Animals, people and the planet living in harmony.
Because we live within a world teaming with life, we intersect with animals everyday and in every way. These relationships make it necessary for us to understand how we think about our fellow living creatures.
We may have animal companions, or we may see stray or homeless animals in our community. We observe wildlife all around us – whether it be in our gardens, while bird watching or when assessing safety for a hike. In addition to these direct relationships, there are the multitude of ways that animals are impacted as part of existing "systems": factory farming, product and process choices by corporations, habitat encroachment, entertainment, retail and commerce industries, our use of toxins, and much more. These relationships, although not direct, exist. Reconnecting to our innate understanding of the web of life will affect how we think about and relate to our animal family.
Living with Pets
A New Understanding
Animal companions! The chances are good that you arrived at this section because animals are already part of your family or will be at some point soon.
Stemming from the pet abuse, neglect and breeding cases that come through our organization, and evident from national and global statistics, it is clear that developing a new understanding of animals is necessary if humane treatment of domesticated animals (pets) is to become the norm.
These are the primary shifts needed to revolutionize the human-pet relationship; and, these can be realized when first understanding (assessing and feeling) the reality of 1. Sentience, and 2. Value. Sentience and value are inherent qualities in all animals.
Once this seed of understanding is allowed to grow, empathy and respect for other beings naturally emerge, and this then feeds the reality of responsibility: the necessity to provide love, attention, care and consideration throughout the life of our animal companions.
Living with Wildlife
The Web of Life
"Everything is connected." We hear that a lot but what does it mean and how does it concern me?
The world, as a whole, is an interconnected web of dynamic cooperative relationships. Imagine an ecosystem like an intricate spider web, neighboring and communicating with another web, and that yet to another, and that to another: millions of webs bound together - communicating, benefitting each other, and serving the whole.
If any element of the web is impacted or eliminated, like a species in an ecosystem, the result is far greater than we are often able to imagine.
Understanding the web of life will help us develop the primary shifts needed to revolutionize the human-wildlife relationship. These foundational shifts are the same as those necessary to redefine our relationship with domesticated animals.
Wildlife, in its rich magnificent array of diverse expressions, is embedded within our human experience of life on earth. To encroach without concern or appropriate creative planning, to kill without care for the impact to the ecosystem and beyond, to alter the climate and make energy and policy decisions without understanding the invaluable role that each species plays in their place, translates to potentially devastating alterations to the web of life.
The good news! This understanding is gaining ground and giving birth to empathy and respect for our wild animal family. Now, with the ability to respond (response-able), individuals and communities are speaking up on behalf of the myriad of wild animals in peril today around the planet. Your voice and actions, as always, are needed too.
Corporations and Animals
We live in a time when the extreme decisions and actions made by those heading large multinational corporations are surging to light, virtually daily. The examples are endless:
Go Daddy: CEO and Founder Bob Parsons
Parsons has been killing African wildlife while on safari , including at least one endangered African Elephant. To add insult to injury (and, fortunately, to clarify his thinking to the world), he also took and posted a video of the event, and bragged about it, online.
Cargill: CEO Greg Page
Cargill is the nation's largest importer of palm oil, and they are rapidly moving endangered orangutans to extinction, along with putting a host of other indigenous wildlife at risk. Like so many corporations "caught in the act", they are attempting to green wash away their key role in the environmental devastation in Southeast Asia.
Girl Scouts USA: CEO Kathy Cloninger
Shockingly, GSUSA purchases palm oil from Cargill to make their infamous Girl Scout cookies. CEO Cloninger denies there is a problem, but that has only motivated two Girl Scouts to partner with the Rainforest Action Network and require GSUSA to walk their talk.
BP: (Then) CEO Tony Hayward, (Current) CEO Robert Dudley
BP was a key player in the world's worst oil disaster, happening in 2010. Dead oiled bottlenose dolphins continue to wash ashore throughout the Gulf one year later, and executives have (actually) issued statements questioning whether it was the oil that killed the dolphins.
These few examples represent that which exists in the large and very prevalent picture. Due to a lack of understanding of the web of life (or the choice to ignore it), freedom without ethical restrictions and actions without responsibility toward the whole is allowed (or taken). Because of this, it is we, as consumers of the products and services all corporations provide, who must become re-empowered and require responsible action from the corporations we patronize.