Animal Liberation is Human Liberation

Welcome to Peace to All Beings. Until we liberate animals from human exploitation and violence, we cannot expect to have true freedom and peace for ourselves. We human beings can awaken to our higher consciousness and embrace a new paradigm of living in harmony, rather than in fear and domination. We can become "Homo Ahimsa," my term for a new nonviolent and kind human, but we must make that choice together. There is hope for our species--hope that we will not continue this war against animals and the earth. 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.

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.  


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! 

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