Welcome to Peace to All Beings. This is a place to imagine, dream, pray, and believe that we human beings can awaken to our higher consciousness, embrace a new paradigm of living in harmony, rather than in fear and domination and become "Homo Ahimsa," my term for the new nonviolent and kindhuman that we can become. This is a place to bear witness to the violence around us and at the same time hold fast to the bold vision of a world at peace, not only for people, but for all life. This is a place to explore and agree that there is hope for our species, that we will not continue to destroy. Together let us co-create a new culture and heal the wounds humanity has caused to the earth, to each other, and to the animals who share this world with us.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Free Birds--a Hollywood Movie that Teaches Kids Turkeys Don't Want To Be Dinner

Here is my (as you can see) 156th prayer circle update.  To sign up to receive these weekly updates go to www.circleofcompassion.org.  

Prayer Circle for Animals-Free Birds, the Movie -- # 156
Prayer Circle for Animals Weekly Update
Please share with friends!!
Our prayers for all animals continue to circle the earth, to
uplift humanity's consciousness, and to bless the animals themselves.
 Thank you for joining people around the world who are praying this
prayer in many different languages but all with the same love:
"COMPASSION ENCIRCLES THE EARTH FOR ALL BEINGS EVERYWHERE
Through Films like "Free Birds" animals can talk directly to kids
When I sat down to watch the animated "Free Birds" with my grandkids, I had no idea I was about to be treated to an animal rights Hollywood movie.  In the film, actors Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson, are the voices for two turkeys whose mission turns out to be TM"not to save 10 turkeys or even a 100, but all of them."  There is even a scene of a factory turkey farm from which a turkey youth attempts to escape with several precious eggs.  To say that my jaw dropped repeatedly as I watched is an understatement.

Critics were merciless but the film grossed over 96 million worldwide
Whether the critics (many, I'm sure, offended by the undeniable veg and animal rights message) liked it or not, that is a lot of children (and parents) who saw the film right before Thanksgiving.  It is now in DVD so many more kids can watch and learn empathy, all while being mightily entertained.  Following in the footsteps of Chicken Run and Charlotte's Web, few influences could be more powerful than these to help children see animals for who they really are. In "Free Birds" every child is called to identify with the turkeys and not the people who are trying to kill them.  

Let us pray this week for the children, for they are the hope for birds and all animals to finally be free.
We give thanks that children everywhere are being given opportunities through films, books, teachers of kindness, and through personal experiences with animals to know the truth.  We give thanks for the film makers, writers, animators, and all the courageous individuals who are leading the way, regardless of the critics, to teach the children of the world love, empathy, and compassion for all beings everywhere.  A new world of peace for all is dawning and coming soon to a theater near you.      

Thanks to all of you, compassion is encircling the earth for all beings.  Thank you for your devotion to truth, love, liberation and peace for all beings.
With Love, peace, and gratitude from Judy, and also Will, Madeleine, and the Circle of Compassion team.


May all beings be happy.  May all beings be free.
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Please visit the website www.circleofcompassion.org often to see updates and special prayers, and also to join in our "A prayer a day for animals" which features a prayer for a different group of animals each day of the week. It is also a place to send ideas or prayer requests.   Please forward this widely so that we may continue to add more people to our ever-expanding circle of compassion.
 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lawrence (KS) Journal World prints my article about hunting and fishing



The editor of the Faith Page asked me to answer the question--Are hunting and fishing consistent with religious values?.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do that and to reach a broad audience.  This was printed on February 15, 2014, but so far they have not posted it online.  

ARE HUNTING AND FISHING CONSISTENT WITH RELIGIOUS VALUES?

In his “Hunter’s Poem” Lemuel T. Ward  described his final hunt.  He shot two geese who fell to the ground near him.  He watched as the male bird called to his mate. “And she dragged herself to his side,” he wrote, “...Then covering him with her broken wing, and gasping with failing breath; she laid her head against his breast; a feeble honk, then death….”  With tears streaming down his face, Ward buried the birds and threw his gun in the bay, never to hunt again. 

The Buddha said, “All beings tremble before violence.  All fear death.  All love life.  See yourself in others.  Then whom can you hurt?”  Ward saw himself in those dying geese, and he could never again do such harm.

After decades of hunting and fishing, Steve Hindi had a spiritual awakening of compassion.  He buried the fish, birds, and mammals he had killed and hung on his walls and became a vegan activist.  Regarding the violence that fish experience, he said “…I know they suffer tremendously, just as we would if subjected to such horrendous treatment.”

Deep in our souls we feel a kinship with all creation.  Nearly every religion, at its core, teaches nonviolence and love for all life. Norm Phelps concludes in The Dominion of Love: Animal Rights According to the Bible that “We have no moral right to make choices that destroy the happiness and steal the lives of helpless beings who are absolutely at our mercy.”

