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Posted By Ann

     When we accept that we, and the other living creatures, are all part of the great web of life, we begin to reconsider our attitude to animals and to question our right to exploit them. To eat them, use their skins, use their bodies as living test tubes to test medicines for our benefit, hunt them for pleasure and exploit them for our entertainment and above all destroy massive areas of their habitat so that it becomes impossible for them to survive. There are a growing number of people who understand that unless we do something about our totally selfish use of the resources of our planet, we will destroy the animals and ourselves. What touches one touches, in some way, all.
     Of no species is this more true than bees. I listened to a fascinating radio talk a few nights ago on bees and the speaker stressed this vital interconnection and pointed out that if all the bees were killed we would probably only last about four years. We would lose much more than honey; there would be no food of any sort without bees and their vital pollinating service.
     It is heartening to see more people speaking out against the evils of factory farming, not only because of health risks to humans but for humane treatment of animals.  It is also much easier to get get vegetarian food in restaurants. Perhaps it is an idea whose day is coming. George Bernard Shaw, one of the most famous authors of the 2Oth. Century, when  asked why he was a vegetarian answered 'Because animals are my friends – and I don't eat my friends.' If enough people (the critical mass) can truly feel this unity of spirit, this kinship with all life, then we, as well as the other creatures who share our planet, have a future. No one put this more succinctly than Chief Seattle in his famous speech to Congress in 1854. What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts soon happens to man. All things are connected.
     Those of us who share our homes and lives with animals understand the truth of this and have reason to be deeply appreciative of the friendship and companionship they give us whether we or they did the initial choosing.  Often we think we were the chooser but when we think more about the  circumstances  we are not so sure. I have heard people say many times that they never intended to have another dog, or cat, and then  a cat walked in and just stayed or they found themselves with another dog.
     It is hard to say who did the choosing when Henry joined our family nine years ago. True we were at the Shelter but certainly not to adopt a dog yet when we left we took with us two yr old Henry who had just been returned by his former adopter as 'unsuitable'. It was his persistent proffering of a paw through the bars of his cage to my grandson, who was about the same age and was enchanted by him, that earned him this second chance. Nobody, least of all Henry, has regretted it.




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