Where’s The Beef?

If you are able, look into the dark eyes of this Cow.
Can you imagine how it would feel to gently touch and pet this cow on the bridge of her nose? Can you sense the softness of her hair? Click on the photo for a closer look. She was just as curious about me, as I was about her. Many of her kind are destined to be herded into feedlots and meet a stressful death for our ultimate consumption. What struck me the day I met her, was how peaceful all the cows were.

Consumption of ‘meat products’ removes us from the source of supply. Consider if you will, how many cultures sacredly respect all living beings. Consider the spiritual practices that bless the animal and thank the creator before killing the animal. As well, consider how detached some humans become from killing animals for consumption or trophy.

There is discussion about the impact on our bodies from eating the meat of stressed animals. Such as the amount of hormones etc that circulate through the muscle tissue we call meat. Eating meat is not unnatural.. Mass slaughter is. Spiritually, it is considered negative to take more than you can consume or give away.

Since I met this cow in the above photo a year ago, I do find I have more compassion for my sources of meat and try to choose wisely. I am challenged by the high costs for organic meat. Consuming less really means more to me and really, the output cost is a good investment in the local economy. A few great regional ranches advertise ‘healthy practices’. However, there are also some regional political rules that hinder small operations from processing their own meat products etc. .

Back to connecting with animals ~

I have another video from Liz Mitten Ryan and her relationship to her newest friend on her ranch. I loved watching her Bull run playfully around her and soak up the loving attention of a good brushing!

Wooly Bully from Liz Mitten Ryan on Vimeo

“ We as humans suffer from an insidious malaise that is growing like a cancer throughout our species and our world. Natural System Dysfunction (NSD) is a direct result of our alienation from our natural, life-giving relationship to our source—the source of all creation and the sustenance that feeds all life. The more we distance ourselves from our natural state, the more dangerous and fragile our tenuous hold on life becomes. To avoid sounding as unintelligent as the average human being who says “Speak louder, I don’t understand your language,” the solution to NSD lies in our ability to listen to the language of naturea language beyond words. It speaks softly, but with wisdom, instantly remembered as absolute truth, both for the individual and for the whole as one united symbiotic system and greater being. This is what the animals call the ALL (God).
Pg 23 from Sabbatical. . . resting in the power of “isness -Liz Mitten Ryan 2008
(A sabbatical is usually defined as a break or a rest from work.)

I continue to eat meat and this is not a platform to reform meat eaters. I am choosing to include a link to a graphic video that may be offensive to some members of your family. Viewer discretion is advised.

Before you choose to watch this video or any similar videos, I encourage you to consider a mindfulness activity in your choice of spiritual practise or worship. If nothing else, one idea can be to preplan a soothing activity that blesses the animals, their spirits and yourself. As well, possibly express forgiveness for the people who carry out these practises without compassion.

Maybe you will choose to light a candle and say a few words to simply release the disturbing images from your mind. Or, open the door and/or turn on the ceiling fan and let the wind in to clear the negative energy.

The healing intention of Ecopsychology is to consider spending time focused on something in nature. Such as a plant, a tree, your pet, a sunset, step outside and listen to the wind, rain, and Breathe. The point is to notice what happens for you as you do this. It may be subtle or quite profound. Notice... feel... sense

~ After that moment or experience of focusing on something that attracts your attention from nature, notice the difference in your surroundings, or the feel within your body and what is happening in your conscious brain. Perhaps you can describe it simply. However, the point is not to intellectualize the experience.

Warning: The following video may be offensive to some members of your family. Viewer discretion is advised. The PETA website is a great animal advocate website. The videos contain graphic images of the treatment of animals.

Follow the link to the Peta website and look for the ‘Meet your Meat‘ video at the bottom of the webpage. http://www.petatv.com/

Disturbing energy needs to be released in a healing way. Indifference leads to apathy and is destructive. Listen to your intuition and channel the energy into some action or ritual that brings healing and spreads compassion.

Having said all that, if you are not the least bit attracted to view the video..just follow what you are naturally attracted to follow!! ;0)

Feel free to leave your comments about your experiences or reactions.

Seeing Our Reflection In Nature

Last year I had the opportunity to watch the same Flicker Woodpecker (I believe) repeatedly perch on the school windowsill and peer at the tree as seen in the reflection of the tinted window. (Is the grass greener on the other side?) The Flickers compete with the Starlings for nesting space in the trees along the school. By October, I really wondered if he had figured it out?

The population of Flickers has increased in my neighbourhood as the Pine forests surrounding my area of town have been removed or no longer contain food. The forests in the Interior of British Columbia have changed dramatically due to Pine Beetle killing off the grand Pine Trees. Apparently,Pine Trees can live to be up to 700 years old. The older trees are more resilient. It is the trees under 100 years old that are most vulnerable. The trees affected by Pine Beetles rot quickly at the base and become a hazard and snap off quickly. This year the Spruce Bud Worm is a threat attacking the Spruce Trees. As well our forests are tinder dry and this increases the risk for wild fires.