The Jain religion promotes living a life of  harmlessness to all living beings.  St. Francis of Assisi said we must not hurt animals and that we actually have “a higher mission—to be of service to them…”  May we all awaken to our highest calling and finally bring peace to earth for all beings.  

© 2014 Judy McCoy Carman, M.A.
Author of Peace to All Beings: Veggie Soup for the Chicken’s Soul
Co-Author with Tina Volpe of The Missing Peace: The Hidden Power of Our Kinship with Animals.


Here is the complete Hunter's Poem.  The article was limited to 300 words, so I couldn't include it in the article for the paper.  



The Hunter’s Poem
Written by Lemuel T. Ward (1896-1984)
We don’t know if Mr. Ward was vegan, but we were so moved by this poem 
we felt it should be shared.

A hunter shot at a flock of geese
That flew within his reach.
Two were stopped in their rapid flight
And fell on the sandy beach.

The male bird lay at the water's edge
And just before he died
He faintly called to his wounded mate
And she dragged herself to his side.

She bent her head and crooned to him
In a way distressed and wild
Caressing her one and only mate
As a mother would a child.

Then covering him with her broken wing
And gasping with failing breath
She laid her head against his breast
A feeble honk . . . then death.

This story is true though crudely told,
I was the man in this case.
I stood knee deep in snow and cold
And the hot tears burned my face.

I buried the birds in the sand where they lay
Wrapped in my hunting coat
And I threw my gun and belt in the bay
When I crossed in the open boat.

Hunters will call me a right poor sport
And scoff at the thing I did.
But that day something broke in my heart
And shoot again? God forbid! 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Prison of Hope


This is my latest "Eating as Thought the Earth Matters" column for Sierra Club Planet Kansas, Winter, 2014, Issue

 

 Prison of Hope

After over twenty years of fighting to save the sacred Haskell/Wakarusa Wetlands in Lawrence, Kansas, the highway builders now have the go-ahead to destroy the precious and rare ecosystem  killing many animals in the process.  Dolphins off the Louisiana coast show signs of serious illness after the BP oil spill, and the oil companies just keep drilling, spilling, and killing.

We continue to fight the Keystone XL pipeline which would be one of the worst threats the earth and her wildlife have ever known.  Already, according to Sierra Club news, Canada is allowing the poisoning and hunting by air of wolves in preparation for tar sands sludge pipelines. A baby humpback whale was thankfully rescued from a fishing net pulled tight around her chest.  How many more are there who are never  rescued?

You and I could fill volumes with the tragedies befalling the earth and her waters, soil, animals, and plants every single day.   As we go forth into this new year of 2014, we are all looking for signs of hope. 

Looking for hopeful things, I remembered an experiment that was conducted at the Victor Valley Correctional Facility in Adelanto, California.  For a period of seven years inmates were given a choice between living in the “New Start” wing of the prison or a regular wing.  The “New Start” program which was chosen by 85% of the prisoners included bible study, anger management, job training, and a vegan diet.  During that time, California had a recidivism rate of 95% while Victor Valley’s record of recidivism dropped to 2%. 

Not only was the recidivism rate significantly lower for the vegan prisoners, their behavior in prison was atypical of normal prison life.  There was no evidence of racial tension, gang violence, or hierarchical behavior.  

Individuals committed to nonviolence toward all life choose not to consume animal based foods.  Conversely individuals who may not have made such a commitment but who are fed only plant based foods actually may become nonviolent. This makes sense on many levels—spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional.  Killing an animal requires violence, and the animal’s reaction of terror and pain fill his or her cells with adrenalin and extreme stress. 

Every day we hear of someone with great power making violent, destructive decisions against the forests,  oceans, and the places of peace we all cherish.  What if they, like the prisoners at Victor Valley switched to a vegan diet (along with anger management, of course)?  What if we all did?
In our 2014 prayers and visions for a healed earth this year, let us be open to all the possible ways to bring human consciousness away from its destructive tendencies and into its highest possible expression.  There are signs of hope everywhere, and the greatest hope of all lies in your ongoing willingness to speak truth to power and in the hearts of activists everywhere

A Prayer to Say at Meat and Dairy Counters in Grocery Stores

I sent this out recently to the Prayer Circle for Animals members
 
Prayer Circle for Animals Weekly Update
Please share with friends!!
Our prayers for all animals continue to circle the earth, to
uplift humanity's consciousness, and to bless the animals themselves.
 Thank you for joining people around the world who are praying this
prayer in many different languages but all with the same love:
"COMPASSION ENCIRCLES THE EARTH FOR ALL BEINGS EVERYWHERE
 
An Easy-to-Remember Prayer to Say at Meat and Dairy Counters
Recently, on our Prayer Circle for Animals FaceBook page (please join if you haven't already-see the link below), someone asked for a short, easy-to-remember prayer to recite when we are in a grocery store and are confronted with the meat and dairy sections. I am forever grateful to her for suggesting this. Once we have opened our hearts to the animals and seen them for who they are and felt their pleas for help, walking by these sections of death becomes traumatic.  We know we are passing the body parts and secretions of animals who had friends and families and who wanted to be free. 
 
