in favor of the ban.

 

Most dogs sold in pet stores come from puppy mills where dogs are kept in filthy, cramped, inhumane conditions. Animals in circuses suffer terribly from cruel training, painful physical problems from living in semi-trailers and on chains, and sheer boredom. Animals in rodeos are not aggressive naturally – they are domesticated animals who are painfully coerced and injured for the sake of entertainment. IDA applauds the city of Irvine for their compassionate decision. Congratulations to the Irvine activists whose perseverance and hard work made this amazing victory possible. California just got a little safer for animals.”    

                           

   – In Defense of Animals (IDA)