How What We Think Can Help Liberate Animals:
The dande-lion-hearted activist
We animal liberators are a lot like dandelions. A lot of people would rather we not appear in their lawns even though our bright yellow blossoms are quite beautiful. They try to pull us up by the roots or spray us with herbicides of all kinds, but somehow we always manage to pop back up cheerily and then overnight turn into the most lovely puffballs, full of hundreds of seeds. All we need is a little wind and there go our seeds flying about like tiny birds. That’s why the number of vegans (and dandelions) increases every day. We dande-lion-hearted activists have planted a lot of seeds with both our thoughts and our actions.
It’s been said that we attract what we think about most. That is why it has also been said that every thought is a prayer. Atheists and theists alike “pray,” in that broad sense, whenever we have a thought. Our dilemma as animal liberationists is that we have awakened from the cultural trance that ignores animal suffering and are now painfully and constantly aware of the terrible plight of the animals. In the true meaning of the word “compassion,” we are “suffering with.” What do we do, then, with our feelings and thoughts? We have gone through the door of denial, and now we can’t Not Know.
Our thoughts and feelings often turn to rage at what is happening, anger at the perpetrators, burn-out after working so hard with seemingly little progress, loneliness from being ostracized by some, and endless grief over the animals whom we cannot physically save. But if it is true that we attract what we think about most, then for the sake of the animals and ourselves, we must acknowledge the injustice while simultaneously attracting what we want for the animals. We want to “attract” their liberation. Therefore, the majority of our thoughts must be Loving thoughts empowered by the feeling of Love if we are going to bring animal liberation into reality.
The question for all of us is--how do we keep our thoughts focused on this Love and this Vision of peace for all beings. It is a challenge that activists for justice have faced through the ages. It requires us to take time to feel the joy and peace that lies within each of us and connects us all to each other and to the animals. It is from that place of peace that we can find the strength, the optimism, and the wisdom to do our part for the animals. In Defense of Animals’ Sustainable Activism Campaign’s goal is to help us all with that challenge. IDA offers many resources to help activists. Among those resources are
VeganSpirituality.com; (founded by Lisa Levinson)
Circleof Compassion.org (founded by myself and Will and Madeleine Tuttle)
PrayerCircle for Animals Facebook (also founded by me and the Tuttles);
My books: Peace to All Beings: Veggie Soup for the Chicken’s Soul and
TheMissing Peace: The Hidden Power of Our Kinship with Animals (co-author, Tina Volpe)
The Animal Prayer Flag Project right here at Peace to All Beings.com
Gandhi said, “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won… Think of it—always.” Our awakening to the plight of the animals was an awakening to love for all beings and to reverence for all life. We have the great privilege of seeing with our hearts what peace and liberation for all beings can look like. We have been blessed with the ability to love unconditionally just as the animals do. May the seeds of all our thoughts, feelings, prayers, and actions bloom with that love. Imagine, feel, and know that humanity is being transformed and animal liberation is close at hand.
© Judy Carman, 2015