To Help Us With The Grief We Feel
Yet everyone else seems to walk by unaffected by the carnage, and many are at the counters picking up pieces of bodies to take home to eat and placing the eggs and milk stolen from mothers into their shopping carts.  Once we have opened our hearts to animals, the sight of this can bring us figuratively to our knees with grief and anguish. 
 
"I See You And I Love You."
So here is the prayer that I hope will help us all.  I have been using it for the last week, and I've found it to be a great gift.  It is simply-"I see you and I love you." By saying "I see you," we are picturing not only the beautiful animal that they once were, but also the perfect, unconditionally loved and loving spirit that is and always will be that animal.  By saying "and I love you," we are acknowledging the precious connection we will always have to that animal--our sister or brother.
I hope this prayer helps you as much as it has helped me. And I believe it helps the animals as well.  When I say it, I feel a current of loving energy coming through me to all of them-they are being recognized, made whole in a way, memorialized, and loved.  The Light of the World flows through all of us to bless them over and over until that lovely day we see so clearly when all beings are free and compassion encircles the world. 
"One day the absurdity of the almost universal human belief in the slavery
of other animals will be palpable. We shall then have discovered our souls and
become worthier of sharing this planet with them." ~Martin Luther King Jr.

 
Thanks to all of you, compassion is encircling the earth for all beings.  Thank you for your devotion to truth, love, liberation and peace for all beings.

With Love, peace, and gratitude from Judy, and also Will, Madeleine, and the Circle of Compassion team.

If you haven't already done so, please join us at the Prayer Circle for Animals Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/groups/prayercircleforanimals
 

 
May all beings be happy.  May all beings be free.
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Please visit the website www.circleofcompassion.org often to see updates and special prayers, and also to join in our "A prayer a day for animals" which features a prayer for a different group of animals each day of the week. It is also a place to send ideas or prayer requests.   Please forward this widely so that we may continue to add more people to our ever-expanding circle of compassion.
 
 


 


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Peace on Earth to All Beings

I just received this stunningly beautiful photo by Susan Eakins of this lovely lamb standing next to her prayer flag.  This lamb lives at New Dawn Montana Farm Animal Sanctuary.  She  just seems to me to be the embodiment of the peace that is coming for all beings everywhere.  Thank you Susan for this symbol of hope for us all. 
May this new year of 2014 bring the world closer than it has ever been to peace and freedom for all beings. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Daniel Redwood's animal rights album is here.

You can listen to the songs at his website.  They are songs our movement has needed for a long time.
This album is a tool we can all use to help people understand why being vegan and living nonviolently is so important.  Sharing this with non-vegans is bound to touch their hearts and minds.  Music is such a powerful way of helping people see the truth.  We all need this album and we must share it everywhere we can.  For The Animals! 

 

On his website, Daniel states:

"Welcome to the website for my album, Songs for Animals, People and the Earth. Through these songs, I want to share with you my experience of the profound beauty, sensitivity and intelligence of animals, especially the farm animals that people use for food and clothing. I’ve created this music because I want to do everything I can to make this world a kinder, more compassionate home for animals and to support the movement for animal rights.
 
I believe in the power of music to touch people’s hearts and minds and to empower us to change in a positive direction. Social justice movements need songs, to share our message, strengthen our sense of community and inspire people to take action. I’ve witnessed this first-hand throughout my life.
 
In my songs, I seek to celebrate the beauty but not turn away from the pain, to lift the spirit but never deny difficult realities. These songs are not background music; that’s not my style. But if you’re someone who’s looking for songs with a message, songs about justice and freedom and compassion and nonviolence and standing up for what you believe in, then you’ve come to the right place.
 
You can listen to the songs for free on this website. If you like what you hear, please share links to the songs or buy the album on this website. Please also check out our Facebook page, Daniel Redwood Songs, and put up a post to let me know your thoughts about the music. If something in these songs touches your heart, or makes you think, or lifts you toward positive action on behalf of animals, people and the Earth, nothing would make me happier. That’s what the songs are for.
 
Peace and blessings to you and to all beings."
 
Daniel Redwood

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The “Question Authority” Diet

This is a reprint of my latest article for "Planet Kansas" --the Kansas Sierra Club magazine.  I've been fortunate enough to be able to write the "Eating as Thought the Earth Matters" column for several issues. 

The “Question Authority” Diet

One of my favorite bumper stickers is the one that simply states “Question Authority.”  Participating in any justice movement requires that of us.  It is by questioning, rather than accepting, authority that we measure the rules, traditions, customs, and laws against our own ethics and our own moral compass. 


