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A blessing for all

Marc Bekoff (our wonderful friend and renowned animal ethologist) and I attended and spoke at the Minding Animals Conference in Newcastle, near Sydney, Australia last week.

Marc arrived in Newcastle in time to attend the blessing of the animals, and I know he won't mind if I share his touching message with you now.

... today I read the opening verse [see bottom] for a blessing of the animals held at a local church … I was accompanied by lovely Bella [pictured here with Marc] ... and some dogs. It was a great experience and very progressive ... there were representatives of many different faiths, ranging from Christianity, Buddhism, Baha’i, Hinduism, etc, etc, and a woman who is the first chaplain at the largest animal hospital in the southern hemisphere.

Everyone lit a candle for animals used in various venues, ranging from laboratories for education and research, to circuses, zoos, and for food and clothes ... the head of the church then ended with one of the most awesome speeches I’ve heard about how we must respect animals, reminding us that animals are subjects of a life and not mere objects ... he really came down on abusive laboratory research and then ended with a wonderful message of hope .... really moved me ...

All in all, a very wonderful afternoon and the major take-home message was that “indifference is not an option ...”


Marc later used this message to open the conference in Newcastle, which incidentally was called “Minding Animals” after one of his many books.

The following is from “Priceless – the vanishing beauty of a fragile planet”, by Australian writer, Bradley Trevor Greive.

For endangered species we are both their greatest enemy and their only hope.
These wonderful creatures will not argue their case.
They will not put up a fight.
They will not beg for reprieve.
They will not say goodbye.
They will not cry out.
They will just vanish.
And after they are gone, there will be silence.
And there will be stillness.
And there will be empty places.
And nothing you can say will change this.
Nothing you can do will bring them back.
With so many lives hanging in the balance, the paths we choose today
will decide the fate of the world.
So it’s up to us. It’s up to you and me to decide who lives and who dies.


And Marc concluded with these beautiful words:

If we can make small positive changes to the way we relate to our fellow creatures and our environment, if we can make just a small effort to improve the adverse conditions we have created, then this will set in motion many more opportunities for new life to flourish.

Anyone who has seen a sunrise, climbed a tree, smelled a rose, held a
kitten or listened to a whale’s haunting love song knows deep in their hearts just how amazing this planet really is.

To preserve our home and the priceless animals who dwell within it
you need only see the world as it is and have a vision of how it could be.

Then hold fast to this vision and let it guide your steps, your voice
and your heart.

If you can do that then there will be hope, there will be beauty, there will be joy, there will be life on earth.

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