One of the lessons I tried to impart to my children as they were growing up was to be ready for change-to be open to the opportunities that life presents. If they wanted to do this or that when they grew up, that was more than fine with me. But, if an experience or an epiphany, a moment of reflection or an inspiration called them in another direction, then I like to think that I encouraged them to embrace and to follow their dreams.
This is a very different from the way of life my parents experienced growing up in the thirties and forties and while raising their own family in the fifties and sixties. There was a certain way of being, a certain code of behavior that had to be adhered to. Young couples generally had children right away. The mom settled down to domesticity and the dad went to work to support the family. And the kids had to go school, listen to their teachers, and obey and believe in the dream. Everybody had a specific role to perform and life was ordered and good as portrayed in the TV shows of the fifties. Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best and I Love Lucy all bombarded us with subtle and sometimes not so subtle clues about how to conform.
Thanks to my mother, I was encouraged to be my own person, as long as I did not put myself in any kind of danger or stray too far from home, LOL! Mom always said that families should live together in compounds. This was a reflection of her wish always to have us in her life. Family was important.
So it doesn’t surprise me that when I recently became aware of the routine and brutal mistreatment of nonhuman animals and their families caught in the web of our profit seeking culture, I saw a life opportunity. I wanted to learn, to make a difference, to change the way I see the world and to educate others, in hope of reducing the suffering right now and ultimately eliminating it forever.
So, I have thrown off a lot of the traditions I learned as a child, particularly those surrounding food. We don’t have turkey or cow at Xmas and Thanksgiving. We don’t even have plant based meat which has been fashioned to look like a breast or any other cut of animal flesh. I don’t want to in any way replicate the former nonhuman animal centerpiece of suffering that used to “grace” our family get togethers. I always find something tasty to serve and it can vary from year to year. I will say that grains, veggies, fruits and nuts are the usual suspects. And that has become our tradition- a tradition of not being traditional!!!
This new way of living has brought me much peace. I am learning all about the lives of the nonhuman animals with whom we share this earth and I am reaching out and connecting with a community of like minded people who are advocating daily for the release of these beings from bondage. I am inspired by those who seek to inform of us of the best way to thrive on a plant based diet, so that we can be strong and vital vegan warriors and proactive stewards of this earth. I am thankful to environmental experts who are brave enough to point out that the devastation of the earth is due mostly to the profit seeking machine that is nonhuman animal agriculture and not gas emissions and fracking and the growing of crops, for instance.
But, I have learned that making the commitment to live in a kinder and more compassionate way can come at a price, for me personally. For all the wonderful stories of nonhumans being saved, there are tenfold of those who are not. Just two nites ago I learned that a pod of dolphins lost their valiant fight to live. They were hunted down in deeper waters and driven to Taiji Cove in Japan, where they were massacred-a family that included a little one. Last nite I read this on Sea Shepherd’s Facebook Page.
After a 15 day stretch of slaughter free days in Taiji, the killing cove has been transformed to red for two consecutive days. Today, a pod of 8 gentle Risso’s dolphins were violently herded into the killing cove. 4 young calves were taken by sling and dumped back out to sea as the remaining 4 family members were killed for human consumption. The small calves were not large enough to claim as part of their quota.
Local trainers were in the cove to select for possible captivity, but none of the pod was suitable for a life of imprisonment. It is common practice that the local Taiji dolphin trainers work hand in hand with the hunters under the tarps that drape the killing shore. These same trainers claim to “love dolphins”. Taiji is a town of hypocrisy and continues to go to great lengths to hide heir blood money.
We currently have a crew of 5 Cove Guardians representing Australia, United States and Japan.
And this makes me so sad. I still grapple with these feelings on any given day. The goal is not to let them knock me down and keep me from doing that in which I so deeply believe . I am sure that I am not alone in feeling this way.
Annie’s Vegan View
So, I feel a little ashamed that I let my feelings get the best of me when these dolphins and other beings have suffered and continue to suffer so much more.
There was a time when I was less sad, because I simply did not know.
But, the door of ignorance has been closed and I can no longer dwell behind it.
Nor, would I want to. It is still better to know.
Once we know the truth. we must not turn away!
Therein lies our own salvation and that of the nonhuman animals being enslaved and used for our wants, not needs!!
May all beings be happy and free.