Diane Emerson


I Love Animals

And I always have.  When I was a little girl, I never played with dolls. My favorite toy was a plastic Noah's Ark, with all its animals.  I lost it at the beach one day, I have been told, and I know I would have been inconsolable for a while.  To this day I stop in the toy aisles when I see those plastic bags of animals hanging there, and look at them.  My aunt Marjorie bought Palmer's Field Book of Mammals for me when I was about 6. It couldn't read many of the words, but I could look at the drawings to my heart's content.  

The Movie 'Earthlings'

 It is so easy just to go into a store and pick up a nicely packaged cut of meat, never pausing to think about the animal itself, and its life, and how it met its violent end.  Well, you can't go back into ignorance after you watch this movie. 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1299802404123561313  This is the full length version.

There is also a 7 minute trailer for the movie here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3Y3qcdWkto

I stopped eating meat and fish and other seafood after I watched this movie in January 2007.  Since then, whenever I have been tempted to eat my favorite chicken or steak, scallops or bacon, I go beyond the delicious meat in front of me, and think about the animal.  And I am able to say no thanks. I love the meat, but not enough to kill the animal to get it.

But I do still occasionally eat chicken.  And even meat.  I eat the chicken bones and scraps that are on their way to the trash bin.  When children where I live with can't eat their hamburger, and it is going to be thrown away, I will eat it.  When leftovers containing meat are left too long for the family I am staying with to eat, I will eat them if I think they are safe enough for me. ( I have a strong stomach, and keep my digestion protected with EasiYo yogurt www.easiyo.com whenever possible).  This way, I still occasionally get to eat meat, and the animal which has given up its precious life is honored more by my eating it than by throwing it away, from my point of view.  Sometimes the thought crosses my mind that I should perform burial rites for these dear creatures. I expect I will gradually become a vegan. 

I still eat some dairy products, and eggs, but I try to minimize them, as I replace meat with beans and grains and nuts for protein.   I will only buy free range organic eggs, organic milk, and organic yogurt if it is available in the shops.  I once found a lady in Nelson New Zealand who sold free range eggs in the weekly farmer's market. When I asked her how old her chooks were when she slaughtered them, she looked at me aghast and said "I don't kill my chickens. I pension them off."  In New Zealand that means she puts them out to pasture, so to speak, and keeps feeding them until they die of old age. She said the chickens just sleep more and more, and eventually they don't wake up.  Well, I made sure to buy my eggs from her, and got the Couchsurfing Collective to buy their eggs from her (20 some people!).  Now, if I could find a dairy farmer to do the same......



Chinese Fur Farms

I recently saw this video, and had to share it with you.  You will never consider wearing fur again without thinking of the horrific way these animals are skinned alive for their fur:


I have also been practicing nonviolence to insects as well, after reading the following books:  Kinship With All Life by J. Allen Boone, and Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions by Christoper Key  Chapple.   I have learned on my own that ants in the kitchen disperse themselves if you let them know it is no longer safe for them. I do this by tapping as close as I can to them, all around the food they have targeted, and send the message that they are in danger. I have watched them very closely.  What happens is the replacement ants coming down the line are told about the danger by the ants heading back to the nest. The replacement ants keep coming, though until they have gotten the message from at least 4 or 5 ants heading back to the nest. Then they will turn around!!  And go back to the nest themselves.  And in a few minutes, all the ants are on their way home.

I protect myself from mosquitoes and gnats rather than kill them. Use repellant if I need to. I have a jacket I bought from an army surplus store that is a mosquito mesh jacket, with hood that covers my face. So I can work outside, set up my tent, etc and not be driven crazy by mosquitoes biting me in the evening. 

Animal Quotes

Trained animals are relatively easy to turn out.  All that is required is a book of instructions, a certain amount of bluff and bluster, something to use for threatening and punishing purposes, and of course the animal.  Educating an animal, on the other hand, demands keen intelligence, integrity, imagination, and the gentle touch, mentally, vocally, and physically. J. Allen Boone in 'Kinship With All Life'


Moving into the situation with insight and intuition, he [the animal educator] places full emphasis on the mental rather than on the physical part of the animal.  He treats it as an intelligent fellow being whose capacity for development and expression he refuses to limit in any direction.  He knows that the animal's appearance, actions, and accomplishments are only the outward expressions of its state of mind.  He seeks to help the animal make use of its thinking faculties, so that there will be corresponding results in its looks, character and actions.  J. Allen Boone in 'Kinship With All Life'


We are responsible for the earth - and all life on earth. We alone have the power to destroy the earth. The world of life is bigger than the human species. The Greening of Christianity.


