Sharing the Planet
I am asking friends to please print this out and post it in public somewhere.
Sharing the planet by Joanne Kathleen Farrell march 2015
I will never forget the day and time or where I was the day my life permanently changed. Many claim to have that experience. It is not unusual but quite common. An unexpected event splashes in, onto the shores of their human heart and they are forever changed by the tides of life. In many cases people who experience this process are often traumatized and left with a quest to become a new person with new ambitions. Life altering events give us purpose along with the pain. From the pain human beings can find imaginative ways to create enormous positive change in the world. Today( Like yesterday) I am opening my thoughts on sharing this great blue and green planet we call home with all the other creatures that exist here and sadly reminisce on my life altering event.
As a child I loved animals. Our family had a slew of pets over the years. As an adult my children had a dog, a cat, and four chickens all as pets. We also acquired a number of bunny rabbits over the years. Our pets spent much of their lives free and able to come in or out as they wanted. As I look back I wonder if I gave them all the love and attention they deserved. Most likely not. Most pet owners get caught up in their own lives and financial responsibilities and recognize the importance of the pets they cared for when it is too late and they are gone.
I never really liked eating meat. I just never cared for it much. Living in a rural area for eleven years I saw cows and horses every day. I never really thought much about them. When I was younger cows and horses represented the old way of life, the America of long ago when there were massive forests and an abundance of small family farms. Animals were part of that dream. I never really thought about what the animals dream was. I was thinking on terms of my own pursuit of happiness.
The fact is that animals have their own minds. I know they dream because I have witnessed my own pets whimper in their sleep. Each and every animal has their own needs and desires. They might not be able to understand calculus, and other concepts of math and science but, we greatly underestimate their abilities. They seem to communicate on simple terms like winking an ear to the door when they want to go out or blinking an eye when they see a stray with an eye infection. Animals understand love and have social needs. They need to be connected to another warm being. Animals want to find a safe place and comfort as we all want to. No living thing wants to be in pain emotionally or physically.
How many times have we driven down a road and witnessed an animal sprawled out dead. We know that animal died in great pain. We know they suffered. Each lake and river polluted life suffers. Just because we do not see first hand the lot of our own destructiveness it still exists. General Electric, power plants, asphalt plants, and industrial compounds force scalding hot waste water into rivers and streams. When we use the power we seldom think about the suffering it caused living creatures in these water ways or how many fish get burned. Nor do we take the time to think that once the whole entire northeastern part of the United States was once full of moose, deer, elk, beaver, mink, bears, salmon, and river otters all in great abundance. Of the wildlife who were able to make it thus far through our endless inability to stop from taking from the earth live out their lives in habitats that are void of most natural food sources. The natural foods were too in abundance. In all actuality every parking lot was once a large shady forest or an expanse of green meadow. Land tracks with weeds do not supply enough food and many animals in the wild starve. Creatures of this earth who have a brain and a nervous system feel pain and fear just as we do. So today like yesterday I leave you with this message, that in this day and age we should develop a new sense of understanding.
I remember one day when I visited a friend who owned a small dog. He barked so at my presence she tied him up in the yard. I once thought of her as a model pet owner that always had food and water and could afford medical care for the animal. The dog was walked every day. Now I look back and think she used to let him out for fresh air and tie him in the yard. There was a high fence and he was safe. Do wolves want to be safe? I think of him below that high walled fence all alone. He probably hated it. Dogs are social animals. The last thing canine creatures want to be is all alone. Maybe her dog just wanted to be free.
Nothing in my life has ever changed me more than a video I found in my e mail. To this day I find it hard to talk about. I have found myself startled in my sleep over this video and have experienced flash backs from it that have left me crying in very unusual places. I had to excuse myself at a wedding when the flashes of pain come back. The video was recorded in Canada at a factory farm. A herd of cattle were all fenced in a round area behind high solid steel bars. There was no way out. They travel in pain on endless circles to nowhere. A man was standing outside of the steel bars with a whip in his hand. I could only watch a random few seconds. No one can really watch the whole thing. They would have to be mentally sick to do so. The man begins whipping the animals and whipping them. The cows run. He whips them over and over. I fast forward but the beatings are still going on. He whips them harder. Their groans and screams are unbearable to hear. I fast forward again but the beating just goes on and on. I can fast forward to the place where it is all over for me. Those animals cannot. The on-lookers of the incident video and watch. No one intervenes. The beating continues. I find that hard to live with. Maybe that is why I started having flashbacks.
Then came another video. I share these videos to educate others on the realities of factory farming. This one was a cheese producer for frozen pizza. Man in this place beat the cows over and over. One male is shown as he stomps and stomps on the cow. In the video younger cows are watching from another steel pen while this male stomps and punches the cow. He kicks again and again while the young watch frozen in terror. The cow groans loudly with each blow. This is so sick I am once again filled with loathing at the sight of these men. In a few seconds I cannot watch any more. I thought of the young calves in their pen. And I thought of how my cats would react if I someone was beating one in front of the others. Keep in mind a cows brain is much larger and much more developed than that of a cat.
So I was forever changed. I spend the rest of my life however long or short it might be dedicating as many hours as possible, as many as I can to end factory forms of live animal farming. In the meantime we need to push for stronger laws protecting animals from vile abuse. Caretakers of animals should be trained and supervised. Those found to be violent towards them should be taken off the job immediately. The DFA is responsible for these problems and they are responsible for the proper care for the well -being of live animals while they are being raised for food. No living creature should have to endure these vile tortures.
How large is the human brain? Is it large enough to comprehend agony? What is it in the human brain that can say, “ I don’t care.” Or, “ My needs are more important.” We believe that the entire surface of the earth belong to us and us alone but it does not. It belongs to all of the living beings here. If there is a nuclear meltdown at a power plant animals are exposed to radiation. If there is war animals and birds die as well. Pets and wildlife die in a bombing just as people do and when we pollute the water and the small amounts of land left for them we kill. These creatures have a brain and a nervous system. They feel pain just as we do. So, I leave you with this message, and that is we should develop a new sense of understanding that all being are here by our creator and have a right to food, land, and space. It is time to think of all of those we share this planet with, and bring courage, change, and care, to those who cannot speak.
Joanne Kathleen Farrell