The view out all my windows this morning: snow and more snow! It's a great day to settle in, get cozy, heat a cup of joe or tea and get busy reading a good book, or as I often do, read parts of several books and various Internet articles. Of course, if it were sunny, I'd say the same thing. I think any day is a good day to read and research. Both are my passion.
Reading The Animal Manifesto by Marc Bekoff
I'm reading The Animal Manifesto written by Mark Bekoff and loving it. I feel a kindred spirit in the author. He also wrote The Emotional Lives of Animals and Wild Justice. They are on my to-read-soon list.
You know that feeling when someone so eloquently puts into words exactly what you believe? It's like how it feels when a ball hits the sweet part of the racquet. That's what it's like reading Bekoff's book. One paragraph after another, I'm sitting here thinking Yes! Yes! That's it exactly!
The author describes his manifesto as a journey through six reasons (each reason is its own chapter) why all animals matter, why we need to do better, and why we need to expand what he calls 'our compassion footprint.' He compares the term to the concept of a carbon footprint, and explains that we need a bigger footprint of compassion as it relates to the way we treat all life. It's easy to see how the world would be a better place if animals across the globe were treated with respect, care, and kindness. Doing good and being good has a perpetuating effect or more simply put: a domino reaction. I smile, you smile and someone else smiles... and so on.
Much of what Bekoff writes about, and has devoted his life to, is what I hope some of my website succeeds in doing, which is inspiring people to stop and think, and then rethink about reevaluate the way animals are viewed and treated. Out of this thoughtful examination, hopefully there will be some good changes. I always, always loved animals, but I am much more compassionate towards them now. I continue to learn about them and in so doing, I hope my 'compassion footprint' grows ...
Old habits die hard as the saying goes, but here's an example of how I've changed.
When I was growing up, I never once thought about the circus being something cruel. It did not occur to me to wonder if the animals were happy and well treated. Now, I think about those things. I did some research and read about circuses. I talked to people about them. All in all, I have concluded the circus must close!
I do not support what Ringling Bros is doing. (I have followed the law suit against them, which is a whole other article.) I see the atrocious abuse of circus animals and I want to be part of putting an end to it. But you have people who have been in the circus world for generations. The circus has a long tradition in America dating back to the last decade of the 1700's. It is very much a part of American history and carries a proud image. But now that we have knowledge about how circus animals are trained and treated, and what the appalling living conditions are for circus animals, we owe it to them and to our own sense of humanity to stop this form of "entertainment".
Old notions and traditions of "entertainment" have come (and continue to come) at a great sacrifice to the health and happiness of our beloved animals. I have a page on my website called SAY NO TO THE CIRCUS. If you haven't thought much about it ... please take a look at it and do some long, hard thinking about it ...
There are many other ways my own attitude toward animals and treatment of them has evolved and become more compassionate as I've become more aware and knowledgeable. I'll share in another blog ...
More to come on The Animal Manifesto ....
I'm an artist, writer, photographer, private investigator and an activist in small ways.
"Turning indifference into making a difference."
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I visited the Tiger Temple in Thailand & later found out it is under investigation for tiger trafficking and animal abuse. Read full story. In 2015 it was raided. More than 100 tigers and protected bird species in Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua, popularly known as the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province were impounded by authorities following complaints that the temple was alleged to engage in illegal wildlife trading.
"The moment one gives close attention to anything,
even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious,
awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
~ Henry Miller
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