Prince Siddhartha saw the wild swans one day, flying white as clouds over the palace.  His cousin took a bow, drew back the string, and let an arrow fly.  One swan fell.  Both boys ran, and the prince came first to where the swan lay. She was still alive.  He took her in his arms and pulled the arrow from her.  'Give the swan to me,' his cousin said. 'She is mine, for my arrow brought her down.'  Siddhartha gave the arrow back and said 'Let us seek the counsel of the wise.'  The palace wise men weighed the question carefully. Then the oldest of them spoke. 'A life does not belong to the one who brings it harm', he said. And all agreed.  From Animalia, by Barbara Berger.


Every living creature has the breath of God in them.


 Maintaining our sensitive and delicate relationship was not always easy, however.  It demanded that I try to understand his point of view in everything we did, and that every least thought that I sent in his direction be given the most careful editing.  I found that I could allow nothing discourteous, inconsiderate, or otherwise detrimental to get into my mental attitude toward him; the instant I did, our relationship went out of balance. I was simply compelled to realize that as I identified Freddie as either intelligent or unintelligent, good or bad, friendly or unfriendly, co-operative or uncooperative - that is precisely how he behaved...When my thinking about him was on a high level, as from one gentleman to another, all our mutual affairs functioned harmoniously. When occasionally I forgot and slanted my thinking down at him in a derogatory way, down went our relationship situation too; and down it would remain until my attitude had changed for the better. Kinship with all life, j. Allen Boone


On this day of your life, Diane, I believe God wants you to know...

...that all that Life asks is that you move through Life

with a reverence for Life.


Yet this reverence for Life must be displayed in all things. 

Even in the littlest things. Perhaps especially so.

For instance, if you choose to consume animals,

do you limit your purchases of flesh to cook 

to only those suppliers who treat animals humanely?


Do you even know who those suppliers are?

Does this matter to you? How you treat other Life Forms

does matter.  It says something about how you want Life to be.  

You see, we are creating all of this.  All of this. Neale Donald Walsch



Source: HFA Newsletter, Issue III 2009


“He prayeth best who loveth best all things both great and small, for the Great God Who loveth us, made and loveth all.” Coleridge


Don’t kill even an ant or a mosquito – they all want to live. Abdul MS Zandari, Srinagar, Kashmir


Cats can be negative or positive. Dogs can heal. Wayne Morgan


All beings tremble before violence. All fear death. All love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?" - Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddah)


If you take an animal into your home, or give it love and attention, you give it an individuality and personality, and help it separate from the group soul so it can begin progression through the human part of the school.

Cannon, Dolores (2011-12-13). The Convoluted Universe - Book 4


“It is not good to kill something for your own.. just .. for enjoyment. This is God's creature you are destroying. To eat meat is to tie one here, to tie one's soul to the earth.”

Suddi the Essene speaking to Dolores Cannon in her book Jesus and the Essenes 


It is said that animals have a group soul. When they are loved, they develop an individual soul and the power of the love makes their development faster. Laron, at www.transients.info


When other stands opposed to self, violence can proceed. When other is seen as self, nonviolence can prevail. Christopher Key Chapple, in Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions.


All beings are fond of life; they like pleasure and hate pain, shun destruction and like to live, they long to live. To all, life is dear.” The Acaranga Sutra I, translated from Prakrit by Hermann Jacobi, in the book  Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions, by Christopher Kay Chapple, 1993


May all beings look at me with a friendly eye, may I do likewise, and may we look on each other with the eyes of a friend.  The Yajur Veda



The meat of other animals is like the flesh of one’s son. That foolish person, stupefied by folly, who eats meat, is regarded as the vilest of human beings. Mahabharata XIII: 114:11



Where there is life there is a desire to live,

Here there is not difference between man and beast.

The most frightful thing is to kill,

The most painful thing is to vivisect.

When a fowl is caught, though not killed,

It is already frightened to death.

When you cut its throat it tosses with agony.

And when one ponders over this,

How can one have the heart to eat flesh?


Donald Griffin, Animal Thinking, reprinted in Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions.


Animals are used for testing but then are ‘rehabilitated’ through shelters and recuperation faciliteis maintained by the laboraties. For instance, one Jaina-controlled pharmaceutical company uses animals for the production of immunoglobulin but then releases them into the wild. This practice fits well with the ages-old Jaina tradition of constructing animal shelters for infirm animals, allowing them to survive until their natural demise. Christopher Kay Chapple, in Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions

In our approach to life, be it pragmatic or otherwise, a basic fact that confronts us squarely and unmistakably is the desire for peace, security, and happiness. Different forms of life at different levels of existence make p the teeming denizens of this earth of ours. And, no matter whether they belong to thehigher groups such as human beings or to the ower groups such as animals, all beings primarily seek peace, comfort, and security. Life is dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Even the lowliest insect strives for protection against dangers that threaten its life. Just as each one of us want happiness and fear pain, just as each other one of us want to live and not to die, so do all other creatures. Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth Dalai Lama, reprinted in Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions


As stated in the Bhagavad Gita, the person of knowledge ‘sees no difference between a learned Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog, or an outcaste.’ Kay Chapple, in Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions


The grain storage facilities were placed on stilts, thus stymieing the vermin without directly injuring them.  Kay Chapple, in Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions


We have a lot of evidence that the reason a drug like cocaine feels good is that it’s intensely stimulating to the SEEKING system in the brain, not to any pleasure center. What the self-stimulating rats were stimulating was their curiosity/interest/anticipation circuits. That’s what feels good: beng excited about things and intensely interested in what’s going on – being what people used to call “high on life”! 