Perhaps you have heard the Flicker Wake Up call on top of your home

Below David Attenborough presents the amazing Lyre bird, which mimics the calls of other birds - and chainsaws and camera shutters -in this video clip from The Life of Birds from BBC

Some words to reflect upon~

"When the perception of time is altered using the body's own processes, there is nearly always an increase in environmental awareness. We slow down enough to notice the space between leaves, to become poetic, lyrical, and multidimensional in our comprehension of the world around us. If we limit the availability of this quality time we engender a speediness of mind that can turn against and destroy its own world."

pg 67 Navigating The Tides Of Change ~ Stories From Science, The Sacred, and a Wise Planet, 2001 by David LaChapelle

How would you invite periods of timelessness into daily life?

The Intrinsic Value of All Species and Nature

(Overlooking Kamloops to the left, which continues to decend into the valley)

A few years ago, I met a horse that intrigued me and I never forgot the experience. I sensed this horse spent quality time with people and was very healthy. But it was more than that. I just sensed a deeper connection with this horse. The horse was interested in me, but not looking for handouts. At that point, I started talking to the horse, or more questioning what she trying to communicate silently to me. You probably know the sense, when eye contact is comfortable, gazes are suspended, and words are not needed. The experience is something that words cannot describe adequately.

Fast forward a few years to when I was out Christmas shopping in a country living store that sold everything from salt licks to expensive art. I was there to see Robert Bateman and his nature artwork. However, a video and the artist promoting her new book about her horses magnetically drew me. It was lovely to meet her and realise she lived in the Nicola Valley close to Kamloops. In fact, the horse I met a few summers ago was probably one of hers! Therefore, I bought two books, one for a friend, and one for myself.

Liz Mitten Ryan is an artist and caretaker for a herd of horses based on a relationship of trust and respect. Therefore, with great pleasure I encourage you to view her video and visit her website for a gentle message celebrating the intrinsic value of all living creatures.

for more information, videos and workshops being held this summer.

“I think the strongest bond we share is the total absence of fear. We love and accept each other, and there is a solid trust in that relationship. There are many exciting things to explore, but I think that the anchor of the relationship is that we are learning together. I know that there is a need to guide and to educate a young horse, but I like to regard that need as flexible, and mutually rewarding. After all, we are journeying together as one in the family of spirit."

Pg 43- Liz Mitten Ryan, One With The Herd ~ A Spiritual Journey 2007

Satish Kumar on Deep Ecology -The Intrinsic Value...

"We have come a long way my friend, through uncertainty, confusion, misinterpretation; carried by the wings of love to a far greater understanding than we could ever have believed. Imagine a world where all minds are joined in the quest for greater understanding. You and I can change the world, one mind at a time. Imagine!"
- Prima (Premiere Edition) Speaking for the herd pg 205

Perhaps you have felt a deep connection to an animal or bird, pet or the land.

How would you describe that feeling?

Are there special ways that you express gratitude for these deepened relationships?

Sustainable Communities For All

I went for a drive one morning as the fog burned off, searching for signs of Spring. I drove along the South Thompson River near Kamloops. The snow is melting faster along the valley bottom where the southern Sun touches down. I saw several Ravens, Eagles, Crows, and Swans. The Cows were calving and the Mountain Sheep were sunning on the cliffs of the Benchlands.

Thomas Berry in his book ‘The Dream of the Earth from 1988 discusses:
“The most difficult transition to make is from an anthropocentric (human chauvinism) to a biocentric norm of progress. If there is to be any true progress, then the entire life community must progress. Any progress of the human at the expense of the larger life community must ultimately lead to a diminishment of human life itself. A degraded habitat will produce degraded humans. An enhanced habitat supports an elevated mode of the human. This is evident not only in the economic order, but also throughout the entire range of human affairs. The splendor of the earth is in the variety of its land and its seas, its life forms and its atmospheric phenomena; these constitute in color and sound and movement that great symphonic context which has inspired our sense of the divine, given us our emotional and imaginative powers, and evoked from us those entrancing insights that have governed our more sublime moments.” Pg 165

"The solution is simply for us as humans to join the earth community as participating members to foster the progress and prosperity of the bioregional communities to which we belong. A bioregion is an identifiable geographical area of interacting life systems that is relatively self- sustaining in the ever-renewing processes of nature. The full diversity of life functions is carried out, not as individuals or as species, or even as organic beings, but as a community that includes the physical as well as the organic components of the region. Such a bioregion is a self-propagating, self-nurturing, self-educating, self-governing, self-healing, and self-fulfilling community. Each of the component life systems must integrate its own functioning within this community to survive in any effective manner." pg 166
Can you see the herd of Sheep above on the hillside and Cows below?
Thomas Berry states,
“Of primary importance in North America is identifying the various bioregions. To do that requires sensitivity akin to that of the shamanic personality of tribal peoples. While bioregions have certain geographic boundaries, they also have certain mythic and historical modes of self-identification. This identification depends on ourselves as we participate in this process, which only now we begin to understand and appreciate.” pg 170
The local Bighorn Sheep come from herds reintroduced from California. They cross the road to get down to the river. As well, their old calving ravines along the hillside are now groomed into a Golf Course and Lifestyle Resort.
Global human chauvinism continues to be politically overlooked
at this crucial time as our economy is in crisis.
What more can we do to not allow this to perpetuate
for the sake of the current economy?
If we can raise the social consciousness towards equality of gender or race of human beings such as in the past 50 years, how can we raise the social consciousness for equality all species and bioregions as we struggle to overcome economic instability?
Can we afford not to?