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Life in the Empire

The non-human creatures that share our space

My dog training lead me on to dog behaviour and then on to animal behaviour and into the world of animal welfare and animal rights. It's been an interesting journey. I thought I'd drag you all along for the ride. This thread is dedicated to the non-human creatures that share our space.

Here is something from Albert Schweitzer on his philosophy of reverence for life
“I am life which wills to live, in the midst of life which wills to live. As in my own will
to live there is a longing for wider life and pleasure, with dread of annihilation and pain; so is it also in the will to live all around me, whether it can express itself before me or remains dumb. The will to live is everywhere present, even as in me. If I am a thinking being, I must regard life other than my own with equal reverence, for I shall know that it longs for fullness and development as deeply as I do myself. Therefore, I see that evil is what annihilates, hampers, or hinders life. And this holds true whether I regard it physically or spiritually. Goodness, by the same token, is the saving or helping of life, the enabling of whatever life I can to attain its highest development.”

If you would like to add your name to the list of people who would like a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare to go through the United Nations click here.

Here is what it's about ...

"About the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare campaign

1,937,765 Supporters

Animals can suffer and feel pain. There is, however, inadequate protection for vast numbers of animals in many parts of the world. Animals continue to suffer needlessly due to intentional and unintentional cruelty, ignorance and neglect.

There is an urgent need for an international commitment to protect animals and their welfare. Such a commitment would inspire political leaders, organisations and individuals to treat animals better and will be the beginning of the end of animal cruelty across the world. It is our responsibility to ensure that animals are given the protection they deserve and that the indisputable link between animal welfare, the protection of people and the planet is recognised.

Achieving such a commitment in the form of a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW) is a vital springboard to changes in policies and legislation, improve enforcement and inspire positive attitudes towards animals in every corner of the world. Achieving this at the United Nations will create the required pressure for governments to put in place firm laws and enforcement for animal welfare."

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It is a small thing but here, as the thaw progresses, sparrows have emerged again from under their cover of snow. I thought they had died of cold. They were singing.
I cannot abide the thought of being distracted from the great purpose of life,
that sweet unfolding duty of surrender to the spirit I find on the back doorstep,
which brings

tell my dog it is alright to get excited when you're writing, she is so attentive
to my thoughts,
she leaps into my arms to comfort me althought she can't quite reach, being of modest height.
So stands on her back legs and pushes her head against me,
"Touch my head" she cries, "touch my head..."

I touch her,
and she instructs my fingers in the exact places to rub firmly
as a young Iraqui boy, long ago in Baghdad, rubbed the lamp.
which brings

so much intense insistent pressing of thoughts outwards like twigs on a old tree
with her own main branches and spreading roots

knowing so much I cannot say
that is printed clear as day
in the spreading branches
of that tree which has not been pruned badly
but is of good stature and form
inhabiting a wide swathe of air
being there and being here.

Yet to tell the desolate story of destruction
would not be fair or well,
for I have seen otherwise
and was told otherwise
and did tell
in the old days
ten years ago.

That angel, remember her, she who stepped out
before me in clear day despite the dry filthy dust and the thunder of the cars,
and swept her arm out
so that we were in the same place as though a hundred years had passed
and peacefulness and solitude were there, and grass upon the road.

And in the buzz of the bees and the songs of the birds
was she telling me that this is so.

And here it is, in our hearts, to hold dear the paradise
that is ours here and now in the day we bring upon the earth
with our thoughts and deeds this very moment.


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