In a New York Times article entitled, “Retracting a Plug for Meatless Mondays,” Amy Harmon described the debacle at the USDA when someone recommended in an interoffice newsletter the following: “One simple way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at our cafeterias is to participate in the ‘Meatless Monday’ initiative.” They went on to explain the benefits: “The production of meat, especially beef (and dairy as well), has a large environmental impact. According to the U.N., animal agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gases and climate change. It also wastes resources. It takes 7,000 kg of grain to make 1,000 kg of beef.”

The Meatless Monday campaign is promoted by numerous organizations, including the John Hopkins School of Public Health.  Its goal is to encourage people to go meatless on Mondays to benefit one’s own health, the environment, and the animals. 

Cries of heresy rang out from those who profit hugely from the animal agriculture industry. It did not take long for the authorities to, not only remove the recommendation, but also to state quite authoritatively: “U.S.D.A. does not endorse Meatless Monday.” 

Meanwhile, we go on questioning, and we find that an October, 2012, United Nations Global Environment Alert Service article (at unep.net) reported that: “…the true costs of industrial agriculture, and specifically ‘cheap meat’, have become more and more evident. Today, ‘the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems’" (Steinfeld et al. 2006).”  Among the stressors to the earth caused by animal agriculture, they list many of the problems we have highlighted in this column—desertification, deforestation, pollution, overuse of water, using grain to feed animals instead of hungry people, and greenhouse gas emissions.

As we question further, we hear from The Center for Biological Diversity.  They report that scientists are asking legislators to reduce public land grazing in the west.   They cite higher temperatures, accompanied by less snow and water, and more fires.  The combination of global warming and the huge stress placed on these lands by domestic animals is causing a situation in which it is becoming more and more difficult for the ecosystems to recover and support the wild animals who depend on them.  They noted that both BLM and Forest Service land is trampled upon by grazers causing erosion and harming water, wildlife, plant biodiversity, and pollination.

As the Question Authority journey continues, a Norwegian foundation known as GRID-Arendal has posted revealing information on their website at grida.no.  They are a group that collaborates with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Regarding fish, GRID notes that out of 110-130 million tons of marine animals, 30 million tons are discarded as trash and 30 million tons are converted to fishmeal much of which is ironically fed to vegetarian animals such as cows.  What will the “authorities” think of next?

We all know that today’s fishing technologies, aquaculture of captive fish, and land animal agriculture pollution are major causes of dead zones and other severe threats to the health of the earth’s waters. 

GRID also points out that the land needed to pasture and grow crops  to feed animals takes up approximately one-third of all arable land, land that could be used to feed people, including the nearly one billion of the world’s hungry human beings.  Imagine, as the global population increases, if the demand for meat increases along with it, as meat producers hope it will, sustainable meat production will be more of an oxymoron than it is now.  Already, approximately 70% of what was Amazon forest has been slashed and burned and is used for pasture and animal feed crops.

It is precisely because we question authority that the giant animal agriculture machine has proposed “ag-gag” bills in 11 states.  These bills are designed to make it a crime to film, document, or otherwise expose activities at agricultural facilities. Whistleblowers around the country have been able to expose animal cruelty, unsafe food practices, and illegal and unfair treatment of workers, but big ag wants that to stop no matter that both human and animal rights are at stake. 


 


In a May 27 press release entitled “North Carolinians to See TV Ads Showing Animal Cruelty the Chamber of Commerce is Trying to Keep Hidden,” the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) states “The narrator in The HSUS commercial calls on politicians and the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce to stop the legislation because it would criminalize undercover investigations, help protect and shield the abusers and violate the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and the press.”


The importance of whistleblowers and authority questioners cannot be underestimated.  HSUS reports: “A 2008 whistleblower investigation into a slaughter plant in California revealed sick animals being slaughtered, leading to the recall of 140 million pounds of tainted meat, tens of millions of pounds of which was originally destined for school cafeterias across America. Images of workers kicking cows, ramming them with a forklift and using electric prods and high-pressure water hoses to force sick animals to slaughter led evening newscasts and shocked consumers. This one investigation led to cruelty convictions, Congressional hearings, new policy, a shut-down of the plant and the largest meat recall in U.S. history.”

It may not always be the most popular path to take, but without questioners and whistleblowers, this earth and all who live here will continue to suffer under the heels of the toxic industries that profit from exploiting and killing animals, people, and nature.

Refusing to support these industries by eating a vegan, plant-based diet and living nonviolently is one of the most radical, revolutionary acts anyone can take.  Questioning authority leads to researching the origins of the products we buy.  If the source of that product is steeped in violence, we can refuse to support it. Therein lies our power to bring peace and healing to the world.
Copyright 2013 Judy Carman