This part of the brain starts firing when the animal sees a sign that food might be nearby but stops firing when the animal sees the actual food itself. The SEEKING circuit fires during the search for food, not during the final locating or eating of the food. It’s the search that feels so good.  Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation


Emotions are built into the brain, but everything an animal does to act on his emotions, except for the fixed action pattern, is learned. A dog is born knowing how to kill a groundhog, but he isn’t born knowing that a groundhog is food. Strange as it may sound, a dog has to learn from other dogs what groundhogs are good to eat. Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation


Predators have to learn from other animals whom to direct their hardwired predatory behaviour against. If a puppy grew up in a house with a pet groundhog, the puppy would learn that a ground hog is not prey and would probably never attack it. That’s why puppies need to be raised around toddlers, or at least exposed to them. Toddlers do the same kind of sudden, rapid movement prey animals do, so it’s easy for them to trigger a dog’s predatory killing behavior. Puppies have to be taught that toddlers are not prey. Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation


While they’re growing up, young colts learn that there is a give-and-take to social interactions. They also learn exactly how horses establish and maintain a dominance hierarchy. All animals who live in groups-and that includes most mammals-form domianance hierarchies. It’s universal. Researchers assume that dominance hierarchies evolved to keep the peace, because when each animal knows his place and sticks to it you have less fighting over food and mates.  Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation


Dominance hierarchies seem to minimize fighting. Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation


Raising young stud colts in a pasture full of older geldings will teach them some manners and create a good stallion that you can ride like a normal horse. Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation


I think injured animals are probably somewhere in between a leucotomy patient and a normal human being. They do feel pain, sometimes intense pain, because their frontal lobes haven’t been surgically separated from the rest of their brains. But they probably aren’t as upset about pain as a human being would be in the same situation, because their frontal lobes aren’t as big or all-powerful as a human’s. That’s why they don’t slow down after surgery the way we do. They don’t feel bad enough to slow down. I think it’s possible that animals may have as much pain as people do, but less suffering. Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation


The prefrontal cortex gives humans some freedom of action in life, including some freedom from fear. As a rule, normal people have more power to suppress fear, and to make decisions in the face of fear, than animals or (most) autistic people. Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation


Learning By Watching. This is called observational learning. When it comes to evolutionary fears, as well as to many other ares of learning, animals and people learn by watching what other animals or people do, not by doing something themselves and learning from the consequences. Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation


When you’re choosing a mutt, try to pick a dog who comes right up to you and can be friendly. A lot of mutts are horribly distracted inside a kennel or pound, so it can be hard to tell what they’ll be like once they’ve adjusted to a new home, but even at the pound a dog with a good temperament doesn’t act terrified. Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation


On the other hand, the Monks of New Skete …say you shouldn’t pick the first puppy who comes up to you, because that’s the dominant puppy, and he’s going to be most prone to having behavior problems…The monks train German shepherds, so it’s possible their observations are more relevant to dogs like shepherds and Rottweilers who’ve been bred to be guard dogs. Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation


With all puppies, it’s a good idea to give them a quick startle test. Clap your hands suddenly, or stomp your feet, and see what the puppy does. All puppies should flinch when they hear a sudden, loud sound, but you don’t want a dog who’s so terrified that he runs off to the corner of his cage or crate and cowers. Dog trainers use a version of this test to choose puppies who will be good service dogs. They drop a heavy piece of logging chain with four or five links on the floor about four feet away fromt the puppy. Puppies who get really upset by this aren’t the best candidates to work as a service dog for a person with disabilities. Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation


Bone size tells you a lot, too, so look for strong, sturdy bones. The same principle applies to horses. Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation


With horses, there’s another physical trait you can use in judging a young horse’s temperament: the location of his hair whorl. The hair whorl is the round patch of “twisty” hair all cows and horses have up at the top of their faces. The more nervous the animal, the higher the patch. Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation


Question asking is so important that Bob and Lynn Koegel, of the Austism Research and Training Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, made major breakthroughs in their autism clinic when they started teaching autistic children to ask questions.  I wonder whether we would have major breakthroughs in language comprehension with apes and dolphins if we taught them to ask questions, instead of just having them answer questions all the time. Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation



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